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Cyrano De Bergerac (1925) 1925 NR

4.8 out of 5 stars (4) IMDb 6.9/10

The most beloved of all love stories! Edmond Rostand's play "Cyrano de Bergerac" was a triumph from the moment of its premiere on December 28, 1897. It has become the most popular play of the modern French theater, and Cyrano, despite an ugly visage dominated by an enormous nose, has become a world-beloved symbol of generosity, magnanimity of spirit and beauty of soul. In adapting "Cyrano de Bergerac" to the silent cinema, director Augusto Genina and scenarist Mario Camerini retained the beloved poetic language of Rostand's original work. The grandeur of costume, setting and action is captured not only in impressive staging and sensitive performances but also through the filmmakers' bold decision to present almost the entire work in the highly stylized and beautiful Pathe Stencil Color process. Three years were devoted to the by-hand coloring of "Cyrano de Bergerac," so that this 1922 film was not fully released until the Fall of 1925! With this beautiful release, this rarely-seen silent classic can take its place with the all-time greats!

Starring:
Pierre Magnier, Linda Moglia
Runtime:
1 hour, 53 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Romance
Director Augusto Genina
Starring Pierre Magnier, Linda Moglia
Supporting actors Angelo Ferrari, Maurice Schutz, Alex Bernard, Umberto Casilini, Gemma De Sanctis, Roberto Parisini
Studio Egami
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Format: DVD
Too often films of the silent era come to us in chopped, cropped, and abused formats. "Cyrano" is flat out gorgeous with its detailed Pathecolor process, giving the scenes a fairy-tale coloration that easily rivals the old two-strip Technicolor. The performances are without the silent hyperbole or melodramatic flairs; in fact, when Pierre Magnier's Cyrano becomes expansive with his flourishes, he seems to be parodying the conventions we might expect after a diet of D. W. Griffith epics. The director, Augusta Genina, later went on to direct Louise Brooks' final European film, "Prix de Beaute," and his gifts with both spectacle and introspective moments are in strong evidence here. An amazing find!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For me, the most obvious special feature of this film is its beautiful and rare Pathe Stencil colouring which, according to the DVD's notes, took three whole years to do! Unlike the early two-colour Technicolor, this method really was like a work of art in soft watercolours or similar, and is perfectly suited to the setting of France in the 1600s with its glorious and elegant costumes. This combination alone already won me, but all other aspects of this film are also of a high quality. I was most impressed by Pierre Magnier who made the character of Cyrano De Bergerac very human and real to me (despite the somewhat artficial nose!) Apart from the touching and inspiring story which shows that true love is more than skin-deep and rather a matter of someone's inner soul, the new orchestral musical accompaniment (composed by Kurt Kuenne, conducted by Timothy Brock) is also wonderful and quite appropriate. Even without the special attraction of its lovely Stencil Color, I'm sure this would rate as a film of very high standard. There is quite a lot to read in the intertitles, but they are easy to read and follow (English being underneath the Spanish) and in a style that also suits the story and atmosphere nicely. It obviously took a lot of effort to make this film (details of the Pathe Stencil Color technique explained in the DVD notes) and David Shepard has likewise gone to some effort to make it available to us today to appreciate and admire once again. Definitely a must in any silent film collection, and no doubt a treat for Cyrano De Bergerac fans in general.
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Format: DVD
I have always been attracted to the story of CYRANO DE BERGERAC. I first encountered it as a CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED comic book back in the early 1960s. Shortly after that I saw the famous 1950 film version with Jose Ferrrer which appeared many times on TV when I was growing up. Once I got to college, I read the original Edmond Rostand play but in an English translation. Years later came the Steve Martin adaptation ROXANNE (1987) and finally, what for me is my personal favorite, the 1990 French version with Gerard Depardieu. Then in 1996 I finally saw the 1925 silent version when it first appeared on VHS. It was a joy to behold but unfortunately the musical accompaniment was substandard and badly performed. 3 years later it made it to DVD and this problem had been corrected. The DVD score by Kurt Kuenne is not only well performed, it enhances the images as a good silent film score should.

This CYRANO easily holds its own against the others especially now as many people are discovering silent films for the first time, thanks to another French film of recent vintage, THE ARTIST. The first thing people notice is that the film appears to be in color. It wasn't shot that way, it was hand stenciled in an arduous process employed by Pathe. The film was completed in 1922 but not released until 1925. Today the process looks like computer colorization but back then it was astonishing. however any CYRANO must rise or fall on the strength of the titular performance and Pierre Magnier, who understudied the original Cyrano, is heartbreakingly romantic. The print used for this 1999 presentation has not been fully restored and is conflated from several others. It provides consistency in the story line but the picture quality varies. While not perfect, it's still way above average and is a must for fans of silent cinema and especially of Cyrano himself.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I purchased this movie because I could not find it anywhere else. I received the download really quickly and easily.
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