Cyrano de Bergerac

Movies and other adaptations


  • 1925 A silent, hand tinted French-Italian film version of the play, starring Pierre Magnier
  • 1945 Love Letters is a screen adaptation by novelist Ayn Rand of the book Pity My Simplicity by Christopher Massie which converted his story into an adaptation of Rostand's play. The heroine, Singleton (played by Jennifer Jones), falls in love with a soldier during World War II, believing him to be the author of certain love letters that had been written for him by another soldier at the front. In this version, the heroine discovers the identity of the true author (played by Joseph Cotten) in time for the protagonists to experience a "happy ending." The film, produced by Hal Wallis, was a commercial success and earned four nominations for Academy Awards, including that of Jones for "Best Actress of 1945," and was one of the four films which paired Jones and Cotton as romanic leads. (The others were Since You Went Away, 1944, Duel in the Sun, 1946, and Portrait of Jennie, 1948.) The musical score by Victor Young was also nominated for an Oscar, and featured the melody of the hit song "Love Letters," which has been recorded by numerous artists since 1945, including Rosemary Clooney, Dick Haymes, Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, Jack Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Shelley Fabares, Elton John and Sinéad O'Connor. The melody or song has been reused in other films, including the Blue Velvet (1986), directed by David Lynch.[16][17][18]
  • 1945 There is also a relatively unknown French-language black-and-white film version made in 1945, starring Claude Dauphin. Posters and film stills give the impression that the set designs and costumes of the 1950 José Ferrer film may have been modeled on those in the 1945 movie.[19]
  • 1950 José Ferrer played the role in the 1950 film, the first film version of the play made in English. The film was made on a low budget, and although it was highly acclaimed, it was a box office disappointment and was nominated for only one Oscar – Best Actor – which was won by Ferrer. Nevertheless, it has become a film classic. Mala Powers co-starred as Roxane and William Prince played Christian. This is perhaps the most famous film version of the play.
  • 1959 Aru kengo no shogai (Life of an Expert Swordsman) is a samurai film by Hiroshi Inagaki, adapted from Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, and starring Toshiro Mifune in the Cyrano role. It was released in the English-language market with the title Samurai Saga.
  • 1973 a Filipino comedy film Cyrano de Bergerac at Roxanne starred the most famous Filipino comedian, (the late) Dolphy as Cyrano, and Pilar Pilapil as Roxanne.
  • 1987 film Roxanne, a contemporary comedy version with a happy ending added, starred Steve Martin as C.D. Bales, Daryl Hannah as Roxanne, and Rick Rossovich as Chris.
  • 1990 French movie adaptation with Gérard Depardieu in the title role won several awards including an Oscar.
  • 1991 A pornographic adaptation titled Cyrano, directed by Paul Norman.
  • 1994 The Indian movie Duet is based on this play.
  • 1996 film The Truth About Cats & Dogs is a modern gender reversal of the story.
  • The teen movie Whatever It Takes is based on this play.
  • 2000 The Italian comedic trio Aldo, Giovanni & Giacomo starred in the film "Chiedimi se sono felice" (lit. "Ask me if I'm happy") which is set around actors performing a rendition of the play in Italian.
  • 2005 The movie Bigger Than the Sky is set around the actors performing a rendition of the play.
  • 2007 A contemporary retelling of the tale was made into a movie in Venezuela, with the title Cyrano Fernández. In this case, Cyrano was disfigured and without the large nose. The movie is set in 2007.
  • 2009 The movie The Ugly Truth has a similar plot, with a reverse variation involving Cyrano's counterpart advising his own love interest how to date another man, but eventually falling for her himself.
  • 2010 The movie Megamind features a plot that echoes the play, including a titular character with an outlandishly large body part. Megamind falls in love with Roxanne and woos her as Bernard, believing that he would never win her heart as himself. Much like the 1987 comedic adaptation, Megamind features a happy ending for the protagonists.
  • The Korean movie Cyrano Agency (Hangul: 시라노; 연애조작단; RR: Sirano; yeonaejojakdo; lit. "Cyrano Dating Agency") is an adaptation of this play.
  • 2012 The Disney Channel Original Movie Let It Shine is also based around this play.
  • 2014 A Telugu romantic comedy movie, Oohalu Gusagusalade is an adaptation of this play[20]


An hour-long adaptation of the play was produced by WHA Radio, forerunner of Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1938 with Gerald Bartell as Cyrano.

