Cyrano, My Love (2018) - full transcript

December 1897, Paris. Edmond Rostand is not yet thirty but already two children and a lot of anxieties. He has not written anything for two years. In desperation, he offers the great ...

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We are in Paris,

in December 1895.

Five years ago,

Clément Ader's Eole briefly took flight.

Last month, a train going too fast

crashed through the front
of Montparnasse station.

Capt. Alfred Dreyfus
has just been convicted of treason.

Meanwhile, President Félix Faure

launched a military operation
to conquer Madagascar.

Three years from now,

Louis Renault will build his first motorcar.

And tonight,
at the Théâtre de la Renaissance,

the great, the immense,
the sublime Sarah Bernhardt

is premiering a verse drama
by a young unknown poet:

The Distant Princess.

Yes, in my gardens,

that are moonly pale,

I hear the breeze among the myrtles sigh...

I sail along the green and placid lake

In which my galley, rich in ornaments...

- Sheds rippling streams of flowers...
It's going well, isn't it?

- or of light.
- Let's go.

And, as the lute resounds

by plectra wooed,

I send on wings

the verses I recite.

Then, in this palace, seeking solitude...

Good God, it's long!

And in verse! Lord!

So dated! Like bad Musset.

- Who's the author?
- Edmond Rostand.

Never heard of him.

- A young poet who writes flops.
- Young?

Poet? If you say so.

It was endless.


Bravo, my darling.

- Did you like it?
- Very much so.

- Honestly?
- Yes, honestly.

It was... It was...

It was.

- It was...
- Mr. Rostand.

I'll put Maurice to bed.
Don't be late.

It will do well, I'm sure.


A flop. A real flop.

Really? But...

Even the guests left.

- It will close in a week.
- A week? But, I...

I told you to write a comedy!

All that verse!

That verse!

Admission is one franc.

I promise you won't regret it.

Phenomenal. It's phenomenal.

Where have you been?

The Distant Princess is a flop.

- I'm a failure as a poet.
- No!

I am.

Anyway, the theater
will soon be dead.

Excuse me?

Only "projection rooms
for moving images."

They'll need a shorter name.

Have you been drinking?

You know I don't drink.

How will we manage, Rosemonde?

To pay the rent?

To raise children in Paris,
the world's most expensive city.

The most expensive,
but the most beautiful.

How will we manage?

I'll make you some verbena tea.

Then you'll sit down,
pick up your pen

and write a masterpiece.

But I...

Get to work, my poet.


Mama! Jean's awake.

Edmond, I'm going to the grocer's.

I must have 20 francs somewhere.

Maybe I lent them to Léo.

I'll see him this evening.

I'll put it on the tab, again.

Inspiration will come, Rose.

- Sarah.
- Rachel!

- Rosemonde.
- That's right.

Is my little poet here?

Not in America?

I just got back.
I'm leaving again tomorrow.

Sarah's here!

Darling poet!

I have just the play for you.

You'd be marvelous.

As Napoleon II.

I'd love it, but no time.

I'm not here for myself today.
First, I've come for you,

dear poet, to see how you're doing.

Well, I...

I knew it!
And I've come for the great Coquelin.

Constant Coquelin?

None other.
He's always looking for plays.

He's a glutton.
And eats too much.

I mentioned you.

- He loved The Distant Princess.
- Really?

So I step in,
and two geniuses meet.

Do you have anything for him?

- Of course.
- Splendid.

I reserved you a seat to see Thermidor
at the Porte St Martin Theatre.

He's in it.

See him at intermission.

- When?
- At today's matinee.

Dazzle him. Bye, Roseline.

Monde. Rosemonde.

This afternoon? Much too soon!

Remember our debts!

How do I find a story in two hours!

I don't know, improvise.

Victims' families
demand compensation!


where's that glass of red?

"Patience lightens the burden
we cannot avert."

How about that!
A fancy-talking negro.

I must have heard wrong.
My ears play tricks on me.


I call a spade a spade,

and a negro a negro.


Is that all?

- But I--
- You lack invention, my good man.

You might have said,
as a geographer would:

African, West Indian, Creole.

As a painter would:
Maroon, dark complexioned,

or just darkie.

Or simply black,

if you had the restraint,
elegance, or vocabulary

that a man in my establishment
should have.

Lacking that, I consequently

am obliged to show you the door.

Who does he think he is?

It's written up there,
if you can read.

Wine poured must be drunk.
Who'll have some?

"You lack invention..."

"You lack invention, young man."

The gentleman is a scribbler?

I'm looking for a role for Coquelin.

Coquelin? Glory me!

I'm meeting him in an hour.

What sort of role?

A major historical role.

In verse. I can't write prose.

So the gentleman is a poet?

A failed poet, it seems.

And in an hour, an accursed poet.

Come with me.

A poet with a sense of derision.
There's your hero. Temperament?

Witty, like you.

Unlucky, like me.

But superb in defeat,
marvelous in failure. In a word...


- The period?
- Maybe 17th century?

17th century.
A nobleman, then? A prince?

On the contrary, a soldier.
A musketeer.

So many books! Are they yours?

My adoptive father
left me for a start,

this café and his love of poetic art.

And you make rhymes.
Who are you, sir?

Honoré, like the café.

A musketeer... d'Artagnan?

Already done. And too handsome.

He must be ugly. Disfigured, perhaps.

But made handsome by his deeds.

I know!

Hercule de Savinien...

de Cyrano de Bergerac!

Snap to it!

10 minutes!

Back on stage in 10 minutes!

I'm to see Coquelin.
I'm an author.

5 minutes!

Mademoiselle Cayolle, louder!

They can't hear you in the gods.

5 minutes!

You do have an appointment?

He tore the last one
to sneak in to pieces.

- Monsieur Coquelin?
- What now?

Maybe I'm not expected.

Go on in!

Gentlemen, forgive me,

I have a highly important appointment.

- Please don't--
- Come in. Take a seat.

Very well, Coq, we'll go.

But don't forget us...

'cause we won't forget you.

Tomorrow, without fail,
I'll have the money.

Congratulations for the play.

- Marcel, let's go.
- I'm coming.

The Floury brothers, backers.
What can you do? Times are hard.

But the house is full!

Of guests. Who are you?

Edmond Rostand.

Coquelin. Constant.

- I'm the author of--
- The Distant Princess, I know.

Act IV is too long.
Needless luxury, costly cast.

And it's depressing.
Write a comedy, like Feydeau.

"Tis a thing supreme
to love without a returning call,

"To love, yet love, despite all."

You remember it?

I always remember fine verse.

- Two minutes, Monsieur Coquelin.
- I'm coming.

So, your play. Comedy? Tragedy?
You've got two minutes.



- Fine! The title?
- Hercule.

Savinien. Cyrano?

Cyrano de Bergerac.

- My role?
- Cyrano.

Fine. Who is he?

A poet. A fine blade. But ugly.


Not exactly ugly, but with...

A big...


A big nose?

Why yes!

An enormous nose, a protuberance...

This the text?

A monologue.
The play's not written.

Not written?

"You lack invention, young man.
You could have said,

"varying the tone. For example..."

For example, this...

For example...


Why, sir, had I a nose like that
I'd cut it off on the spot.


The curtain's going up.

Coming, coming. Is that all?

