LikeTelevision proudly presents - Cyrano de Bergerac, starring Jose Ferrer as Cyrano in the screen adaptation of Edmond Rostand's classic play. Jose Ferrer is nothing short of brilliant in his portrayal as the Cyrano - a gifted poet, wordsmith, swordsman, and a man with a beautiful and tender heart. But with all these gifts - he was also given a monster sized nose, that reminds one of the proboscis monkey - it is huge and hideous, a perfect foil for the lavish gifts he has been given. Cyrano loves a beautiful woman named Roxane, who happens to be a distant cousin, but he is afraid to tell her how he feels about her, because he is afraid of rejection.
Cyrano de Bergerac w/ Jose Ferrer
Directed by - Michael Gordon
(1950) - B&W - 112 min
The film was produced by Stanley Kramer - a man who clearly had a nose for great movies and Cyrano is no exception. Kramer produced The Champion with Kirk Douglas, The Defiant One with Tony Curtis and Sidney Portier, Inherit the Wind w/ Spencer Tracy, The Caine Mutiny with Humphrey Bogart, High Noon w/ Grace Kelly & Gary Cooper, Guess who's Coming to Dinner w/ Hepburn, Tracy & Portier, and The Wild One w/ Marlon Brando. Jose Ferrer who is George Clooney's uncle via his marriage to Rosemary Clooney, won the Oscar in 1951 for Best Actor, topping Spencer Tracey in Father of the Bride, Jimmy Stewart in Harvey, and William Holden in Sunset Blvd. This is a great movie!
Intro, B&W, title screens, credits, etc. The movie begins with a scene at the theater, where Cyrano wants to stop a play from opening. He uses biting sarcasm and wit as well as the fear of his skill as a swordsman to scare the actor off the stage. The play that never was - was sponsored by a rich and powerful man, who is obviously very unhappy. Some of the rich man's comrades insult Cyrano and a duel breaks out in the theater. This is a wonderful scene - as Cyrano speaks eloquently in rhyme - while fencing the challenger, who is mocked for his ribbons and fancy clothes. Great scene. Roxane is present and wishes to speak with her old friend Cyrano.
Jose Ferrer as Cyrano de Bergerac. Perhaps Shakespeare might have said - a nose by any other name would still be a nose!
Roxane listens as Christian searches for the right words, by listening to Cyrano - who helps him win her heart
Cyrano is filled with joy - thinking that Roxane also loves him as much as he loves her. But his heart is crushed when he learns that she longs for a handsome young man named Christian. She has never even spoken with him - but she is enamored by his pretty face. Christian also loves Roxane - but he isn't very bright and is always at a loss for the right words.
The famous balcony scene in Cyrano de Bergerac
And so Cyrano decides to help poor Christian win the heart of Roxane. He writes beautiful letters and poetry and helps him say the things that will win her heart. In fact, Cyrano is really telling Roxane how he feels about her. In the dark below the balcony - Cyrano speaks his heart and proclaims his love for Roxane, who thinks it is Christian speaking the words. And then - due to fears of being forced to marry de Guiche, she hastily marries Christian.
Cyrano de Bergerac w/ Jose Ferrer
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Willaim Prince stars as Christian
And no sooner are they married - when Cyrano and Christian are off to war against Spain. Cyrano writes letters to Roxane every day - sneaking behind the lines to send them. Roxane's love grows and grows for the man who writes such poetic words, thinking it is Christian. A wonderful tragic scene ensues.
The evil de Guiche is played by Ralph Clanton
Cyrano has grown old now, and Roxane has gone to the convent after Christian's death. Meanwhile, Cyrano writes biting satire each week, earning many powerful enemies. He visits Roxane all these years and never tells her that it is himself that she pines for. And then - the wonderful climax - as the tragic romance reaches full maturity.
Mala Powers stars as the lovely Roxane - who falls in love with Cyrano's soul and spirit.