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A Tale of Two Cities (1980)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | History | Romance  -  2 December 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 400 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

An ex-aristocrat from France and an alcoholic English lawyer find themselves crossing paths and in love with the same woman during the French Revolution.

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Title: A Tale of Two Cities (TV Movie 1980)

A Tale of Two Cities (TV Movie 1980) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Barry Morse ...
Flora Robson ...
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Norman Jones ...
George Innes ...
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Bernard Hug ...
Valérie de Tilbourg ...
Seamstress (as Valerie de Tilburg)
Robert Urquhart ...
Attorney General
Anna Manahan ...
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Storyline

Dissolute barrister Sydney Carton becomes enchanted and then hopelessly in love with the beautiful Lucie Manette. But Lucie loves and marries Charles Darnay, and remains oblivious to Carton's undimmed devotion to her. When Darnay is ensnared in the deadly web of the French Revolution and condemned to die by the guillotine, Sydney Carton concocts a dangerous plot to free the husband of the woman he loves. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Drama | History | Romance | War

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Release Date:

2 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: A Tale of Two Cities (#30.1)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Château de Vincennes, Vincennes, Val-de-Marne stood in for the Bastille. See more »

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Version of A Tale of Two Cities (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A solid TV adaptation
14 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I wouldn't call it the definitive version nor would I, for every conceivable criticism you could give this film, vote it low for not showing them cutting everyone's hair before beheading them as a previous reviewer did. As far as Dickens adaptations go, this is alright if you need a visualization of the novel. The actors all do good jobs, especially Peter Cushing as Doctor Mannette, Billie Whitelaw as Madame Defarge, and especially Alice Krige as Lucie Mannette, who makes the character feel a little more real than she was in the original novel. In the dual role of Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, Chris Sarandon does alright. Obviously he has more to work with playing Carton, but I would not call either performance brilliant.

The sets and costumes are good; obviously the production values are not sky high, seeing as this is a TV movie. The lighting is flat and dull, as was per usual in many TV productions during the 1970s and 1980s. The music is passable, but not memorable.

Still, even at over two and a half hours, this film feels rushed. We never as close to the characters as we should be and Sydney's "last dream of my soul" line and most of his final speech being cut are criminal. I think the whole production could have benefited from an extra thirty minutes.

Nothing special, but a nice way to illustrate the novel for an English class or for your own enjoyment. Just don't expect the definitive A Tale of Two Cities adaptation.


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