Alas, an aristocrat and a barrister on the same plateau. This is the story of a revolution, a revolution that occurred in France known as the Reign of Terror. The barrister, the town alcoholic and man of disrepute, is in love with a beautiful woman, who marries the aristocrat and bears a beautiful baby girl. The baby girl is infatuated with the barrister, and he her because of her mother. The ultimate sacrifice occurs and a man's soul goes forward.
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 »
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 »
[the mercenary troops are marching through Paris]
How many thousands of these foreign soldiers are they bringing in?
It doesn't matter how many; it will do them no good.
It will do them no good. Ha!
The starving people of Paris might wait a long time before rising up to fight French soldiers; but against hired, foreign troops... any day... any hour...
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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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