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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: boblipton from New York City
24 February 2003

While it is impossible to do justice to Dickens' sprawling novel in 20 minutes, Vitagraph makes a stab at it with this series of scenes in little more than tableaux format. Good costumes, good backgrounds and excellent actors do their best, but stick with the 1935 version directed by Jack Conway.

While this would seem to be, from the cast list, an all-star version -- including a very young Mabel Normand -- you should realize Vitagraph worked its actors hard -- starring in one picture, helping to fill out a crowd scene in the next. Still, you might want to play "spot the star" with this one.

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Speeds by at the rate of knots, but it is TINTED!

Author: JohnHowardReid
30 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film originally ran about 36 minutes. I say "about" because in 1911, the actual running time of the movie's original three reels in cinemas depended upon the speed of the projectionist – and most projectionists took it upon themselves to crank slowly through the scenes they liked and speed up the less interesting passages. The demands of the theatre's orchestra or pianist also had to be considered – along with the cinema's manager or proprietor who wanted to squeeze in as many screenings per day as possible. When the 16mm rights were acquired by Kodak, it was mercilessly condensed to two spools running a total of 21 or 22 minutes. However, this Kodascope cutdown did retain all the movie's original tints, and it's certainly a treat to see all these colored tints preserved on the Grapevine DVD disc, even though the scenes now flash by at such a speed, it would be hard for a party of Martians who were unfamiliar with Dickens to follow the plot. We can all do that okay, but the scenes flash by so fast, it's hard to appreciate all the good work of actors like Maurice Costello's Carton, Florence Turner's Lucie Manette and William Shea's Jarvis Lorry, let alone Norma Talmadge's girl on the tumbrel. This tinted Kodascope cutdown is now available on an excellent Grapevine DVD, on the same disc as the 1917 version.

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" Impressive 1911 A Tale Of Two Cities "

Author: PamelaShort from Canada
4 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is really a surprisingly good production by the Vitagraph to bring the Charles Dickens 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities to life on film for early movie goers. A very impressive cast of film performers from the early silent era that includes John Bunny, Maurice Costello, Florence Turner, Norma Talmadge, Anitia Stewart, Lillian Walker and a very young Mabel Normand all performing finely in period costumes. The story is told with a rapid succession of scenes that are amazingly well paced and the authentic looking back-grounds along with the many extra players, all helps to provide the appropriate atmosphere. Very historically interesting and entertaining, this 1911 film is great for silent film enthusiasts who appreciate the art of early silent cinema.

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