Descriptive: It's a rock.

A peak. A cape.

A cape, indeed! It's a peninsula!



Are you so fond of birds
that in your search

you gave their claws
a spacious perch?

- Emphatic.
- Emphatic, let's see...


No wind, O majestic nose,

can give you cold
save when the mistral blows.

The mistral?

So this Cyrano is Provençal?

A proud Gascon!
Fighter, fine blade, but big-hearted.

- Monsieur Coquelin?
- Coming!


When it bleeds, 'tis the Red Sea.


For a perfumer, what publicity!


Is this a conch? A Triton, you?


When is the monument on view?


Fire on the cavalry!


Put it in a lottery.

It's sure to win first prize.

- Monsieur Coquelin!
- Yes, yes.

Act I: The character enters.

Act II: The plot thickens.

Act III: Happy end.

Three acts.

Tavernier! Some business this is!

Three acts?

Three acts? For Coquelin? Fantastic!

No, it's horrible.

You're unknown, you've had only flops,
and Coquelin commissions a play?


First, some know me.
Not many, but still.

And no champagne unless you pay.

Then no champagne.

Your table, gentlemen.

I hope I'll get a part.
A handsome dandy, but dim.

There's no play! What is this place?

- Don't you like it?
- 'Evening, gentlemen.

- Good evening.
- Oh, my God.

- Know what you want?
- To go home.

I'll have absinthe.

Verbena tea.

I don't drink.

Absinthe and verbena.

I have news, too. I'm in love.

- For a change.
- It's serious.

A young dresser,
as fair as the wind.

The famous mistral wind.

She's coming, but she's shy.
She'll be chaperoned.

Two for one. When?

- This evening.
- Now?

No, Léo.

You'll like her friend.
Glasses means she reads.

You'll have
a nice, boring conversation.

I'm married.
And I have a play to write!

There they are.
Do it for me. For love.

Don't call me Edmond.
If Rosemonde finds out...

What, then?

Something simple.
Dorante, or Valère, or Arnolphe.

Good evening, ladies.

Jeanne, Jacqueline.
My friend: Georges.

Like Feydeau? I love Feydeau!

That's him!

He's teasing you.

See? You're made for each other.

So, Jacqueline,
do you like the theater?

Not really. I prefer music.
Comedy, at the most.

Jacqueline hates everything I like:
poetry, verse.

A romantic?

I was born a half-century late.

I should have been acting in 1850.

Playing Marianne, Camille,
Marguerite Gautier.

Everything I abhor.

Female stereotypes
of tragic actresses.

Today I make do with dressing them.

But lucky you, Léo, tread the boards.

Though I pound the pavement more.

What about modern drama?

Not that!
Ibsen, Strindberg, what a bore!

André Antoine, death!

There's only one dramatist I like,
a real poet.

Edmond Rostand.

- Heard of him?
- Vaguely.

Isn't it a bit grandiloquent?

- Grandiloquent?
- That's what I keep telling her.

Grandiloquent? It's magnificent!

"The loveliest eyes
are those filled with tears."

You know it?

By heart! I'd love to meet him.

In that case--

I picture him handsome, tall,

golden curls
across his noble forehead.

That's him, from what I hear.

Who's that?

- Speak of the devil.
- Courteline and Feydeau.

Feydeau mustn't see me!
I'm with his Absolute Turkey.

I loved An Absolute Turkey!

- I should be at work.
- I'm coming.

- For what you'll drink.
- No.

I insist. See you soon.

I was mistaken. You have one admirer.

Edmond Rostand!

- And Léonidas Volny!
- Georges.

Rostand, Mama Sarah's little protégé.

His failures, his fears,
his bombastic verse from another era.

When was his last play?

As long ago as Volny's last role.

That long ago?

Give your wife my love, Edmond.

Yours still hasn't come back,
has she?

Put our bill on Mr. Feydeau's tab.
He's a friend.


- So long, Léo.
- See you soon.

The swines!
Success has gone to their heads.

Just because they have hits,
talent and money.

Anybody can write a prose comedy.

Anybody. But to make it a hit...

Don't worry. You're not just anybody.

You're my future wife's
favorite poet.


I'm coming!

- The Comédie-Française!
- What time is it?

We'll take it
to the Comédie-Française.

My comeback.

Prestigious cast,
sumptuous costumes and sets...

Almost 8 o'clock.

- Coquelin! In my home!
- Yes indeed.

Whose booming voice
wakes my children!

Forgive me. I'm going.

We'll read Act I at 5 o'clock.
You'll have finished?

- Finished?
- Act I. See you later.

I haven't even started!

- Coquelin! You're early.
- Always!

- Léonidas Volny, Constant Coquelin.
- Volny!

- Coquelin!
- You know each other.

Léo seen a lot of my actresses.


And my son, Jean.

You saw him in Thermidor.

Write him a part. A big one.
So he's in every act.

Yes, but for the play...

Here's what I've written.



Head of the theater.
A true friend. Wait here.

But the play?

I'll read excerpts, tell him the plot
and it's all sewn up.



What's the plot?

There isn't one.

- Jean, still acting?
- Yes.

Not another trade?



But Papa won't have it.

A pity for French drama.


You're a fusty historian clinging
to his job like a limpet to a rock!

I'll crush you, Coquelin.
I'll destroy you!

Philistine! Reactionary!


- Did it go all right?
- Total failure, children.

He's still angry
I left the Française.

He wants to ban me
from every Paris stage!

And the play?

- He says there's no story...
- There isn't.

...and that the lines he heard
were awful.

Don't listen to him.
The play will be good. Just write it.

The stage is calling. Come, Jean.

Yes, Papa.

"Just write it."

Come on, Edmond, get to work.

Cyrano's a poet.
He knows how to fight, and he's...


No! If he were,
there'd be no story.

- Sad, then.
- Sad? Yes!

- And why sad? Because he's...
- Sick?

Yes, lovesick.

He's in love,
but she doesn't love him.

Why? Because she...

- Doesn't know?
- Good, Léo!

- And why doesn't he tell her?
- He doesn't dare?

He's afraid she'll reject him
because he's ugly.

Because behind the bluster
is a tender heart.

- Good, Léo!
- That was easy.

Then what?

- When does my character come in?
- Why the crowd?

"Why the huge crowd?"
Could they possibly

be here for An Absolute Turkey,
Georges Feydeau's hit?

So kind to leave me that bill.

You should've at least had champagne.

Enjoy the evening.
And congratulations.

By the way,
I know where your wife is.

She sends her love.

- Not very elegant.
- Elegance is your department.


I missed you, you know.

Honestly, sir!

"Sir" is for my father. I'm Léo.

A kiss?

Come, come, my pretties.

To work, to work!

Come, my little bees!

Good evening, sir.

Good evening, you.

Time to sew and repair.

She's made for romance,
not vaudeville.

Make her dream.

Say beautiful things.
Forget prose. Try verse instead.

How can I improvise in verse?

"Good evening, lovely,
I was passing by chance...

"Just hoping to catch a glance."
Like that.

I'm an actor,
I speak the words of others.

There she is.

So what do I do?

Call to her. I'll help you.

- Ah, it's you.
- I want to talk to you.

You are too impolite. Go away.

If my words falter...

If my words falter...

