Based on Edmond Rostand’s classic play of the same title, Augusto Genina’s 1925 French-Italian stunning version of Cyrano de Bergerac was the first key feature film adaptation by opening up the play to take advantage of the spectacular black drop of 17th-century France, the grandeur of the costumes and the possibility for some great classic swashbuckling action.
The wonderful Cyrano of this film, Pierre Magnier, understudied Coquelin in the original stage production. Magnier frequently performed Cyrano following Coquelin’s death in 1909 and remained active on stage and in films for another forty years, being best remembered today as the General in Jean Renoir’s Rules of the Game (1939). Magnier paved the way for other Cyrano’s to follow, including the best remembered 1990 adaptation starring Gérard Depardieu.
A very rare chance to see on the big screen, this particular restoration also showcases the filmmakers’ bold decision to present almost the entire work in the highly stylized and beautiful Path Stencil Color process which took the film company another three years to complete; delaying the film’s release till 1925.
Live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne with restoration by Lobster Films, Paris.
Director: Augusto Genina
Starring: Pierre Magnier, Linda Moglie, Angelo Ferrari, Umberto Casilini
With thanks to Film Hub South West.