"This (yellow poster on DVD case) is the Hal Roach edition of the 1950 film starring Jose Ferrer. I'm aware of two other editions: Alpha Video, & Marengo Films. The Alpha Video edition (full colour head shot of Cyrano) is crap -- not worth $5. The Marengo edition (black poster on DVD case), while clean in sound & video, is darker than this Hal Roach edition. In several significant scenes taking place outdoors at night, this edition shows more detail and is easier to watch. It has a minor flaw, a purple band that slowly rolls from bottom to top of the screen; I can eliminate it by reducing the colour intensity on my monitor.
I have all three editions; this is the one I watch."
BEST OF THE CYRANOS
YT | 06/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Hal Roach Studios production from Image Entertainment is the best of the best. Flawlessly transferred from original 35mm camera negative and finegrain material, it features a brilliant soundtrack as well as the original theatrical trailer. This is the real deal--not a backyard dupe offered in a quickie transfer (probably to analogue) for el cheapo prices. If you want CYRANO, this class act version is the one to buy. SPECIAL NOTE: The specification notes indicated on the Amazon site are WRONG--this disc is encoded "Region Zero" not "Region One" as is stated. It will play on any DVD player anywhere in the world. So, what are you waiting for?? (Review refers to Hal Roach Studios DVD version released by Image Entertainment.)"
Great film but, alas, a poor DVD
Louis Barbarelli | San Francisco, CA USA | 09/13/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This review is based on the Apha Video DVD. That's the cheaper one with the close up of Cyrano's face on the cover. The picture jumps so badly, I got a headache. There are also several split-second gaps in the footage, causing snatches of spoken lines to be obliterated. Worst of all, the actors sound as though their heads are being held underwater and the violins on the soundtrack are similarly submerged.
This is lovely, literate film, with several average performances and one astonishing, Academy-Award-winning performance by Jose Ferrer. His portrayal of Cyrano might well be the greatest of all time, even when it sounds like it is spoken from inside my fish tank. The story itself, rich and romantic, and almost Shakespearean in its sense of tragic romance, may cause you to cry as much as the horrible quality of the DVD. The closing scene, in the courtyard of a convent during a light-falling snow, has been etched in my memory ever since I first saw it as a kid.
This film was nominated as one of AFI's best love stories of all time.
I am going to order the more expensive version distributed by Image Entertainment and will update my review based on that. "
China Smith | Montebello, CA USA | 03/08/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Such a good performance to be wasted on such a bad transfer. Had I known how lousy a copy this was I would have saved my money and purchased the Marengo version. The best copy I've seen so far was by Image Entertainment on laserdisc but..."
Cyrano de Bergerac - Alpha Video DVD -
A. I. Friedman | Sonoma, CA United States | 02/24/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This a great motion picture. The source material for this Alpha Video DVD is an old tired 16mm print. Sound is as muddy as the picture. The screen actually "crawls" with grain. Contast is bad - no detail or resolution. The experience of Jose Ferrer's Academy Award Winning performance is ruined by the quality of this DVD. I don't know why they would manufacture it - and I know NO ONE should buy it! Someone should find new source material like IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT - their Laser Disc was pristine."