It's that night has come...

What's the connection?

In the dusk,

they grope

to find your ear.

But that doesn't rhyme!

My words have no such fear.

They find their way at once.

No surprise.

For to my heart each word flies.

Now, my heart is big,

your ear so small.

And from heights descending,

your words fall fast,
while mine ascending

take more time.

Yet your last words
have learned to climb.

With practice they now take flight.

I speak to you from greater height.


You would be my death
if from whence your words part,

you'd drop a hard word upon my heart.

I will come down.

Climb up, then.

Why no?

Let us enjoy this unexpected chance

to talk quietly, unseen.


Yes, how charming.

We hardly know who's there.

I am a shadow, you are light.

Trust me.

Until now, my words never
sprang from my true heart.

Why is that?

Because I spoke them through...


...the dizziness one feels near you.

But tonight I feel I will speak
to you for the first time.

you speak with a tone that's new.

Yes, new.

For under the cloak of dusk

I dare to be myself.

Where was I?

If the moment has come,
what words would you speak?

All those, all those...

that come to me...

I'd fling them
like sheaves at your feet,

I love you, I cannot breathe.

I can take no more.

Your name is in my heart
like a bell.

When I tremble,

it is your name that is spelled.


That is love.
It has made me euphoric.

So let me die.

For it is I who intoxicate thee.

I ask now one thing.

- A kiss!
- What?

- Not so fast!
- The time is right.

You asked me...

Yes, if truth be told,

I know I'm being much too bold.

So you don't insist?

Of course I insist,
without insisting.


- Grant me not this kiss.
- Yes!

- Shut up, Léo.
- What did you say?

I was scolding myself.
"Hush, Léo."

- Kiss me.
- Excuse me?

Come up, kiss me.

You see? I'm climbing up.

You're alive?

Just barely.

I go on tour with Absolute Turkey.
Feel better.

- I'll try.
- Be true to me.

- I shall try...
- Write to me.

That much...

I promise!

- My play!
- Edmond, my back!

I have my play!

What do you mean?

Cyrano and Christian
love the same woman.

- Who is Christian?
- You.

- Me?
- Cyrano is witty but ugly.

Christian is handsome but dumb.

That's me all over.

- So Cyrano offers Christian--
- To massage his back?

To help him woo Roxane.

- Who's Roxane?
- A balcony. Night. Verse.

My third act!

And the first two?

- Where are you going?
- To find Coquelin.

I came to tell you the play.

Edmond, come over here.

Beautiful, isn't it?
Twice burned down, twice rebuilt.

Fully lit by electricity.

The house. It's magnificent.

Thermidor is a failure.
We're closing in two weeks.

I have the house on a year lease.

So on January 1st, I return the keys.

Unless I have a hit in coming weeks.

Today is December 5.

That's why we have to hurry
and finish Cyrano.

We can't stage Cyrano in 3 weeks.

Molière did Tartuffe in a week.

- The play's not written.
- You came to sum it up.

The house is too big. 1000 seats.


How do we pay for costumes,
sets, rehearsals?

Pay for rehearsals?
An absurd idea!

- But the rest?
- So, Coq?

Have what we came for?

Here it comes.

Gentlemen, I owe you money,
I offer you a hit.

A hit?

The new play by Edmond Rostand.

- Who?
- That's him. Genius.

- Forgive our debts and invest.
- Is this a joke?

- Success guaranteed.
- Like Thermidor?

Thermidor wasn't written
by Edmond Rostand.

Rostand or not Rostand,
it's always a flop.

Not this time.
Cyrano will open for the holidays.

It will be a smash. Imagine...

A hundred people on stage.

- A hundred?
- Yes.

And a thousand tickets sold.

I hear the ring of box office gold.

I'm doing you a favor, all told.

- Can we at least read the play?
- Read it.

Rehearsals begin tomorrow.

But the play isn't written.

True. Write it.

There you are!
I wrote a letter for Jeanne.

Give me your sincere opinion.

No time. We rehearse tomorrow.
I haven't written a line.

Don't think about what to write.
Just write what you think.

- Philosopher!
- Of the barroom.

Give it 5 minutes.
Then I'll help you.

How can you help me?

"Jeanne, Jeanne,
I love you, I love you."

You stutter now?

I don't usually write love letters.
I live them.

- So what do I say?
- I don't know, Léo.



"delightful, enchanting Jeanne,

"You are a mortal danger

"so exquisite, so naturally,

"a snare of nature,
a rose bush

"in which...

"in which love lies... in ambush."

Not bad!

Rose, I'm writing! I'm writing.

I see that.

Did I wake you?
I'll try to keep my pen quiet.

Have you met someone?

Yes, I met inspiration.


No eating in the house.

No smoking in the house.

Most of all, watch out,

the trap door doesn't close right.

If you fall in, you'll get hurt.

My friends, I am Constant Coquelin,
you all know me.

We are modestly going to create
a masterpiece.

As usual.

Here is the author, Edmond Rostand.
A genius.

As usual.

How old is he?

- Uh, twenty-n--
- Thirty-seven.

- He's written under pseudonyms.
- Which ones?

Here's Act I. Read it.

- Just Act I?
- The others are coming.

3 weeks to stage a play
that isn't written?

I've seen that.

I remember, back in 1862,
in Montbéliard--

Our backers!

A huge cast!
What'll it cost us?

Less than what it'll make you.

It's in verse!

Read it.

- It will never work.
- Now, the casting.

For Christian,

I'd thought of Jean.

But Christian is
a young romantic lead.

Jean isn't quite...

Jean, do you want to play
the romantic lead?

Not really.

Then, De Guiche,

the dark count, Cyrano's enemy.

- Are you sure?
- Certain.

De Guiche it is.
And for Christian: Volny.

A more traditional choice...

- The part's yours.
- Thanks. So, that letter?

- What letter?
- For Jeanne.

I thought about it.
Best not send her anything.

- Think so?
- Yes. Be aloof.

She'll come to you.


your first act needs
some hanky-panky.

Needs what?

Hanky-panky. Ass.

No women in your story?

There is one.

She enters in Act II,
but she's worth the wait.

- That will be Maria.
- I mean to call her Roxane.

Maria Legault will play Roxane.

My Roxane is
a 20-year-old bluestocking.

Actresses are ageless.

- This one is at least 40.
- 45, with a temper.

A great actress.

- She's not even pretty.
- We'll make her up.

But why her for Roxane?

That's our business.

We'll be straightforward.

If she doesn't play Roxane,
we withdraw,

Coquelin loses his theater,
you lose your play,

everyone loses.

- But why Maria Legault?
- She was mistress to both.

She has a 10-year-old son.
Each is convinced it's his.

Since when do backers
impose actresses,

because they're their mistresses?

Is she nice, at least?

But Maria, it's a great part.

It will be great.

- Ange and Marcel Fleury are backing?
- Absolutely.

Then I won't play.
The less I see of them, the better.

In the name of our friendship...

Now write her a nice part.

There's a letter.

Yes, for Léo.

"Léonidas Volny,
c/o Edmond Rostand."

Ah, yes.
As he has no address, I told him...

- It's perfumed.
- You know Léo, it's from a woman.

Since when can he write?

Since I taught him to.
May I have some privacy, madam?

So sorry, sir.

