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.
Strains of the Gregorian chant Missa Pro Defunctis Dies Irae appear in the prison scene when the aristocrats try to encourage each other to go bravely to their deaths. 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 »
You know, Sydney, sometimes it's the part of a friend to criticize, too.
Oh, when there's any hope of reformation, yes; but with me, it's hopeless.
I don't believe it. I refuse to believe it.
Oh, I admit that once when... when I first knew you, the sight of you and your home stirred old shadows that I thought had died out of me. I had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream that ended in nothing, but you inspired it.
Must it end in nothing?
[...] See more »
I haven't read Charles Dickens' famous novel since high school, so I can't remember how faithful this film adaptation is. I'm sure much is excised from the book, as it would have to be in any adaptation that isn't 15 hours long. But as a stand-alone film, this version of "A Tale of Two Cities" is an awfully good one, and contains a lot of entertainment value.
Ronald Colman does most of the heavy lifting and is superb in the lead role. But two stand outs from the supporting cast are Blanche Yurka as the infamous Madame De Farge, the personification of an activist spirit taken to monstrous extremes, and Edna May Oliver, a proper English lady who won't let a few thousand French revolutionaries intimidate her. The best scene of the film is the smack down between the two characters, one of the best cat fights committed to celluloid.
"A Tale of Two Cities" received two Oscar nominations in 1936, one for Best Picture in a year with ten nominees, and the other for its film editing, courtesy of Conrad Nervig, the man who won the very first film editing award when the category was introduced in 1934.
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