Cyrano de Bergerac (movie, 1990)

Cyrano de Bergerac is a French film directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau and released in 1990 . This is an adaptation of the play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand , withGerard Depardieu in the title role. Directed by Jean-Claude Carrière and Jean-Paul Rappeneau, the adaptation shortens the original text in some places, while enriching the stage and the action, and adding many scenes, usually dumb, that do not appear in the room.

Gérard Depardieu’s film and performance have won numerous awards, most notably at the Césars of 1991, which for the most part were awarded to them.


Paris , 1640 . In a theater, a curious character, whose mind is as sharp as the rapier, provokes a duel in the midst of an admiring crowd. This man is the great Cyrano ( Gerard Depardieu ); a poet, a fine talker, a talker, he fears neither blood nor fools. Alas, he is ugly; decked out with a nose of unusual proportions, he despairs of being able one day to seduce his everlasting love, the beautiful Roxane ( Anne Brochet ), his cousin. But this one, for its greatest misfortune, only has eyes for the handsome Christian de Neuvillette ( Vincent Pérez), who loves him secretly. His only fault is that he has no wit, and is not good at addressing women. That’s why he asks Cyrano to help him conquer the coveted beauty, ignoring his feelings for her. Inspired by his elegant words and, of course, we can not be more sincere, Christian attracts the favors of the tender Roxane. But it was without counting the cruel Count de Guiche ( Jacques Weber ) who, too, coveted the beautiful, and the war against the Spaniards which broke out. Under the command of the count, Cyrano and Christian are both mobilized as cadets of King Louis XIII .

Besieged, hungry, the cadets of Gascony survive as best they can, entrenched in a stronghold from which they can not leave. However, Cyrano having managed to pass letters (under the name of Christian) to Roxane, it arrives one day at the camp to join his beloved. Christian, having perceived the love that Cyrano brought him, decides to confess the truth to him about the author of the missives; but, wounded during an offensive, he died in Roxane’s arms before he could reveal his secret. Cyrano, faced with the misfortune that strikes his cousin, decides to hide the truth forever.

15 years later, a gray Cyrano visits her cousin in a convent in Paris, where she retired to mourn. But he is the victim on the way of an attack sponsored by one of his many enemies, and is seriously injured in the head. In a final impulse, he goes to the convent anyway to see his love one last time, pretending to be well. There, he asks Roxane for the last letter of Christian, found on his body, which she does not know is the real author. As he reads aloud, as night falls, Roxane realizes that Cyrano was the author and understands “all the generous imposture”. But it’s too late ; Cyrano is dying. In a final reverence, it is the sword in his hand that, staggering, he mills and collapses, as he lived:

Technical sheet

  • Title: Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Director: Jean-Paul Rappeneau
  • Scenario: Jean-Claude Carrière and Jean-Paul Rappeneau
  • Adapted from the eponymous play by Edmond Rostand
  • Assistant Director: Thierry Chabert
  • Production Companies: One Camera , DD Productions , A2 Films , Hachette Première et Cie and UGC Ph
  • Producers: René Cleitman and Michel Seydoux
  • Music: Jean-Claude Petit
  • Director of Photography: Pierre Lhomme
  • Editing: Noëlle Boisson
  • Sets: Ezio Frigerio
  • Costumes: Franca Squarciapino
  • Sound: Pierre Gamet and Dominique Hennequin
  • Duration: 135 minutes
  • Release date : 
  • Genre: Dramatic comedy
  • Filming locations: Le Mans , Uzès , Fontenay abbey , Hungary
  • All public


  • Gérard Depardieu : Savinian Cyrano of Bergerac
  • Anne Brochet : Madeleine Robin, known as Roxane
  • Vincent Pérez : Christian de Neuvillette
  • Jacques Weber : the count of Guiche
  • Roland Bertin : Ragueneau
  • Catherine Ferran : Lise Ragueneau
  • Josiane Stoléru : the duenna
  • Philippe Morier-Genoud : The Bret
  • Philippe Volter : the viscount of Valvert
  • Pierre Maguelon : Carbon of Castel-Jaloux
  • Jean-Marie Winling : Lignière
  • Louis Navarre : the unfortunate
  • Gabriel Monnet : Montfleury
  • Pierre Triboulet: Jodelet
  • Jacques Pater: the wool puller
  • François Married: Bellerose
  • Jérôme Nicolin: the Capuchin
  • Anatole Delalande: the child
  • Alain Rimoux : the father
  • Hervé Pauchon : a cadet
  • Christian Loustau: a cadet
  • Éric Bernard: a cadet
  • Alain Perez: a cadet
  • Frank Ramon: a cadet
  • Alain Dumas: a cadet
  • Franck Jazédé: a cadet
  • Madeleine Marion : the superior mother
  • Amélie Gonin: Sister Martha
  • Ludivine Sagnier : the little girl who buys cakes
  • Sandrine Kiberlain : Sister Colette
  • Isabelle Gruault: Sister Claire
  • Pierre Aussedat : one of the marquis
  • Michel Vuillermoz
  • Stéphane Slima