Shall I close the door of your study?

- Verbena?
- No, thank you.

The girl has such wit!

"Dear Roxane..."

No, "Jeanne".

If it's Coquelin, I'll kill him.

What a pleasant surprise.

I'll kill him!

- How much sleep do you get?
- No matter.

- Tell me you've written one act.
- Since last night?

What is this?


It's a letter.

- He wrote.
- A love letter to whom?

No one. It's for Cyrano.

- What?
- It's a love letter,

an imaginary one,

between Roxane and Christian
and Cyrano.

Between Cyrano and Christian
and Roxane.


I don't have her name yet.

Perfect. We'll read this to Maria.


It's a charming letter.

Don't forget
to write me a duel scene.

Write what?

A duel.
I was good at fencing in my youth.

- May I ask a question?
- Be my guest.

Imagine for a moment
that Cyrano is married.

- He's married?
- No, he's not.

But imagine he is,
and he's helping Léo...

He's helping Christian

to woo Roxane
by writing letters for him.

- He wants Christian to woo his wife?
- He's not married to Roxane.

So he's not married.

He is. But not to Roxane.

- Then to whom?
- It doesn't matter.

By writing letters to Roxane,
is he disrespectful to his wife?

Is she pretty?

- Who?
- His wife.

- Whose wife?
- Cyrano's.

That's not the point.

Shouldn't she be pretty?

All I'm asking is if--

- I want a dresser always with me.
- Agreed.

I don't want to see
those Corsicans.

Consider it done.

I want the biggest dressing room.

No, I want two.


I'll sign a contract
for one performance only.

Come now, Maria.

One only.

What else?

First, my thanks...

for that dandy count

who in brave swordplay
you did trounce.

He is the one
whom a lord seeking my favor...

De Guiche?

...wants me to take for husband...

But postiche.

So, monsieur de Cyrano,
I await you on stage.

As long as you write verse
of this caliber,

keep your Roxane close at hand.


Your Jeanne, your Roxane, your muse!

Then I fought, sweet lady,
it is no surprise,

not for my ugly nose,
but for your fair eyes.

Let's rehearse!

My dear poet, what will you have?

Verbena tea, no sugar.

And your play, how is it coming?

It's getting started.


forgive me if a day went by
with no letter.

You deserve better.

To punish this heinous slight,

not once a day will I write,

but twice.

- Room 14.
- Very well, sir.

My heart to your heart
is but one cry.

"If kisses could travel by post

"you would read my words
with your lips."

- That's lovely.
- More than lovely!

Will you reply?

Edmond, there's mail.

- Later.
- For Léo.

Ah, I think he's expecting it.

From whom?

How should I know?

Edmond, still no news.
Shouldn't I send a note? Or flowers?

No, trust me!

Act II.


Cyrano learns that Roxane
secretly loves Christian

and promises to watch over
the young cadet.

So he duels to protect him?

No. But Christian admits
he's awkward with women.

So Cyrano offers to help him.

"Can you repeat things
I will teach you each day?

"Do you wish to feel passing
from my leather doublet

"to yours embroidered,
the soul as you inspired it?"

"Are you saying...?"

"Roxane shan't be disenchanted

"if we woo her double-handed."

I counted 39 lines.
It's not enough!

- True, too few!
- Far too few, even!

Tell these gents,

when I want to hear
a Corsican polyphony,

I'll let them know.

Where's he gone?

Verbena tea for the back table,
on the house.

How that scribbler scribbles!

- Act III, the balcony scene.
- Already?

We have a balcony to build?

Yes, Roxane's balcony.

Cyrano will obtain
Christian's kiss and marriage.

What about my duel?

There's no duel.

Maria, rejoice:
Roxane has lots of lines!

Too many!
How do I memorize it all?

There's no duel?

Can't you see?
The play is finished.

True, and we're on schedule!

Let's rehearse!

Yes, the play is finished.

Here I am!

I kill myself writing you a part
and you--

I know, I'm late.
But that will change.

She wrote me at the theater.

Sure it's for you?

"Léonidas Volny,
c/o the Saint-Martin."

- Give me that!
- "I'm waiting. Come surprise me."

She loves me. You were right.

She's in Issoudun.
I'll be back for the run-through.

Are my eyes playing tricks,

or is that Volny leaving
without rehearsing?

Excuse me.

Train for Issoudun?

It just left. Next one in 3 hours.

- 3 hours?
- It's easy:

take the express to Orléans.

Then a local to Châteauroux.

And then, the branch line to Bourges.

From there, a tram.

Or take a direct coach.


Etampes, Pithiviers,
Orléans, Vierzon,

Issoudun, Montluçon, Limoges.

- Is this the Issoudun coach?
- Sure is.

- Direct?
- That's right. We arrive in 6 hours.


Jeanne Dalcy's room, please.
She's with An Absolute Turkey.

- And you are...?
- Expected.

- Room 8.
- Thank you.

Jeanne Dalcy's room, please.

She's with Absolute Turkey.

And you are...?


I'm Georges.

Feydeau? Mr. Feydeau?


- Georges Feydeau!
- Himself.

- I love your plays!
- Do you?

I know them all: A Fitting
Confusion, Pig in a Poke,

Cat Among the Pigeons,

and that hotel one...

Hotel Paradiso.

"Tea's ready!"

How I laughed!

I laughed so hard.

Sorry. Room 8.
Can I trouble you for an autograph?

- Of course. Your name?
- Hippolyte.

When my wife hears!

Léo, wait!

What are you doing here?

- Don't go in.
- You followed me?

She's not good for you.

She's beautiful,
brilliant and loves me.

It's not you she loves.

Then another Léo at the theater?

Yes. No. It's complicated.

You're complicated!
No one is simpler than me.

That's just it.

- Who is it?
- It's me. Léo!

Good evening.

I knew you'd come!

Let's hurry.
My roommate will be back soon.

I see.

But why this surge of...?

You know very well.
Don't be modest.

You should write novels, plays.

Me? Why?

Because you're so gifted.

Thanks. Gifted at what, though?

You were saying...


"At last the moment comes inevitably

"when each well-weighed word
brings sadness."

What did you say?

What you wrote me.

- What I wrote you?
- Of course!

You did write to me?

Sure I did.

- I wrote you a lot.
- Every day.

- Every day.
- Twice.


Such wit! Such verve!

- I must beg your pardon.
- For what?

For the insult
of first loving your beauty only.

Then, under my balcony,
you said such lovely things

that, arrested by your beauty,
drawn by your soul,

I loved both at once.

And now?


Since your letters,
it is only your soul I love.

And if your beauty were to vanish...

You would love me still?

Yes! Ugly.

What are you doing?

- Did I say something wrong?
- No, I'm doing the right thing.

Don't go!

I'm only saying
I love your genius deeply.

Well, it may disappoint you,

but I must have a talk
with my genius.

What do you mean?

Jeanne Dalcy's room, please.

She's with An Absolute Turkey.

And you are...?

Georges Feydeau, the playwright.

You're not Georges Feydeau.

I am Georges Feydeau.

This is a serious establishment!

Indeed, and I am quite serious.

I don't know who you are, sir...

I told you: I am Georges Feydeau.

You're not Georges Feydeau.

- I am.
- You're not.

