Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Recreating his stage role, Jose Ferrer stars as Edmond Rostand's Cyrano, a 17th-century French cavalier, poet and swordsman whose prominent proboscis is the subject of many a duel. Cyrano is madly in love with the beautiful Roxanne (Mala Powers), but assumes that she'd never love him back due to his cathedral of a nose. Roxanne is also loved by the handsome Christian (William Prince), who unfortunately can't put two consecutive words together when it comes to pitching woo. Cyrano agrees to help Christian win Roxanne by feeding him the right words for his midnight courtships and love letters; in this way, Cyrano can vicariously express his own ardor for the fair lady. Years later, Cyrano's deception is revealed, and he dies happily in the arms of his beloved Roxanne, who realizes that she has really loved Cyrano all along--by way of Christian. Cyrano de Bergerac wasn't seen by many paying moviegoers upon its original showing, but its relative box-office failure resulted in an early release to television, where it has remained a perennial attraction for the past forty years.
Classics , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
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José Ferrer
as Cyrano de Bergerac
Mala Powers
as Roxane
William Prince
as Christian de Neuvillette
Ralph Clanton
as Antoine Comte de Guiche
Lloyd Corrigan
as Ragueneau
Edgar Barrier
as Cardinal
Elena Verdugo
as Orange Girl
Al Cavens
as Valvert
Arthur Blake
as Montfleury
Don Beddoe
as The Meddler
Percy Helton
as Bellerose
Virginia Christine
as Sister Marthe
Gil Warren
as Doctor
Philip Van Zandt
as Man with Gazette
Eric Sinclair
as Guardsman
Richard Avonde
as Marquis
Paul Dubov
as Cadet
Jerry Paris
as Cadet
Albert Cravens
as Viscount Valvert
Francis Pierlot
as Capuchin Monk
John Harmon
as Lackey (Assassin)
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Critic Reviews for Cyrano de Bergerac

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

Audiences, traditionally willing to meet this impossibly romantic classic half way, may have to go a bit further this time.

Full Review… | November 7, 2007
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Withal, there is beauty and magic in the things that Cyrano says. He is still a magnificent character. Thank goodness, he is on the screen.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

At least some of the lines in the Rostand play are good.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Stanley Kramer's production, directed by Michael Gordon, is well acted by Jose Ferrer, who won the Best Actor Oscar.

Full Review… | July 18, 2009

Your opinion of Ferrer's work will depend upon your taste in acting. This is technique work, like Olivier's. The performance feels outward bound, theatrical, expert in that manner.

Full Review… | November 7, 2007
TV Guide

Jose Ferrer's towering performance overcomes a threadbare budget and indifferent ensemble support.

June 22, 2007
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Cyrano de Bergerac

Jose Ferrer's version of Cyrano misses the mark. A fact that becomes all the more obvious when you compare it to the Depardieu version of the 80s. Cyrano is arrogance with no heart.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

A poetic aristocrat with a large nose helps a pretty boy dolt win the heart of the woman they both love. The Rostand play of the same name is one of my favorites, and the conundrum of putting one's personal feelings aside for the good of others is a theme that resonates with me. While Jose Ferrer exquisitely captures Cyrano's eloquence and defensive arrogance, the deep-seated pain caused by the story's plot and his own insecurities are almost inscrutable and unexplored by the film. Overall, the source material is so good that it's almost impossible to screw this story up, but I think a more emotionally grounded performance that eclipses Cyrano's performative qualities would've made for a stronger interpretation.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


If I remember correctly, the first time I saw this movie it was a colorized version on VHS. I have now seen it in its original black and white. The colorization was not terrible, but not ideal either and it is really the performances and the classic story that holds your interest in either version. It is a high romance with touches of comedy. When I started my Oscar winning film list from the beginning (1927, the final year that silents ruled), I was sure I would be bored by those supposedly ancient films. The first years of talkies were in reality more problematic. This period movie and others from the 1950's, I imagined would be another rough patch in movie history. Jose Ferrer had a commanding grasp of the character of Cyrano from portraying it on stage and deserved the Oscar he won, however. The English translation of the dialog, the composition of the shots, the sword play and Ferrer's performance especially give this movie an unexpected energy, vitality and panache.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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