Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)
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as Cyrano de Bergerac
as Christian de Neuvillette
as Antoine Comte de Guiche
as Le Bret
as Orange Girl
as The Meddler
as Sister Marthe
as Man with Gazette
as Viscount Valvert
as Capuchin Monk
as Lackey (Assassin)
Critic Reviews for Cyrano de Bergerac
Audiences, traditionally willing to meet this impossibly romantic classic half way, may have to go a bit further this time.
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.
Stanley Kramer's production, directed by Michael Gordon, is well acted by Jose Ferrer, who won the Best Actor Oscar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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