This is madness!
I say I am Georges Feydeau.

No, sir, you're not.

Who do you think I am?

No idea, but I know Georges Feydeau

is in Miss Dalcy's room now.

- Excuse me?
- And here comes Georges Feydeau.

Edmond? What are you doing here?

It's a long story.

The way to the station, please?

- Georges, have you seen Edmond?
- He just left.

Did he say where to?

- The station.
- Thanks. Good evening.

- Jeanne?
- Mr. Feydeau?

- Why aren't you at the theater?
- Sorry, I dozed off.

But with whom?

I'll run up and change.

Could I trouble you for an autograph?

Of course.

- Your name?
- Hippolyte.

- I'm so sorry.
- Shut up.

I can explain everything!

- All those letters! How many?
- A lot.

Too many. But I must finish my play.

What's the connection?

The connection is Jeanne.

She's your mistress?

My muse!

A platonic one.

I know it's hard to understand,

but if you bed her,

our correspondence will end,
and I won't be able to write.

You're completely mad!

Of course I am, I'm an author.

No letters, no play,
and no play, no work.

What if I love her?

Wait until the opening.

- She loves the letter writer.
- Not at all!

And she won't know it was me.

When she comes to see Cyrano?

When she realizes I'm no poet?

That I can't write?

There will be others.

There will be other plays!

Another act?

- Or two. I don't know yet.
- We open in 2 weeks!

I know, I know!

Act IV.

Act IV:

De Guiche sends Christian and Cyrano

to the siege of Arras,
hoping they'll be killed.

The siege is very harsh.
They're starving,

but every day,

Cyrano crosses enemy lines
to post Roxane a letter.

- Every day?
- Twice.

- Then what happens?
- I don't know.

- And what is Roxane doing?
- I don't know.

My dressing room is
as dark as a cave.

The costumes don't fit.

- When do the sets arrive?
- I don't know.

Soon, Maria!

Edmond has written new scenes.

Again? Lock him up!

Maybe we should kill Roxane off.

Why wasn't I told
I'd been stuck with a new dresser?

What dresser?

Jeanne! You, here?

- It's your letters.
- Those damn letters!

I came for you.

Wait for me at the brasserie.

No, I'm staying.

What do you mean?

- I'm Maria Legault's new dresser.
- What?

We're starting.

We're starting! Places, everyone!

The run-through is starting.
I'll be in the wings.

Your wit amused my uncle Riche-lieu


I'll gladly put in a word for you.

Good heavens!

You have rendered five acts in verse,

I imagine?

Here's your chance
to stage your Agrippine.

Take them to him.

No, sorry, it's "Take them to him."

Take them to him.

"Take them to him."

"Take them to him."

The dialogue
doesn't sound right in this scene.

Let's do the balcony scene.

The balcony!

We're doing the balcony scene.

I thought this was a run-through,

not an umpteenth rehearsal.

Better and better.

What professionalism!

- Where's Volny?
- Here I am.

Where do we pick up?

"If my words falter..."

If my words falter,
it's that night has come.

In the dusk,
they grope to find your ear.

My words have no such fear.

They find their way at once?
No surprise.

For to my heart each word flies.

My heart is big, your ear so small.

And from heights descending,

your words fall fast,

while mine ascending
take more time.

Thank you, all.

Put away your props,

and learn the new scenes
for tomorrow.

We'll never make it to opening night.

I've seen it before.

It was on Kiss Me, Darling in Calais.

Jeanne, I can explain.

No need, I see.

It was Rostand. You borrowed
your letters from the play.

- Not at all!
- You're the author?

Georges, your friend is a cad,

a mere plagiarist!

Hear that, Georges?
I'm a plagiarist!

Am I to change on my own?

Don't lay your hands on my dresser.

And Edmond, finish this play fast.

Don't stand there gaping.

She said Edmond.

- Me?
- She called him Edmond!

You're Edmond Rostand!

Not at all.

So, Edmond, the run-through?

Edmond, the costumes don't fit.

Edmond, not all your actors are good.

Excuse me, gentlemen.
I need peace and quiet.

Mainly that big fellow
playing the villain.

Who is he?

He's my son.

Léo? Are you there?

So it was you.

Yes, it was me.

Edmond Rostand, the writer.

So much for golden curls.

The letters. They were your words,

your feelings.

I don't know what you mean.

The letters. Léo told me.

Jeanne, I can explain.

Good. Léo couldn't.

Yes, I wrote you.

But I don't love you,
and you don't love me. You love Léo.


- You don't?
- Not anymore.

Now I love the author of those lines,

ugly or disfigured, which you aren't.

Jeanne, I'm married.


I have 2 children.


I love my wife.

Then why did you write to me?

Because you...

inspire me.

Because I desire you.

Because of your beauty and wit,

I could leave it all,
take up any challenge.

But apart from your beauty and wit,

you have what I've seen only
in my wife,

a long time ago.

What is that?

You admire me.

Once again I can make a woman's eyes
shine by writing verse.

My eyes do shine.

Kiss me.

No, you don't understand.

Only the desire matters.

Desire incites men
to conquer empires,

write novels or symphonies.

But when desire is fulfilled,

men's exploits cease.

What about my desire?

If I want to tear you
from your wailing children,

and your wife
who's ceased to admire you?

What if my desire

is to fulfill that desire?

- Roxane goes to join them!
- Excuse me?

She leaps into a carriage,
intoxicated by his letters.

She crosses enemy lines
for her husband.

For Christian, yes!

She brings food for all,

and when they're finally alone,
she says,

it's the letters.

Of course.

Christian sees she doesn't love him.

He tells Cyrano that she loves him.

Cyrano can't believe it.

But he tells Roxane
nothing stands in their way.


Nothing except

the death of Christian,

killed by a musket shot.

This leaves Cyrano mute.

He retreats into silence,



There you are, Rostand.

Ange, he's here.

Are we disturbing you?

Not at all.

We're rehearsing a scene.

Marcel sounded out that awful actor.

Who plays De Guiche.

- Jean.
- Right.

He's a ninny.

He may be slow, but not stupid.

He's a ninny. A novice.

A virgin, in a word.

You may not know it,
but we own a house of pleasure.

- Excuse me?
- A brothel.


an initiation
will give him self-confidence.

What do you think?

On the production.

Sorry to be so late, dear Rose.

It was the most disastrous
run-through of my life.

No sets, the costumes are in tatters,

the play's not finished,
the actors are awful,

and our backers are mere pimps.

I couldn't have had a worse day.

I can explain.

Explain, Edmond,

why I shouldn't take the children
and go home to Mother's.

The letters are for Léo.
Written for him.

- She answered me.
- She fell in love

- with you.
- With him!

With him, really?

Why are the letters here, then?

Not with Léo?
Has he read them, at least?

And your letters,

are they as beautiful
as the ones you once wrote me?

Rose, darling.

Am I no longer desirable enough,

young enough?

Must you seek inspiration elsewhere?

Yes, inspiration. Not love.

You've supported me for ten years,

and despite each failure,
you read, correct, reassure me.

But you doubt,

now, with reason, my talent.

That girl, as you say...

Jeanne believes in me.

My words fire her dreams.

I need her, dear heart, not
for her love, but to finish my play.

Your play...

This play, dear heart...

I sense something in it.

