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A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

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

Dissipated lawyer Sydney Carton defends emigre Charles Darnay from charges of spying against England. He becomes enamored of Darnay's fiancée, Lucie Manette, and agrees to help her save Darnay from the guillotine when he is captured by Revolutionaries in Paris. Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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 marked the last time that Ronald Colman agreed to shave his trademark mustache for a film. 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

Madame Defarge: Do you know who I am?
Miss Pross: You might - from your appearance - be the wife of Lucifer; yet you shall not get the better of me for I'm an Englishwoman!
See more »

Connections

Featured in That's Entertainment, Part II (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Fabulous Tale of 2 Cities ****
12 January 2006 | by edwagreenSee all my reviews

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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