7.8/10
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69 user 18 critic

A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

Trailer
1:24 | Trailer
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.

Directors:

Jack Conway, Robert Z. Leonard (uncredited)

Writers:

Charles Dickens (novel), W.P. Lipscomb (screen play) | 5 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Colman ... Sydney Carton
Elizabeth Allan ... Lucie Manette
Edna May Oliver ... Miss Pross
Reginald Owen ... C.J. Stryver
Basil Rathbone ... Marquis St. Evrémonde
Blanche Yurka ... Madame Therese De Farge
Henry B. Walthall ... Dr. Manette
Donald Woods ... Charles Darnay
Walter Catlett ... Barsad
Fritz Leiber ... Gaspard
H.B. Warner ... Gabelle
Mitchell Lewis ... Ernest De Farge
Claude Gillingwater ... Jarvis Lorry Jr.
Billy Bevan ... Jerry Cruncher
Isabel Jewell ... Seamstress
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most dramatic love story in the history of literature! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Lucie Manette: You know, Sydney, sometimes it's the part of a friend to criticize, too.
Sydney Carton: Oh, when there's any hope of reformation, yes; but with me, it's hopeless.
Lucie Manette: I don't believe it. I refuse to believe it.
Sydney Carton: 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.
Lucie Manette: Must it end in nothing?
Sydney Carton: I'm ...
[...]
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Connections

Version of A Tale of Two Cities (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Romance No.6, Op.6 (None But the Lonely Heart)
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played as background music
See more »

User Reviews

 
Storming the Bastille, 1930s Style
21 November 2017 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

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.

Grade: A


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charles Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities' See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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