As if I'd put in it all I lack:

courage, humor, heroism...


I don't lack love, Rose.

Sincere, mutual love I have.

In the play I speak of unattainable,

unrequited, eternal love.

Trust me, dear heart,
until the opening.

No love is eternal, Edmond.

Please don't sleep here tonight.

Was he not an exquisite being,
a marvelous man?

Yes, Roxane.

- An inspired poet.
- Yes, Roxane.

- A mind sublime.
- Yes, Roxane.

A heart too deep for minds to plumb,
a beauteous, charming soul.

- Yes, Roxane.
- He is dead!

Let me die today, since unknowingly
she mourns me in him.

There is the signal!
Trumpets blare.

On my letter, blood, and tears!


The danger grows.

Take her away. I will charge.

His blood. His tears.

She's fainting.

Stand firm.

You've proven your valor.
Now go, and save her.

Very well.

But we shall win if you gain but--


Right, sorry.

Farewell, Roxane.

Be careful!

Too much smoke, Lucien.

- Too much smoke.
- Yes, Mr. Coquelin.

And too much noise.

I'll lose my voice before we open.

It's war! How can we not have noise?

Christian is dead,
Roxane is devastated.

We're going into battle.

- Where's the comedy?
- An act is missing.

- Another one?
- Jolly good!

And what happens? A happy end?

I don't know yet.

It's supposed to be a comedy!

A comedy.

My sleeve came off again.

These costumes are ridiculous.

Tell me, Edmond.

That actor is impossible.

I know.

He's the world's worst actor.
What can I do?

Who are you talking about?


A very bad idea.
I repeat, a very bad idea.

How do you like our house?

Say, boss.

Can you find me a part, like Maria?

Soon, Suzon.

See to this gentleman.

'Evening, my darling.

- Come up?
- Where?

Like Maria? Maria worked here?

Are you ill?

Tuberculosis. And you?


Not indulging?

No. Married.

Me, too.

Like most of the clients here.

- You're not French?
- Russian. I'm with a friend.

Constantin is the one indulging.

- I see.
- He indulges a lot.

Does your wife know you're here?

No. Or she'd kill me.

- She's jealous too?
- Very.

- How do you manage?
- To...?

Keep her from being jealous?

I tell her I'm going to die.

So she forgives me.

- You lie to her?
- No. I'm really going to die.

Everyone really dies.

Indeed. Everyone really dies.


Everyone dies someday, yes.

Thank you, sir. Edmond Rostand.


- Bless you.
- No, Chekhov is my name.

Anton Chekhov.

I couldn't do it. Not like that.

That's fine. I knew it was absurd.

Why aren't you comfortable
with De Guiche?

Because I don't like him.
He's not a nice person.

How's the play coming?

- It's finished, I think.
- Finished? For real?

I think so.
But is it good?

Maria will complain
of too many lines,

and Coquelin of not having a duel.

- A duel?
- He wanted a duel.

Can you see it?

In Fanfan la Tulipe
he was a fine swordsman.

He can't recite verse while dueling.

I gracefully doff
my cavalier hat low.

And from my frame my cloak I throw.

Now draw my polished steel,

and around I wheel,
swift as Scaramouch,

I warn you, young upstart,

When the stanza ends...

I clutch?

"I touch!"

I touch.

- Happy now?
- Delighted.

Last act.

The scene:
15 years later, in a convent.

In a convent?

After Christian's death,
Roxane withdraws to a convent.

She receives only a weekly visit
from Cyrano.

- An act in one night?
- I've seen it happen.

It was back in Chatou in 1875.

You! You'll play De Guiche.

I don't know if I can learn...

Don't want it? Then--

Yes, I want it.

- I want De Guiche.
- He's yours.

- But it's Jean's role.
- Not anymore.

Jean will play Ragueneau,
a pastry chef-poet.

- A pastry chef?
- Act II is set in his shop.

He rewrote Act II?

- I rewrote all the acts.
- All the acts?

My son, a chef!

Oh, please, Papa!

- Is he nice?
- Very nice.

Too nice.

He's married.
I'll need another actress.

And a few nuns for Act V.

Find us some girls, gentlemen.

Girls? What girls?

Of course, Marcel.

And we'll need a tree.

- A tree?
- Here?

Yes, here.

So, Act V.

Cyrano lives in utter destitution.

But he never misses his visit
to Roxane.

But on this day,

he is late.

For the first time,

he asks to read
what Christian wrote her,

the letter she has cherished
for 15 years.

Night is falling

and despite the dim light,

he recites the letter.

Roxane then realizes
it was he who wrote it.

And then?

He cannot deny it.

He is forced to confess
his love for her.


She asks: Why

did you let this sublime silence
break today?

Yes, why?

Cyrano removes his hat to reveal

his head wrapped in bloody bandages.

That morning a heavy piece of wood
fell on his head.

By rising

to come visit Roxane,

he signed his death warrant.

- Good Lord.
- And then?

Then, with a smile,

in a clear voice, he exclaims--

Constant Coquelin!

No, that's...?

Constant Coquelin!

- Himself.
- By decree of the Comédie-Française,

and in reprisal
for his illegal departure,

Constant Coquelin is hereby
banned from Paris theaters,

until further notice.

Is this a joke?

you are advised to cease rehearsals.

I am to remain here.

- Clarétie won his case.
- We can fight it.

Fight an official decree?

We must admit defeat.

If Coquelin isn't playing,

I'm leaving this disastrous play.

- You haven't even read the act.
- I heard the sentence.

- Stay, please!
- "No, thank you, sir,"

as you write so well.

There's only one thing to do.

What's that?


Drink a lot.

Well, my friends,
this reeks of success.

We're among theater folk.

"Disastrous dress rehearsal,
hit opening night."

Go to hell, Georges.

Anyway, I'll be in the house.

Break a leg.

We have to go.
They'll only play once.

When do you open?

I don't have the right to perform.

Our costumes are in tatters.

And our Roxane has abandoned ship.

A flop.

A total flop.

This play is sublime,

Mr. Rostand.

And you, Mr. Coquelin,
what a role!

It made me weep.

Come now.

Do you think I never had to fight
to keep this café?

That my skin color made life simple?

Every gaze, be it customer or staff,
reflects it as an insult.

But there's one place,

one, where we are side by side
in the shadows:

at the theater.

I see a man assail prejudice,

refuse compromise,

die for a cause.

You have gold in your hands.

You have a gem no one can appraise.

Do you want it to vanish

or be French theater's
greatest triumph?

Listen to Cyrano's words,
be sublime!

Give your all for this play.

For, I predict, never in your lives
will you find one greater.

But the Comédie-Française?

In Molière's day, actors were buried
outside cemeteries.

You live on the fringe
of bourgeois society.

You artists,

you are outlaws!

Only death can stop an actor
from performing.

As Beaumarchais said:
"Only little men--"

"...fear little writings."

So, what is it to be?

To the Porte Saint-Martin!

What is this?
I'll alert my superiors!

- Take him away!
- With pleasure.

I forbid you...

- Lock him up at The Hen House.
- With pleasure.

I forbid you!

Let go of me.

On stage, everyone!

Don't forget: the trap doesn't close.
And no smoking!

And remember: we've lost Roxane.

Who are the fools
who didn't inform me?

