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Based on the play "Cyrano de Bergerac", large nosed C.D. Bales falls for the beautiful Roxanne while she falls for his personality but another man's looks.

Release Year: 1987

Rating: 6.6/10 (18,515 voted)

Fred Schepisi

Stars: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich

A modernisation of Edmond Rostands "Cyrano De Bergerac". C.D. Bales is a fire chief, who just happens to have an enormous nose. He hires a new fire-fighter, Chris, who is handsome, and knows his hoses, but is useless when it comes to women. Roxanne is an astronomer who has just arrived in town. She catches the eye of Chris, and he asks C.D. to help him woo her. Little does Chris know that C.D. is mad about Roxanne, but hasn't found the right way to tell her – yet.

Writers: Edmond Rostand, Steve Martin


Steve Martin

C. D. Bales

Daryl Hannah


Rick Rossovich


Shelley Duvall


John Kapelos


Fred Willard

Mayor Deebs

Max Alexander


Michael J. Pollard


Steve Mittleman


Damon Wayans


Matt Lattanzi


Shandra Beri


Blanche Rubin


Jane Campbell


Jean Sincere


Roxanne dreamed of a handsome, intelligent, romantic man. C.D. Bales is two out of three… but looks aren't everything!

Release Date: 19 June 1987

Filming Locations: Nelson, British Columbia, Canada

Opening Weekend: $4,582,398
(21 June 1987)
(847 Screens)

Gross: $40,050,884

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


One of the nose insults that C.D. comes up with is "your nose was on time, but you were fifteen minutes late." Cyrano laments later in the play that his nose precedes him by fifteen minutes.


Factual errors:
In explaining quarks to C.D., Roxanne (an Astrophysics PhD student who should know better) mentions that there are six types of quarks and that the "top" and "bottom" are the most common kinds. She meant "up" and "down" (which form protons and neutrons). Experimental evidence for the predicted "top" quark was not announced until 1995, 8 years after the film's writing.


[first lines]

C.D. Bales:
Dixie! Hi, how you doing, girl? Yeah, I'm on my way. I'll be there in about five minutes. I'm bringing it! I've only had it a year and a half, I told you I'd return it. OK. So long. Talk to you later. All right. All right. Bye.

User Review

Steve Martin's Most Enduring

Rating: 8/10

Roxanne is probably going to go down as the pinnacle of Steve Martin's
career as both an actor and a writer. Granted, he's made better movies
(L.A. Story, The Man With Two Brains), but this is the one movie that seems
to have grabbed the public's attention and keeps bringing them back. And
that's because it's deceptively simple, the story of the underdog falling
for the girl who has it all. It's peripherally based on Cyrano de Bergerac,
but most people haven't read it (or even seen a movie adaptation), so much
of the intricacies will be lost. But everyone can identify with the main
character, C.D. Bales, and the story of his doomed love.

The movie is a romantic comedy, but that's too simplistic. It's full of
incredible situational and verbal humor. Whether he's playing a slapstick
routine trying to leave Roxanne's apartment or trying to think up the (more
than) twenty insults that would be better than `Big Nose,' Martin's pen
rarely falters. He can do drama, as evidenced by the scene on the roof with
the overweight kid. And he writes compelling poetry: when C.D. speaks from
his heart under Roxanne's window it threatens to turn hokey at any moment,
but never does. The power of the movie is in the screenplay, and Martin's
written a doozy.

Of course, it also doesn't hurt that C.D. is such a sympathetic character.
Actually, sympathetic is probably the wrong word. He's such a strong and
dynamic character that every man would want to be him and every woman would
want to have him…if it weren't for that stupid nose of his. Think about it:
he's athletic, charming, well-read, witty, and handsome. And that's what
makes it even worse for the viewer: knowing all these wonderful things are
stuck inside this man and people can't see past his nose, pun not intended.
Martin totally inhabits C.D. Bales: he knows him so well that it's second
nature. He looks like he's having a blast with it, too, which helps the
audience quite a bit.

It's not all Steve Martin, though (although it seems like it at times). The
supporting cast does well with their roles and goes far beyond what I would
have thought possible. Example: Daryl Hannah, an actress with a
hit-and-miss record that's mostly miss, is surprisingly convincing as an
astronomy student who knows about sub-nuclear particles and comet
trajectories. Or Michael J. Pollard, who takes a role that's pretty much a
series of one-liners and makes me remember him above all the other
firefighters by the pure glee that he takes with every

It's certainly not perfect, nor is it Martin's best offering, but that's
beside the point. The point is that it's the kind of movie people really
enjoy but can't put their finger on just why. Well, the movie is smart, and
that's why people find it refreshing. It's not simply a cookie-cutter
romance with the typical leading man and the regular lines: it's got a heart
and humanity that most romantic comedies disregard as unnecessary.