Cyrano de Bergerac (1922) France

When: Friday Evening
Director: Augusto Genina
Film: 35 mm colour
Duration: 113 minutes
Live music: accompanists: Ms Sharolyn Kimmorley and Jem Harding, playing "Piano 4 Hands"
Presented by: David Stratton

Cyrano de Begerac is joyous, witty, a poet, a leader and filled with plenty of charisma and bravado in 17th Century France. He has only, an unusually long nose which makes him unattractive to any woman. Thus, he cannot have the woman he loves, his cousin Roxxane. Roxanne loves an officer in his army who gets tongue-twisted in front of women. Who will Roxanne love? Will Cyrano ever find love? Or will he find happiness in helping the officer woo Roxanne? This story of split personalities, human frailty and unrequited love is the question that all human beings face and that the movie tries to answer?

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!