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A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,454 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 17 critic

A pair of lookalikes, one a former French aristocrat and the other an alcoholic English lawyer, fall in love with the same woman amongst the turmoil of the French Revolution.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(novel), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Title: A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

A Tale of Two Cities (1935) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Elizabeth Allan ...
Edna May Oliver ...
...
...
Blanche Yurka ...
Henry B. Walthall ...
Donald Woods ...
Walter Catlett ...
Fritz Leiber ...
...
Mitchell Lewis ...
Claude Gillingwater ...
...
...
Seamstress
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Storyline

An elaborate adaptation of Dickens' classic tale of the French Revolution. Dissipated lawyer Sydney Carton defends emigre Charles Darnay from charges of spying against England. He becomes enamored of Darnay's fiancée, Lucie Manette, and agrees to help her save Darnay from the guillotine when he is captured by Revolutionaries in Paris. Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Immortal Story of Love and Intrigue During French Revolution! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charles Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities'  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jack Conway took ill halfway through production so Robert Z. Leonard stepped in to cover for him. See more »

Goofs

Sydney Carton attends Christmas Eve services ca. 1780 during which "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" is sung to music by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), and John Francis Wade's Latin hymn, "Adeste fideles," is sung in Frederick Oakley's (1802-1880) translation as "O Come, All Ye Faithful." See more »

Quotes

Knitting woman (tricoteuse): [the guilloutine strikes once more] I lost a stitch. Cursed Aristocrats!
See more »

Connections

Version of A Tale of Two Cities (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

Egmont Overture, Op. 84
(1809-10) (uncredited)
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Freely arranged by Herbert Stothart
Played as background music by The MGM Symphony Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Fabulous Tale of 2 Cities ****
12 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Charles Dickens would have stood up and applauded had he seen this fabulous 1935 version of his classic tale.

There are no words adequate enough to praise the fine performances in this film dealing with the French Revolution.

Ronald Colman is memorable as Sidney Carton, an alcoholic lawyer, who gave up his life to save the husband (Donald Woods) of the woman he loved. The woman, played by Elizabeth Allan, was strong in emotion and very appealing.

The supporting performances are first-rate. Had they had supporting Oscar categories in 1935, Edna May Oliver, as Miss Pross, governess to Allan and Blanche Yurka, as fiery revolutionary Madame De Farge, would have certainly been nominated. Who can forget the fight scene between both of these women? Who can forget De Farge's demand that Darnay, the nephew of the notorious Marquis Evremonde, a vicious Basil Rathbone, be put to death for being a member of this elitist family? Yurka tore into this scene a revenge rarely seen in motion pictures. Unfortunately, Hollywood could offer her few parts for a talent as great as this. Oliver, as Miss Pross, shed the right tears, and with sarcastic wit, delivered some of the most memorable lines in this film. Her facial gestures along with those of Yurka were something else. You'd also feel for the mobs of the starving French while the aristocrats lived so well.

Isabel Jewell, as the condemned seamstress, gave heart in her brief performance. Her emotional outburst, as she nears her fate, will never be forgotten.

The dialogue was crisp, the directing by Jack Conway, was first rate.

Years later, this classic was remade in 1958. It was an extremely poor remake. Foolishly, they weakened the part of Madame De Farge. **** for the original and even more. Revolutions were never as good as this one!


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