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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Cyrano de Bergerac [Blu-ray]


(Michael Gordon, 1950)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:53:29.803 

Disc Size: 20,566,115,790 bytes

Feature Size: 20,490,891,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 18th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 887 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 887 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)






• None





Description: Recreating his stage role, Jose‚ Ferrer (Moulin Rouge) stars as Edmond Rostand's Cyrano, a 17th-century French cavalier, poet and master swordsman. This beloved tale of romance and swashbuckling came to the screen in this lavish production from producer Stanley Kramer (Judgment at Nuremberg). Cyrano is madly in love with the beautiful Roxanne (Mala Powers), but assumes that she'd never love him back due to his cathedral of a nose, so he reluctantly aids the handsome, but simple Christian (William Prince) in the pursuit of his one true love. Ferrer won the 1950 Best Actor Academy Award and Golden Globe for his brilliant and heartbreaking performance. Directed with luster by Michael Gordon (Pillow Talk) with a rousing score by Dimitri Tiomkin (Rio Bravo) and adapted for the screen by Carl Foreman (The Guns of Navarone).



The Film:

Carl Foreman, who wrote the screenplay, even planned and constructed the film in five major phases conforming to the five scenes of its performance on the stage. And Michael Gordon, the director, has seen to it that it is played in the formalized groupings and manners of theatrical costume romance. One significant scene has been added; Cyrano is now permitted to fight the "hundred men" at the Porte de Nesle which is only talked about on the stage. And the famous song of the cadets of Gascoyne has been discreetly overlooked.

But, above all, Mr. Ferrer plays Cyrano in a style that is in the theatrical tradition of gesture and eloquence. He speaks the poetry of Rostand with richness and clarity such as only a few other actors have managed on the screen. He bears himself proudly and nobly. He duels with decisiveness. And he carries off the maudlin romanaics of the play with remarkable grace. For all who are soft to the enchantments of Cyrano and sentiment, he's their man.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Cyrano de Bergerac is a swashbuckler unto itself. Since it first saw the light of night on a Parisian stage in 1897, it never goes long unperformed in some form or other. Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner are reviving Edmond Rostand's plumed, caped evergreen on Broadway. In Michigan, a new operatic version by David Di Chiera is being unveiled. Nor has it been ignored on film. Christian Coquelin, who originated the role, recorded a soliloquy in one of the first attempts at recorded sound on film. Gerard Depardieu starred in a 1990 version resplendent with idiomatic rightness and France's collective affection for it as a cultural treasure. Steve Martin's Roxanne (1987) remains a sweet contemporary reimagining. But the one everyone refers to, the one against which the rest are invariably measured, is the 1950 Cyrano de Bergerac starring Jose Ferrer.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Standard stuff for an Olive Blu-ray transfer of a vintage film - meaning it looks quite strong with great contrast layering, solid detail and a bit of grain. This is only single-layered and has some minor speckles - more the condition of the source. There is no noise and visuals lean to the thinner end of the spectrum. The Blu-ray provides a rewarding, enjoyable presentation and the 1080P resolution easily advances over an SD rendering. Cyrano de Bergerac is a great film!















Audio :

The score by Dimitri Tiomkin is lively and full of fun adding excitement to the sword fights. There is no depth or range to speak of but the DTS-HD Master mono track at a modest 887 kbps does the job well enough to support the presentation without any dynamic intent. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their releases.



Cyrano de Bergerac is such an enjoyable film. Ferrer is great and the rendition of the classic story is adventurous, amusing and human. I wasn't expecting to be as entertained as I was.  The Blu-ray did a splendid job for viewing in your home theater. This is a film that I will definitely revisit. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 12th, 2012

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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