IMDb > A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
A Tale of Two Cities
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

A Tale of Two Cities (1935) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 9 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   3,532 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Charles Dickens (novel)
W.P. Lipscomb (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Tale of Two Cities on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1935 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The most dramatic love story in the history of literature! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
NewsDesk:
(136 articles)
Arrow Recap: “The Brave and the Bold”
 (From Collider.com. 3 December 2014, 6:19 PM, PST)

Delegation unveiled for Two Cities
 (From ScreenDaily. 3 November 2014, 8:15 AM, PST)

When King Yrcanos Decked The Doctor!
 (From Kasterborous. 10 October 2014, 1:30 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A far far better movie than that has been ever done..... See more (58 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ronald Colman ... Sydney Carton
Elizabeth Allan ... Lucie Manette
Edna May Oliver ... Miss Pross

Reginald Owen ... Stryver

Basil Rathbone ... Marquis St. Evremonde
Blanche Yurka ... Madame De Farge
Henry B. Walthall ... Dr. Manette
Donald Woods ... Charles Darnay
Walter Catlett ... Barsad
Fritz Leiber ... Gaspard

H.B. Warner ... Gabelle
Mitchell Lewis ... Ernest DeFarge
Claude Gillingwater ... Jarvis Lorry

Billy Bevan ... Jerry Cruncher

Isabel Jewell ... Seamstress

Lucille La Verne ... The Vengeance (as Lucille LaVerne)

Tully Marshall ... Woodcutter
Fay Chaldecott ... Lucie - the Child
Eily Malyon ... Mrs. Cruncher
E.E. Clive ... Judge in 'Old Bailey'

Lawrence Grant ... Prosecutor
Robert Warwick ... Judge at Tribunal
Ralf Harolde ... Prosecutor
John Davidson ... Morveau
Tom Ricketts ... Tellson Jr.
Donald Haines ... Jerry Cruncher Jr.
Barlowe Borland ... Jacques 116
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Norman Ainsley ... Tom - Coach Driver on the Dover Road (uncredited)
Richard Alexander ... Executioner (uncredited)
Jimmy Aubrey ... Innkeeper (uncredited)
Barbara Barondess ... Female Aristocrat About to Be Executed (uncredited)
May Beatty ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
John Bryan ... Small Role (uncredited)
Elsa Buchanan ... Candy Clerk (uncredited)
Burr Caruth ... Guillotine Seller (uncredited)
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers ... Background Singers (uncredited)
Frank Dawson ... Clerk (uncredited)
Nigel De Brulier ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Chappell Dossett ... Priest at Wedding (uncredited)
Frank Dunn ... Official (uncredited)
Harold Entwistle ... Clerk (uncredited)
Sam Flint ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Mary Foy ... Old Hag (uncredited)
Christian J. Frank ... Headsman (uncredited)
Sig Frohlich ... Gentleman (uncredited)
Dale Fuller ... Old Hag (uncredited)
Winter Hall ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Forrester Harvey ... Joe (uncredited)
Edward Hearn ... Leader at Bastille (uncredited)
Ramsay Hill ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Billy House ... Border Guard (uncredited)
Brandon Hurst ... Small Role (uncredited)
Boyd Irwin ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Walter Kingsford ... Victor (uncredited)
Marion Lessing ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Clinton Lurie ... Small Role (uncredited)
James T. Mack ... Clerk (uncredited)
James A. Marcus ... Small Role (uncredited)
Frank Mayo ... Jailer (uncredited)
Shirley McDonald ... Jacques #2 (uncredited)
Cyril McLaglen ... Guillotine Operator (uncredited)
Torben Meyer ... Lackey #1 (uncredited)
John Miltern ... Clerk (uncredited)
Edward Peil Sr. ... Cartwright (uncredited)
Tempe Pigott ... Old Hag (uncredited)
Charles Requa ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Rolfe Sedan ... Condemned Dandy (uncredited)
C. Montague Shaw ... Chief Registrar (uncredited)
Yorke Sherwood ... Old Crony (uncredited)
Jay Taylor ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Joseph R. Tozer ... Inspector (uncredited)
Laura Treadwell ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Judith Vosselli ... Wife of Count (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Revolutionary (uncredited)
Chester Withey ... Small Role (uncredited)

Directed by
Jack Conway 
Robert Z. Leonard (fill-in director) (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Charles Dickens (novel "A Tale of Two Cities")

W.P. Lipscomb (screen play) and
S.N. Behrman (screen play)

Thomas Carlyle  bibliography "The French Revolution" &
M. Clery  bibliography "Journal of the Temple" &
Mademoiselle des Echerolles  bibliography "The Memoirs" (as Mlle. des Echerolles) &
M. Nicholas  bibliography "The Memoirs"

Produced by
David O. Selznick .... producer
 
Original Music by
Herbert Stothart (musical score by)
 