So we're fighting? Defying authority?

I may be many things,

but a coward I am not.

Glad to see you again.

Volny's still not here?

Here I am!

Our costumes need work.
So I called a friend.

Hello, everybody.

It seems you needed help.

I never refuse to come to the aid
of a disrobed actor.

Heavens! I see.

These are my clothes.

So 1895!

My dear,
I missed you at the Palais-Royal.

- We've our work cut out.
- So do we.

Let's go, ladies and gents.

Opening night in a week!


Madam Bernhardt...

Call me Sarah.

How did you find the American public?

True to form.

A boisterous and enthusiastic child.

But I'm glad to return
to my Parisian public:

a reserved adult audience.

Tell us about the play.

The Bad Shepherds...

It's a proletarian tragedy
that we opened yesterday.

No, the new play by Edmond Rostand,
with Coquelin.

New play?

It opens tonight at the Saint-Martin.

- Tonight?
- A comedy in verse. Five acts.

What's the title?

Cyrano de Bergerac.


Curtain in one hour!

"You whose every step
touches grace supreme

"It's you, among the flowers,
who seem carefree..."

What are you mumbling?

A poem. Musset. I'm educating myself.

Better late than never. Break a leg!

We need food for Ragueneau's shop.

- I'll go to the market.
- Don't bother.

My treat.
Poultry, vegetables, patés, sausages?

Mr. Honoré, you're a saint.

Gentlemen, the house isn't full.

We need a full house.

Want to force the public to come?

On the house!

Free drinks to all those
who attend Cyrano tonight

at the Porte Saint-Martin.

A free meal

to those who attend
the first act only.

Bring me the cook.

The girls are requested to stay
to the end...

Yes, Mr. Marcel.

And not fall asleep.

And cover up. It's cold outside.

Can't we stay longer?

And a free trick
for clients accompanying them.

Wait for me, girls.

Quite a crowd after all.

A fine one at that.

Won't you go say a word to him?

Let this be clear.

If Coquelin plays,
it will be this once.

We have an audience after all.


I look ridiculous, don't I?

My God, Maria, this will be a flop.

No, idiot. You look great.


It will be a triumph.


The kid's given us a superb play.

But you said--

I spout nonsense, or no one listens.

So you think like me?

- It'll be staged 100 years from now.
- You really think so?

Actors will dream of Cyrano

and actresses, Roxane.

Everyone will remember Edmond's name.

And forget ours.

That's true.

But tonight, we won't be forgotten.
This is our night.

Yes, but tomorrow?

Why think of tomorrow?

For us actors, there's no tomorrow.

What exists is the public.

The show. The moment.

We're artisans of the ephemeral.

Let's show them our art.

Thank you, Maria.

On stage, Monsieur de Cyrano!

A flop.
A total flop.

10 minutes.

10 minutes to curtain.

Everything all right?

Yes, fine, fine.

"He's the finest
of early billings... earthly beings!"

Monsieur Jean...


- What are you--
- Aren't I your wife?

And you my husband?

Yes, in the play...

I can tell you're tense.

Isn't it a woman's duty
to relax her husband?

Don't deny it. You're tense.

- Sure, but...
- Let me.

What are you doing?

Oh, my God.

Holy Moses!

5 minutes.

The moment is here, friends!
Break a leg.

Forgive me, Coquelin.

- For what?
- For dragging you into this.

- It will go well.
- Really?

At worst, we'll end up in prison.

The viscount isn't here!

- Who?
- The actor playing the viscount.

The one in the duel.

On stage, everyone!

Where's Jean? Is he ready?

Here I am.

Break a leg, Papa.

Break a leg, Jean.

Break a leg, everyone!

But the viscount?
We need a solution.

True. Find one.

Break a leg, Mr. Rostand.

Lucien, didn't you rehearse the duel?

- Yes, why?
- Nothing. Come with me.


Break a leg, all!

Monsieur de Cyrano is not here?

How strange.

Why so?

Montfleury is playing.

What matter is it to Cyrano?

Then you don't know?

Montfleury makes him rage.

He's banished him from the stage.

- And so?
- Montfleury is playing.

Who is this Cyrano?

He's the finest of earthly beings...

Poet. Swordsman.

Physician! Musician!

And heteroclite in his appearance.

You cannot see such a nose as his
and not exclaim:

What perseverance!

Then you smile

and say: He'll take it off.

But that nose
Mr. de Bergerac never doffs.

- They're not laughing.
- They will about the nose.

Go, now.

- But...
- Be gone.

Or say why you stare at my nose.


- What is so strange?
- Your Grace is mistaken.

Is it limp and dangling like a trunk?

I never...

Is it hooked like an owl's beak?

Or is there a wart at its peak?

- Are they laughing?
- They will, Edmond.

Perhaps the gentleman
finds it a bit large?

I find it small, minuscule.

What's that?

Accuse me of something so absurd?
My nose, small?

The most enormous nose of all!

The nose monologue. I can't look.

This is where it gets interesting.

I'm going into the hallway.

Aggressive: Had I a nose like that

I'd cut it off on the spot.

Descriptive: It's a rock!
A peak! A cape!

A cape indeed! It's a peninsula!

Gracious: Are you so fond of birds

that in your search

you gave their claws
a spacious perch?

Pedantic: Only the creature
that Aristophanes called


could bear so much flesh
on so much bone.


First applause.

Not applause.
Their hands are just touching.

He's got them.


"Fire on the cavalry!"

Is the hallway truly the best place
to enjoy the show?

There's what you might have said

if you had some learning and wit.

But, O most deplorable of beings

you haven't a bit.

As for letters, you have only four
that form the word: twit.

Their hands are touching very loud.

My voice! I'm losing my voice.

Use it sparingly.

- How?
- Try shutting up.

I parry the point
you hoped to make me feel.

I open the line, now clutch

your spit, little lord.
At the stanza's end, I touch.

Prince, pray for pardon,

I move a pace, and such and such.

Last stanza:

I cut over,


and ho!

At the stanza's end, I touch.

I've never seen such a thing.

Came for your free meal, Joseph?

You gotta come.

Come to the theater!

You gotta see this!

3 minutes! 3 minutes to Act II.

- A fine death, Lucien.
- Thanks, Mr. Rostand.

about the character's psychology...

What now, Maria?

I had no lines in Act I.

Coquelin gets the laughs,
and I'm in the balcony...

- You said--
- Because I'm a woman?

Think I have no memory?

Last week you wanted to quit.

Quit? I came back,

and lucky for you!

I wonder how--

Roxane is dead in Act I!

- She's breathing. She's tough.
- Get some salts.

She'll make us lower the curtain.

On stage for Act II!


We bring her up or not?

You know the part?

- By heart.
- Is there another costume?

There are two.

- On stage. 10 minutes.
- Me? But...

Pleased to meet you, Roxane.
Christian de Neuvillette.

You really know the role?

Yes. Except Act V.

- What?
- The curtain is up.

"At the stanza's end, I touch."

How very fine.

"At the stanza's end--"

- The hour, Ragueneau?
- 6:05...

"I touch."
Oh, to write a ballad!

Your hand?

Nothing. A scratch.

Have you been in danger?

None at all.

I think you lie.

Is my nose twitching?

It would have to be a monstrous lie.

