Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, ... See full summary »
A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel.
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 »
When Carton walks Lucie & Miss Pross home after midnight Christmas mass, there is "snow" covering Lucie's hat. When she turns in the doorway, her hat has none on it. See more »
[Madame DeFarge has come looking for Lucie and the child. Miss Pross bars her way out]
Oh no you don't!
Let me pass.
Never! I know what you want. I know what you're after. And thank heaven I'm put here to stop you - for stop you I will!
In the name of the Republic...
In the name of no one, you evil woman. You've killed many innocent people. No doubt you'll kill many more; but my ladybird you shall never touch.
No? Do you know who I am?
You might - from your appearance - be the wife of Lucifer; ...
[...] See more »
With the exception of David Copperfield this is probably Hollywood's most accomplished treatment of a Charles Dickens work. Sumptuously mounted and produced in grand MGM style it has the the perfect voice and charm of Ronald Colman as Sidney Carton, a stalwart supporting cast and magnificently choreographed large scale crowd scenes depicting the out of control energy and fury of the revolt and subsequent reign of terror.
Colman's charming cynic wins us over early given he is surrounded by just cause with a Dicken's roster of pompous bores and hypocrites caught up in their own self importance. He drinks and offends but who can blame him. The sardonic wit of the film extends beyond Carton though by way of Dickens "cinematic" descriptive style that sharply conveys through both character and setting distracting dark humor over the grim proceedings by intermingling comic portraits with the sober cruel personages while making incisive social commentary. A laudable supporting cast consisting of Reginald Owen, Edna May Oliver, Billy Bevan, Blanche Yurka's Madame DeFarge and Basil Rathbone's venal Marquis de Evermonde truly do bring the pages to life, though I will admit an Oliver, Yurka death match near the end does take liberties with the tome.
Oliver Marsh's photography is commendable throughout whether conveying panorama in the excellently edited storming of the Bastille and raucous courtroom scenes or the tight tension filled cramped ominously lit interiors of cells or the De Farge wine shop.
With Colman in the lead and every MGM department clicking on all cylinders Tale of Two Cities remains fresh and vital 75 years later. It is one of those rear films that embraces rather than wrestle with a classic literary work which it does here with grandeur and confidence.
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