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A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, Romance | 25 December 1935 (USA)
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 »
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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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Seattle Saturday 1 June 1957 on KING (Channel 5); it first aired in Portland OR 21 June 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Minneapolis 17 July 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Baltimore 11 September 1957 on WJZ (Channel 13), in Philadelphia 13 September 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in New Haven CT 27 September 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Altoona PA 11 October 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Phoenix 24 October 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), in Chicago 26 October 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in San Antonio 25 November 1957 on WOAI (Channel 4), in Los Angeles 29 November 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), and in Honolulu 3 December 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13); in San Francisco it was shown 8 June 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), but New York City television viewers didn't get their first look at it until Sunday 22 November 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). 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

Title Card: Unheralded, Unexpected, Frenchmen in uniform joined Frenchmen in rags... and rebellion turned to revolution
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Petticoat Junction: Kate and the Dowager (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by carolers on Christmas Eve
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Adaptation With Colman & Much More
29 October 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Perhaps best known for Ronald Colman's signature performance as Sidney Carton, this excellent adaptation of Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities" also has a lot of other strengths to offer. Colman is joined by the likes of Edna May Oliver and Basil Rathbone in a fine cast that brings the characters to life. The story itself is filled with good scenes, ranging from the exciting Bastille scene to courtroom showdowns to important confrontations between the characters.

The novel contains a lot more material than would ever fit into a normal-length movie, and the screenplay does a good job of selecting sequences that fit together and that work well on the screen. While differing in places from the original, it preserves the most important themes and ideas. The French Revolution is an interesting and multi-layered subject, and a good number of high-quality classic films are set in the period. The Dickens novel, in particular, lends itself readily to a cinema adaptation.

The role of Sidney Carton is almost an actor's dream, an unlikely hero who has to battle his own limitations as well as the situation around him. Colman's classic style does full justice to the role, making the character fully sympathetic without pretending that he is something he is not, and without drawing attention away from the overall themes and focus of the story. Most present-day actors would be far too self-absorbed to play the role as it should be played.

Almost everything in this version is satisfying and enjoyable. It combines plenty of drama with some good lighter moments and period detail, almost all of it done with skill. Colman himself clinches it with his memorable portrayal of a challenging and interesting character.


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