Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, thanks to Martin's adaptation which translates the big-nosed duellist-philosopher-poet into the Fire Chief of a small American town, provides the perfect vehicle for his comic intelligence. His Chief Bales is a complex creation, falling in love with astronomer Roxanne (Hannah), a romantic beauty who craves communion with a fine mind, but automatically taking a back seat because of his appearance. Chivalrously, he supports the courtship of Roxanne by Chris (Rossovich), the dimmest of his firemen, winning her for him with his words, dictating the love letters and even hilariously stage-managing the wooing via radio-waves until the duffer repeats police messages. Chris, and the inept firemen in general, seem to have been cast in Martin's old role as the jerk, leaving the star free to parade subtler gifts. As a result, Roxanne is far and away his richest film to date, lyrical, sweet-natured, touching, and very, very funny.
Cast and crew
Michael J Pollard