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>
Actor Ronald Colman agreed to play the role of Sydney Carton with the sole condition that he not also be required to play the role of Charles Darnay, as was usually expected in adaptations of the Dickens novel. The plot of 'A Tale of Two Cities' turns on the physical resemblance between the two characters. Colman had long wanted to play Sidney Carton, and was even willing to shave off his beloved mustache to play the part. See more »
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 »
Mr. Carton, the infant has expressed a desire to say good night to you.
The infant's desire shall be gratified immediately, Prossy.
Jarvis Lorry Jr.:
I suppose it's none of my business, but I wouldn't allow that fellow to handle a child of mine.
As to that, you haven't got one... and from the looks of you, you're not likely to have one.
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Faithful screen version of the classic Dickens tale...
A TALE OF TWO CITIES contains enough material for a four hour movie but amazingly David O. Selznick's production has managed to tell the epic tale in just a little over two hours. While there are many memorable characters, the ones that stay in the memory longest are Ronald Colman as Sydney Carton and the little seamstress (Isabel Jewell) who gets her courage from him before they go off to the guillotine and he utters those immortal words, "It's a far, far better thing I do..."
Edna May Oliver is just one of the pleasures among the supporting players. Donald Woods makes a handsome, if somewhat subdued, Charles Darnay and Blanche Yurka does an outstanding job as the bitter Madame Defarge. Basil Rathbone is excellent as the aristocratic Marquis St. Evremonde who is annoyed when his horse-driven carriage runs amok and kills a child, setting in motion the bitter Evremonde legacy of hate and mistrust among the French peasants.
The storming of the Bastille is awesome in its detail, as is all of the set decoration for interiors and exteriors which really captures the atmosphere of this turbulent time in history.
Probably Ronald Colman's finest hour--his world weary Sydney Carton becomes a highly sympathetic character by the time he is ready to assume another man's place. A memorable film.
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