Kenneth Branagh starred as Cyrano, Jodhi May as Roxanne, and Tom Hiddleston as Christian, in a 2008 BBC Radio 3 production using the Anthony Burgess translation and directed by David Timson. This production was re-broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 4 April 2010.

Len Cariou and Roberta Maxwell starred in a 1980 CBC Television version directed by Peabody-winner Yuri Rasovsky.

Tom Burke (actor) and Emily Pithon starred in a 2015 BBC Radio 4 version for 15 Minute Drama, spanning five 15 minute episodes. It was adapted by Glyn Maxwell, and directed by Susan Roberts.[21]


  • The first English-language adaptation to be televised was made in 1938 by the BBC and starred Leslie Banks in one of the earliest live television broadcasts.
  • José Ferrer played Cyrano in two television productions, for The Philco Television Playhouse in 1949 and Producers' Showcase in 1953, winning Emmy Award nominations for both presentations.
  • Peter Donat played Cyrano with Marsha Mason as Roxanne in a 1972 PBS telecast that was based on a successful American Conservatory Theatre production using the Hooker translation.
  • Jose Ferrer would go on to voice a highly truncated cartoon version of the play for an episode of The ABC Afterschool Special in 1974,
  • Ferrer would don the nose and costume of Cyrano for the last time in a TV commercial in the 1970s but he made his farewell to the part when he performed a short passage from the play for the 1986 Tony Awards telecast.


An opera in French, Cyrano de Bergerac, whose libretto by Henri Cain is based on Rostand's words, was composed by the Italian Franco Alfano and was revived by the Metropolitan Opera with Plácido Domingo in the title role.

Victor Herbert's unsuccessful 1899 operetta Cyrano de Bergerac, with a libretto by Harry B. Smith based on the play, was one of Herbert's few failures.

Walter Damrosch's Cyrano, another operatic adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, premiered in 1913 at the Metropolitan Opera. Eino Tamberg composed another opera titled Cyrano de Bergerac in 1974, to a libretto in Estonian by Jaan Kross, based on Rostand's play.[22] The opera Cyrano by David DiChiera to a libretto by Bernard Uzan premiered at the Michigan Opera Theatre on 13 October 2007.[23]


  • A modern retelling, Cyrano de Burgershack, written by Jeremy Desmond, sets the story as a teenage drama, with songs by Bruno Mars, Madonna, Carly Rae Jepsen and other pop stars.

A modern romantic musical comedy, (un)Lucky in Love, written by Bobby Cronin & Crystal Skillman, sets the story in NYC's digital age.


Cyrano de Bergerac, a ballet choreographed by Roland Petit to the music of Marius Constant, premiered in 1959.

David Bintley created a ballet Cyrano for the Birmingham Royal Ballet. The world premiere was on 7 February 2007.

Books and stories

In 1930, pulp-magazine author Anatole Feldman adapted the play as a Chicago gangland tale. The story, "Serrano of the Stockyards," appeared in the May 1930 issue of Gangster Stories. Cyrano became the fearsome, but homely hood Big Nose Serrano. The plot followed the outline of the play. Serrano was in love with a "frail" named Annie (i.e. Roxanne). He supplied poetry, included in the narrative, to a young friend named Chris (i.e. Christian) who became Annie's suitor. Big Nose belongs to the gang of Charlie LeBrett. Battles are waged with Thompson submachine guns instead of rapiers. The character of Big Nose became so popular that Feldman continued to write of his adventures. Twelve tales eventually appeared in Gangster Stories, Greater Gangster Stories, and The Gang Magazine, through 1935. Feldman had worked in Broadway in the early '20s, and had written a play; this experience may be what inspired him to create Serrano when he later turned to pulp writing.

The Brazilian book A Marca de Uma Lagrima (The Stain of a Tear) tells the story of a girl, Isabel, who writes love letters to her cousin, Cristiano, in the name of her best friend Rosana.

Cyrano the Bear by Nicole Rubel is a children's book set in the Wild West.

The 2014 book Sway is a modern day take on the play.


The orchestral concert overture 'Cyrano de Bergerac', written in 1905 by Dutch composer Johan Wagenaar, is based on this story.

Scientific Studies: "Cyranoids"

Inspired by the balcony scene in which Cyrano provides Christian with words to speak to Roxane, Stanley Milgram developed an experimental technique that used covert speech shadowing to construct hybrid personae in social psychological experiments, wherein subjects would interact with a "Cyranoid" whose words emanated from a remote, unseen "source".[24][25]

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