Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) Poster

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  • Mostly details so insignificant that only one who is absolutely familiar with the play would notice. The most noticeable alteration from the play is that the first ten minutes or so are completely omitted. (This is not true of any other film version of "Cyrano de Bergerac".) The play begins with all the main characters filing into the Théâtre del Hôtel de Bourgogne to watch a play, and we are told, in dialogue, who each one is and what their relationships are. We are also let in on who Cyrano is before he ever appears, and on the fact that the actor Montfleury, whom Cyrano hates and has forbidden to appear onstage that month, is defying Cyrano and will make an appearance. We are also informed that Cyrano has an enormous nose before we ever see it. The film changes this by beginning with Montfleury's appearance, which prompts Cyrano to force him off the stage. Therefore, unlike the stage version, we see Cyrano's nose before anyone in the film ever mentions it.

    Ragueneau' s wife, who in the play despises his poetry and runs off with a lover, never appears or is mentioned in the film. The role is a very minor one.

    "Cyrano" onstage is in five acts. Each act in the film has had its opening trimmed just enough to plunge us into the main action.

    Edit (Coming Soon)

  • No. The play in the original French is written in what is called Alexandrine ([link]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandrine[/link]) verse, while the English translation used in this film is written in blank verse, much like one of Shakespeare's plays. However, the language here is much easier to understand than Shakespeare's Elizabethan English. For years, even before this film was made, the translation was considered one of the finest ever done of a play in verse. This translation was done in 1923, for a stage revival of the play. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yes. In some instances certain obscure phrases have been changed so that the general audience can relate more strongly to what the character is saying. For instance, in the scene in which Cyrano is rattling off all the creative ways that one can use to insult his nose, he says in the stage version, "Or, parodying Faustus in the play: Was this the nose that launched a thousand ships". In the film, instead of saying "parodying Faustus in the play", he says, "Or, literary: Was this the nose that launched a thousand ships?" Later on, when describing Montfleury in the stage version, he says "That Silenus who cannot hold his belly in his arms". In the film this is changed to "That fat goat who cannot hold his belly in his arms".

    There are also additional scenes linking the five acts of the play which have been added to the film but are not included in the stage version, and these have been written in prose by screenwriter Carl Foreman. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Extremely faithful, except for the changes mentioned above. In fact, one could say that it is even more faithful than the 1990 Gerard Depardieu "Cyrano". Despite featuring more of the play than the 1950 film, the 1990 version "opens it up" in a way that the 1950 version doesn't. Everything retained from the play in the 1950 version (and that means most of the film) takes place in its original setting. Edit (Coming Soon)

Spoilers

The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • Yes. It shows Cyrano fighting off the hundred men that have been sent to ambush Ragueneau (in the play, it is the drunk Ligniere that they are about to ambush). And it shows us how Cyrano is mortally wounded near the end. In the play, he is struck on the head by a log that is dropped from several floors above, but in this film version, he is attacked and run over from behind by someone driving a carriage. Edit (Coming Soon)

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