Cyrano de Bergerac [1990]

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: José Ferrer, Mala Powers, William Prince, Morris Carnovsky, Ralph Clanton
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 137 minutes

Edmond Rostand's ineffably romantic play about the big-nosed soldier and swordsman with a poet's soul looks stagey in this 1950 film adaptation. But, thanks to a heartfelt performance by Jose Ferrer (who won an Oscar for the role), the beauty of Rostand's words shines through. Ferrer plays Cyrano, who is in love with the beautiful Roxanne but is unable to tell her so for fear that she will reject him because of his extremely prominent nose. In a heart-breaking turn, she confesses her love to him--but it is love for another man, a soldier under his command named Christian. Christian, however, is a good-hearted but tongue-tied youngster, and so the older Cyrano woos Roxanne vicariously by supplying Christian with his own words of love, most famously in a balcony scene in which Cyrano speaks for himself while pretending to be Christian. Ferrer is tender, tough, and funny and single-handedly pulls this film to near-greatness. --Marshall Fine

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