Cinematography by
Oliver T. Marsh (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Conrad A. Nervig (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jacques Tourneur .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Fredric Hope .... associate art director
Edwin B. Willis .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Visual Effects by
W. Percy Day .... matte painter (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dolly Tree .... wardrobe
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert Stothart .... musical adaptation (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Val Lewton .... arranger: revolutionary sequences
Jacques Tourneur .... arranger: revolutionary sequences
Howard Dietz .... press agent (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Charles Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities'" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
128 min | USA:121 min (video version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Canada:G (video rating) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #1471) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This was David O. Selznick's last film for MGM. He was able to fund his own studio afterwards largely on the strength of this film's box office receipts.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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:
[after the Marquis' coach runs over and kills a peasant child, he gets out of the coach and speaks to the onlookers]
Marquis St. Evremonde:It's extraordinary to me that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or the other of you is forever in the way. How do you know what injury you might do to my horses?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Prelude Opus 28 No. 7See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
47 out of 53 people found the following review useful.
A far far better movie than that has been ever done....., 10 April 2001
Author: mark.waltz from New York City

When screen masterpieces of literary works are discussed, this version of Dicken's classic is sure to be one of them. Yet at the time of its release, it did not get the acclaim it deserved. None of its fabulous cast received Oscar nominations, although it was up for Best Film. To this viewer, it was the best film of 1935, and tops in many other categories as well.

From the moment this movie begins, the audience is transported back to pre-French Revolutionary Europe. It is England and Lucy Mannette (the now forgotten Elizabeth Allen) is called to France to be reunited with her father (Henry B. Walthall). Meanwhile, aristocrat Marquis St. Everymonde (Basil Rathbone) is accidently responsible for the death of a child, and ends up murdered after disowning his nephew (Donald Woods) who changes his name to Charles Darnay and moves to England. He is put on trial for having secret British documents, but is helped to freedom by the similar looking Sydney Carton (Ronald Colman). Darnay marries Lucy Mannette, but his past threatens to tear them apart forever as the French Revolution begins.

That is just a snippet of the plot, just to give the reader a taste of the classic story. All of Dicken's story would have made enough material for two films, so of course, there was some liberty taken when writing the screenplay. Dickens' stories concentrated on the abundance of characters he wrote in and out of the storyline, and "A Tale of Two Cities" is no exception. Every character from beginning to end has some connection to the basic plot; there are enough twists and turns to keep the audience interested through the two-hour running time. What makes this film work is the amount of effort by the writers to make each characterization important to the overall structure.

First, heroine Lucy Mannette; seemingly fragile, she never-the-less manages to survive every ordeal she faces; Elizabeth Allan is lovely and believable, yet never weak. She had minimal screen work (most notably a supporting role in "Camille"), but this film assured her of screen immortality. Donald Woods is less impressive as Charles Darnay; he does not entirely convince the audience in his scenes with scoundral Basil Rathbone as his uncle. Rathbone easily chews him up and spits him out. As Lucy's devoted companion Miss Pross, Edna May Oliver is a true scene stealer. One of Hollywood's best character actresses during the 30's, Oliver was truly lovable in spite of her outward sourness; beneath that beats a heart of gold that always came through for the heroines in their time of need. If there had been Oscar nominations for Supporting Actress at this time, Oliver would be a candidate-either for this film or for another Dickens adaption released through MGM the same year, "David Copperfield".

Oliver's rival in the film onscreen and off (for awards) is the unforgettable European stage actress Blanche Yurka playing the pathetic Madame DuFarge. You can't help but sympathize with this tragic yet bitter character who has seen so much suffering that she can't help but want revenge. Yurka had only a few more opportunities to shine in films, but this was her showiest roles, and one for which she deserved recognition. In subsequent versions of this film, DuFarge was a much younger character, making her seem less hard. Yurka's scene in court where she reveals all is simply one of the best performances of a monologue in screen history.

Then, there is Ronald Colman as the tragic Sydney Carton who suffers an unrequitted love for Lucy and decides as a result to make the ultimate sacrifice. No one other than Colman could have done this role justice; he simply is Sydney Carton just as much as Gable was Rhett Butler, just as much as James Cagney was George M. Cohan. No, it is not the leading role. He doesn't even appear until way into the film, but once he does, he is unforgettable. What then turns into the film's lead makes for breathtaking cinema presence.

I also want to take time to mention the little-talked-about Lucille LaVerne who plays the part of DeFarge's co-hort "La Vengeance". Watch this film (again if you've already seen it) with D.W. Griffith's "Orphans of the Storm". This is a good companion piece with "A Tale of Two Cities" as both are about the French Revolution, and it is amazing the similarity of the two characters which LaVerne played. It is almost like they are the same ones, here living with two different storylines. One of those rare occurances in films that just has to be seen.

"A Tale of Two Cities" is a film I can watch over and over. I have seen other versions, but this film ranks as the very best. The production design is outstanding; the music brilliant; and the writing excellent. Very few films in history rank total perfection; this is one of them.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (58 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Elizabeth Allan .... Lucie Manette krawczykk20
Book report SeaviewCircle
where can i find this movie with colour version mjcomic23
What Happens to Miss Pross? santol321
Vote for Sydney! GinaRenee
Lucille LaVerne and Disney's Wicked Queen philboleyn-1
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Lady and the Duke A Tale of Two Cities Sade A Tale of Two Cities Napoleon
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.