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 <email@example.com>
Close up of a paper reporting arrest of Charles Darnay shows a Reuters report. The action takes place in 1785...Paul Reuter was born in 1816 and did not set up his eponymous news agency until 1850. See more »
Unheralded, Unexpected, Frenchmen in uniform joined Frenchmen in rags... and rebellion turned to revolution
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Magistral adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel set in the French Revolution. The story is very interesting in itself, but the way it is told elevates it to the cathegory of a masterpiece. The acting of the entire cast is great, from Ronald Colman (maybe the best of adventure heroes of the 1930s, while a little forgotten today) to Reginald Owen (seeing this film makes me want to check Mr. Owen's work as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1938 movie 'A Christmas Carol'. I wish I could find a copy...), without forgetting Basil Rathbone (who has a brief but intense appearance as the tyrant Marquis) nor, of course, Blanche Yurka, an actress I hadn't even heard of before, and turns out to be the greatest in a cast of greats. Her speech in the court is one of the most moving scenes in film history.
I wouldn't like to finish without mentioning the masterful Bastille scene (directed by Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur). That's what I call epic moviemaking. Unforgettable.
I've also seen other two versions of this story, the 1958 British movie with Dirk Bogarde and the 1980 TV remake with Chris Sarandon and Peter Cushing. They're OK, but this one is the best one by far, a silver screen classic I'm glad to own on videotape. A definite 10 out of 10.
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