I await someone here.

Leave us alone.

- Are you fond of cream puffs?
- I am.

- It's madness.
- I know.

- I've never acted.
- I know.

Tell me it'll be fine.

It will be fine.
Repeat, Edmond.

- It will be fine.
- Kiss me.

- Which of us?
- Let's go.

- I'm going to die.
- Not in this play.

May this moment be blessed.

Ceasing to forget, humbly I breathe

you come here to tell me...

to tell me...


first, my thanks.

For that dandy count

who in brave swordplay

you did trounce...

He is the one
whom a lord seeking my favor...

De Guiche?

...wants me to take for husband...

But postiche.

Then I fought, sweet lady,
it is no surprise,

not for my ugly nose

but for your fair eyes.

It's working!

Yes, it's working.

But look who's here.

Not so loud. They're playing.

But it's not Maria.

Where's Maria?

Maria's on stage.

With makeup and a wig.

Can't you hear her?

You weren't ugly.

At times,
hands bloodied from a fall...

Who else can it be?

I'm warning you, if it's not Maria...

You'll back out?
Too late, the play exists.

Come. You'll miss the balcony.

Will you find your box?

There's loud applause next door.

At the Porte Saint-Martin.

It's Cyrano.

Yes, the end of Act III.

My darling poet!

If we hurry, I'll catch Act V.

But the others aren't ready.

Well, I'm ready. Let's begin.

But your hair's not done.

Bravo, Jean. Very good.

- How was the balcony?
- Wonderful!

- Really?
- A word, please.

Perfect, Léo.

Jeanne, you have 15 minutes
before your next cue.

Lucien, rehearse Act V with her.
Stay with her.

Very well, Mr. Rostand.

Two more acts, Léo.

I will be loved myself,
or not at all.

I'll go see what they do.

I'll be back.

Let her choose one of us two!

- It will be you.
- I hope so.

- What?
- Cyrano has something to tell you.

He's leaving. Nothing...
He sees importance in a trifle.

I saw he doubted what I said.

But you did say the truth.

- Yes, I'd love him even--
- Afraid of the word?

It will not pain me.
Even ugly?

Even ugly...

I hear shooting.

- Hideous?
- Hideous, yes.


- Léo, the trap! Maria!
- I'll go.

You can't. You just died.

Le Bret!

My God, it's true, perhaps,

happiness is at hand.

Roxane, listen.

What is it?

- It's over?
- What?

It's over. Never can I say it now.

Oh, my Coquelin!

- What's happening?
- Nothing.

- Those men...
- Don't mind them.

- It's over.
- Christian!

Hit by the enemy's first shot!

The attack! To your muskets!


Fall in line!

Aim and fire!

I told her all.
It's still you she loves.

Take aim!

A letter on him! For me.

My letter!


Thank you. I love you.

See you, tomorrow, Juliette.

- Another curtain call.
- And more tomorrow.

- You're still in costume.
- Enough!

Is this seat occupied?

- Where are we?
- The final act.

That's just fine.

Yes, it's me, Sarah Bernhardt.
What of it?

You're crushing my foot.


For the first time in 14 years, late.

It's maddening.

I was delayed.

- By whom?
- An untimely visit.

Ah, yes.

Cousin, it was a bore...

Whom you sent away?

Yes, I said: This is Saturday.

An appointment stands in the way.

I mustn't miss it.
Come back in an hour's time.

This person will have to wait.

I won't let you go
until evening late.

Perhaps earlier I must part.

Has he fainted?

What is it?

It's nothing. Let me be.

It's my old wound, from Arras.

Poor friend.

It's nothing. It will pass.

Passed it has.

We all have our wounds.
I have mine.

It's still fresh,
this old wound of mine.

His letter.

Didn't you once say
you'd read it to me, one day?

You'd hear his letter?

Yes, I'd like it, today.


May I open it?

Open it. Read it.

"Roxane, goodbye. I soon will die."


"It will be tonight, I think,
my beloved.

"My soul is still full
of unexpressed love."

How you read his letter.

"I want to shout... and I shout,

- You read it...
- "My darling, my dearest,

- "my treasure..."
- In a voice...

- "My beloved!"
- In a voice...

I'm not hearing for the first time.

"My heart will never leave you.

"I am and I will be,
until the next world,

"he who loves you without measure..."

How can you read in the dark?

And for 14 years,

he acted the part of old friend

who comes to play the clown.

- It was you?
- No, Roxane, no!

You! You loved me.

No, dear heart. I didn't love you.

Then why let this sublime silence
break today?


How unwise!
I was sure he was here.

- You, here?
- He sealed his death when he rose.

And Saturday, the 26th

an hour before dinner,

Mr. de Bergerac died, murdered.

Let no one hold me up.

No one.

Just the tree.






Aerial traveler.

Master of deadly repartee.

Lover, too.

But no lover he.

Here lies Hercule Savinien
de Cyrano de Bergerac,

who was everything,

who was nothing.

But there is something I bear away.

Something without a crease,
without a slash,

something I take in spite of you

and that is...

It is...?

My panache!

A triumph!

What did I tell you?

Thank you, Coquelin!

My pleasure.

Bring up Maria.

Edmond! My darling poet.

It was... It was...

All that, yes!

And more.

Jules, listen to me.

The law is the law.
I brought the prefect.

You have no right to play
in any other theater

unless it's to play Cyrano.

Then I'll play it till I die.

Curtain call!

Mr. Rostand,
come see me with your next one.

Thank you, sir.

But no thank you.

This way, madam.

Has the show begun?

It's over, madam.

Bravo, Maria! What talent.

A triumph!

Magnificent, Maria!
You were beautiful.

Curtain call!

I take my hat off to you.
You're a valiant man.

And you know a thing about valor.

"You whose every step
touches grace--"

And me, my husband,
don't I deserve a kiss?

Curtain call! Back on stage!

They're calling you.

They're calling you.

I'm nothing. Only a gust of wind.

And I'm leaving.

I was offered a job at Méliès,
doing costumes.

Who knows?
Maybe I'll get a part there.

- Don't go.
- Don't worry.

Miss Legault will be a lovely Roxane.

I'll be there at each of your plays,
in the shadows.

You'll be there on stage,
in all my heroines.

14 curtain calls.

They're demanding you.

Thank you for everything,

for your kindness,

for your patience.

For allowing me to touch the stars.

Say it again.

Thank you.

Thank you for writing Cyrano.

It was only a thank you, darling,

and a goodbye.

How I understand her.
I wept so much, my love...

- Forgive me.
- ...for happiness.

How sweet to love a man
and his mistress.

- Mistress?
- Glory.

Go taste her kiss.

I prefer yours, my Rose.

She's calling you.

How can I be jealous now?

I am the wife
of this masterpiece's author.

Tonight, he will sleep with me.

Tonight and every other night.

15 curtain calls!

Go take your bows, my poet.

It is December 27, 1897.

After 40 curtain calls,

the curtain was left up.

The actors were carried
through the streets of Paris.

Three days later,

Edmond Rostand
would receive the Legion of Honor.

In the century to come,

Cyrano would be performed
over 20,000 times

to become the greatest success

of French theater.

But for the moment,

it is December 27, 1897

in Paris,

as the actors take their bows.

-- English --