In Edmond Rostand?s swashbuckling yet bittersweet comedy, the characters experience emotions on a heroic scale. The play?s hero, Cyrano, is a magnificent wit whose pride masks a deep insecurity about his appearance?specif... more »ically, his abnormally large nose. His compelling love for the beautiful heroine, Roxanne, is the motivating force behind all the action in the play. With words from his own poet?s heart, Cyrano wins Roxanne for another man, the tongue-tied but handsome Christian. Stars Peter Donat (War of the Roses) and four-time Oscar® nominee Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl).« less
"When this was first shown on PBS over 25 years ago, I thought it was the best thing I'd ever seen on television, and nothing that has happened in the interim has changed my view. Peter Donat makes a brilliant Cyrano, as good as anyone else has ever played it, but the jewel is Marsha Mason as Roxanne. Roxanne is usually portrayed as a lightweight ingenue, and it's hard to understand Cyrano's affection, but not here. Here is a Roxanne with the wit, grace and style to match Cyrano's own. It makes that aspect of the play more credible, which makes the last scene unbelievably poignant.I despaired of this ever being on DVD, and it's release is a cause for joy. Buy several copies and give them to your firends."
Very well adapted for the stage.
Joshua Rimokh | Tarzana, CA United States | 03/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having recently viewed this DVD of Cyrano by the ACT of San Francisco, I was very impressed with Peter Donat as Cyrano. Compared to Jose Ferrer, Donat is a more convincing Cyrano due in part to how animated he is when gesturing. Ferrer, in my opinion, was very stiff and to loud. Although the duel sequence in the first act was better performed in the Ferrer version. Cyrano's duel with Valvert in the Donat version was a little skewed and turned into a comedy rather than a serious duel where two men's lives were at stake. Marsha Mason, who plays Roxanne, shows a lot more emotion in her love for Christian. Compared to Marla Powers in the 1950 version, this Roxanne is more intellectual and sophisticated. Marla Powers played the role just fine, but was just reciting lines. There was no emotion in her words. Marc Singer also does an excellent job of playing Christian, whom Roxanne falls in love with. Any fan of Cyrano will also be pleased to know that this staged version is more faithful to the original play than the Ferrer version was. I thought that the ommison of Lingere and Le Bret from the 1950 version did the play a great injustice. The reason I compare this theatre version with the 1950 version is because they both use the Brian Hooker translation. I preffered the Anthony Burgess translation because its more poetic and detailed as far as words are concerned. The Hooker translation is a little dumbed down. To get a sense of what I mean check out the Derek Jacobi version of Cyrano. It was made in 1984 by the Royal Shakespeare company and is only available on VHS at this time. And for the ultimate Cyrano adaptaion, check out the Gerard Depardieu version which was made in 1991. It was nominated for 4 Academy Awards including best foregin picture and will stand as the definitive version of Cyrano."
Peter Donat as Cyrano de Bergerac
Rosemary Heilemann | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I actually saw this version on TV back in the '70's and, at that time, I was astounded by Donat's performance. He is so natural, so believable, and so grand. Cyrano de Bergerac is my favorite play, and the director and actors have captured the beautiful spirit of Rostand's work. I have taught this play in high schools over the years and used other fine film versions as part of the class, but I always wished I could find a copy of the Donat version. Now I have. It was worth waiting for."
Certainly hard to imagine a better version
Gavino | Little Silver, NJ USA | 03/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I, too, saw this production on PBS in the 70's and I felt it was of the highest quality. NO ONE does Cyrano better than Donat the younger, and Marsha Mason shows true emotion as her true love dies. The duel in the tavern is spectacular, NOT for the swashbuckling, but for the way the wit and wisdom of Cyrano dispatches his foe. This is a must see of must sees."
Been looking for this forever!!!
ellen | Atlanta, Georgia USA | 09/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so excited! I first saw this ACT presentation of Cyrano on A&E in the '80's and I fell in love with it - I have emailed everywhere to get a tape/DVD of this, and gave up - I couldn't find my play version of Cyrano, and when I searched for a copy on Amazon, I saw listed the Peter Donat/Marsha Mason 1972 version I had seen on A&E!!! If you are a fan of Cyrano, get this - It ranks up there in it's interpretation of Cyrano - The beauty of the word. The genius of Rostand! You can truly get just about anything on Amazon!"