Around the film

  • The rights of the play created in 1897 having fallen into the public domain, the producer was able to invest in the forty sets, either in France or in Hungary .
  • Filming took place in about fifteen cities 1 . Among those :
    • several sequences were shot at Le Mans , in the Plantagenet city . A scene was even filmed in the Lycée Montesquieu . The main staircase then took the name of Gerard Depardieu.
    • Fontainebleau
    • Moret-sur-Loing
    • Uzes
    • Dijon , rue de la Chouette and hotel Vogüé
    • Marmagne : Fontenay abbey.
    • Gambais
    • Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon

Differences with the text of the original piece

Jean – Claude Carrière wrote a hundred or so Alexandrines in the style of Rostand. He also shortened many passages, such as:

Act I, Scene 4:

Original text: Rappeneau Version:
Me, it’s morally that I have my elegance.
I do not take offense and a whippersnapper
But I am more cared, if I am less pretty.
I would not go out with, negligently …
Me, it’s morally that I have my elegance.
I will not go out with, negligently …

Another example: the removal of two verses from the scene of the last act (reading of the letter by Cyrano) when Roxane finally understands what happened:

And for fourteen years, he played that role
To be the old friend, who comes to be funny.

Other passages were both cut and reworked, like, this one (Act III, scene 7):

I know that last year, one day, the twelve of May,
To go out in the morning you change your hairstyle!
I took so much for clarity your hair
That, as when we have fixed the sun too much,
We see on everything afterwards a round vermeil,
Above all, when I left the fires you are flooding me with,
My dazzled look poses blonde spots!

Who became :

I know that last year, one day, the twelve of May,
To go out in the morning you change your hairstyle!
A sun dazzled me: it was your hair!

Adaptation work, by the admission of Jean-Claude Carrière [ref. necessary] , has been considerable: the original piece lasts four hours, the duration of the film, it is two hours seventeen (with the credits of beginning and that of end).


Cyrano de Bergerac seen from three quarters

Cannes Film Festival 1990

Presented in official selection.

  • Best Actor Award – Gérard Depardieu
  • Vulcan Award of the technician artist – Pierre Lhomme

Caesar 1991

  • Caesar of the best film
  • César Award for Best Director – Jean-Paul Rappeneau
  • Caesar Nomination for Best Original Screenplay or Adaptation – Jean-Claude Carrière and Jean-Paul Rappeneau
  • Cesar Award for Best Actor – Gérard Depardieu
  • Caesar Nomination for Best Actress – Anne Brochet
  • César Award for Best Supporting Actor – Jacques Weber
  • César nomination for best male prospect – Vincent Pérez
  • Caesar of the best original music – Jean-Claude Petit
  • Caesar of the best decorations – Ezio Frigerio
  • Caesar of the best photography – Pierre Lhomme
  • Caesar of the best sound – Pierre Gamet and Dominique Hennequin
  • Caesar for Best Editing – Noëlle Boisson
  • Caesar of the best costumes – Franca Squarciapino

Oscar 1991

  • Oscar for best costume design – Franca Squarciapino
  • Nomination for the Oscar for best foreign film
  • Oscar nomination for best actor – Gérard Depardieu
  • Oscar nomination for best artistic direction – Ezio Frigerio and Jacques Rouxel
  • Oscar nomination for best makeup – Michèle Burke and Jean-Pierre Eychenne

Golden Globe 1990

  • Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film

BAFTA 1991

  • BAFTA of the best photography – Pierre Lhomme
  • BAFTA of the best costumes – Franca Squarciapino
  • BAFTA of the best makeup and hairstyles – Michèle Burke and Jean-Pierre Eychenne
  • BAFTA of the best film music – Jean-Claude Petit
  • BAFTA nominated for best film
  • BAFTA Nomination for Best Screenplay – Jean-Claude Carrière and Jean-Paul Rappeneau
  • BAFTA nominated for best actor – Gérard Depardieu
  • BAFTA Appointed Best Artistic Director – Ezio Frigerio

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Locations for filming  [ archive ] of Cyrano de Bergerac .

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