IMDb > "Great Performances" Cyrano de Bergerac (2008)

"Great Performances" Cyrano de Bergerac (2008)

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Great Performances: Season 37: Episode 8 -- Clip: Why do your words come so haltingly out?


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Edmond Rostand (play)
Anthony Burgess (translation and adaptation)
View company contact information for Cyrano de Bergerac on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
26 December 2008 (Season 37, Episode 8)
Embarrassed by his large nose, a romantic poet/soldier romances his cousin by proxy. | Add synopsis »
Kline Death Scene Ruined By Cellphone Chatter
 (From WENN. 15 July 2008, 10:05 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Unfortunate casting results in a somewhat lackluster production See more (3 total) »


 (Episode Cast)

Max Baker ... Ragueneau
Stephen Balantzian ... Gascony Cadet
Tom Bloom ... Montfleury
Keith Eric Chappelle ... Guard
MacIntyre Dixon ... Capuchin / Jodelet / Gascony Cadet (as Maclntyre Dixon)
Davis Duffield ... Theatregoer's Son
Amefika J. El-Amin ... Gascony Cadet (as Amefika El-Amin)
Peter Jay Fernandez ... Captain Carbon de Castel-Jaloux

Jennifer Garner ... Roxane
Kate Guyton ... A Food Seller

Ginifer King ... Sister Claire

Kevin Kline ... Cyrano de Bergerac

Carman Lacivita ... Valvert
Piter Marek ... Marquis de Brissaille
Euan Morton ... Ligniere

Lucas Papaelias ... Cook / Cadet

Leenya Rideout ... Lady / Singer / Nun
Fred Rose ... Poet

Chris Sarandon ... De Guiche
Thomas Schall ... Theatregoer
Alexander Sovronsky ... Musician / Cook / Cadet

Daniel Stewart Sherman ... A Musketeer

Daniel Sunjata ... Christian de Neuvillette

Baylen Thomas ... Gascony Cadet
John Douglas Thompson ... Le Bret

Concetta Tomei ... Roxane's Duenna
Nance Williamson ... Ragueneau's wife

Episode Crew
Directed by
Matthew Diamond 
Writing credits
Edmond Rostand (play)

Anthony Burgess (translation and adaptation)

Produced by
Bonnie Comley .... executive producer: Stellar Productions
Bonnie Comley .... producer
David Horn .... executive producer: Thirteen/WNET, New York
Ellen M. Krass .... producer
Stewart F. Lane .... executive producer: Stellar Productions
Stewart F. Lane .... producer
Morton Swinsky .... producer (as Mort Swinsky)
Original Music by
Alexander Sovronsky 
Film Editing by
Gary Bradley 
Casting by
J.V. Mercanti 
Production Design by
Tom Pye 
Costume Design by
Gregory Gale 
Production Management
Lesley Jill Nathan .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rae Kraus .... associate director
Sound Department
David Van Tieghem .... sound designer
Mark Deklin .... fight director
Camera and Electrical Department
Donald Holder .... lighting designer
Music Department
Jean-Baptiste Lully .... ballet music
Lucas Papaelias .... musician: guitar and drums
Leenya Rideout .... vocal arrangements
Fred Rose .... composer: Additional musical arrangements by
Fred Rose .... musician: cellist
Alexander Sovronsky .... musician: violin, mandolin, tin whistle, fife, drums
Other crew
Brit Cowan .... assistant to director
David Leveaux .... directed for stage
Iris Merlis .... stage manager

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:143 min

Did You Know?

Japan broadcast earlier than US.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: Lighting equipment can be seen when the camera pans to stage left at roughly an hour and forty-five minutes in, at the siege of Arras.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Samurai Saga (1959)See more »


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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
Unfortunate casting results in a somewhat lackluster production, 13 January 2009
Author: Charles Herold (cherold) from United States

My first response to the character of Cyrano de Bergerac in this version of the play was, "what a jerk." He just seems like a terrible bully. This wasn't my response to the Jose Ferrer movie, but it's my response now, although I'm not sure how much of that has to do with Kline's performance and how much has to do with how my attitudes have changed since I was in college.

I'll get back to Kline, but first I have to speak of Jennifer Garner's off kilter performance.

I understand the temptation to put a more modern spin on an old play, and turn demur heroines into feisty fireballs, but Garner's performance feels far more appropriate to a production of Annie Get Your Gun than to Cyrano. The problem is that Garner's Roxanne is so brash and brassy that she seems neither like someone who would be admired by every courtly man she met nor like someone who would prize elegant prose; she seems more like someone who would judge a man's appeal by his skills in shootin' and wrastlin'.

It is ideal for the audience to fall in love with Roxanne; I never even liked her much.

As for Kline, his performance lacks the grand sweep of Ferrer's. He is a very low key Cyrano, and while once again it is understandable to want to play with a character's traditional representation, it just doesn't work. I think this is why he seems like such a bully at the beginning. By underplaying the part, he doesn't sweep you up in his grandiosity and wit. Cyrano needs to be so much bigger than life that he seems justifiably unbound by convention.

I think ultimately Cyrano de Bergerac is not a play that lends itself to revisionist performances. You can play Shakespearean characters many different ways because there is always an ambiguity to the characters; you can endlessly debate purpose and motive. Rostand's play is very straightforward - it's little more than an excuse for a lot of clever dialog - and the characters are not deeply drawn enough to warrant trying to make them anything other than their surface appearance. And a production of the play in which Roxanne is a stronger, more masculine force than Cyrano simply cannot work.

That being said, it's still a well written play with a lot of of witty dialog and an engaging story, so it is still reasonably enjoyable. And for all my objections, the ending was quite touching. But this could have been so much better.

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