Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cyrano De Bergerac (1950)

Cyrano De BergeracThis (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.

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.

Buy Cyrano De Bergerac (1950) Now

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...

Read Best Reviews of Cyrano De Bergerac (1950) Here

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.

Want Cyrano De Bergerac (1950) Discount?

This splendid film was never the best looking movie ever made, being done on a low budget in black and white, but this so-called "enhanced" edition is so badly transferred to disc as to be virtually unwatchable.

Save 17% Off

No comments:

Post a Comment