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A Tale of Two Cities (1958)

During the turbulent days of the French Revolution, Frenchwoman Lucie Manette (Dorothy Tutin) falls in love with Englishman Charles Darnay (Paul Guers), who's hiding his true identity and purpose.

Director:

Ralph Thomas

Writers:

Charles Dickens (by), T.E.B. Clarke (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Sydney Carton
Dorothy Tutin ... Lucie Manette
Cecil Parker ... Jarvis Lorry
Stephen Murray ... Dr. Manette
Athene Seyler ... Miss Pross
Paul Guers ... Charles Darnay
Marie Versini ... Marie Gabelle
Ian Bannen ... Gabelle
Alfie Bass ... Jerry Cruncher
Ernest Clark ... Stryver
Rosalie Crutchley ... Madame Defarge
Freda Jackson ... The Vengeance
Duncan Lamont ... Ernest Defarge
Christopher Lee ... Marquis St. Evremonde
Leo McKern ... Attorney General-Old Bailey
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Storyline

During the French Revolution, French national Lucie Manette (Dorothy Tutin) meets and falls in love with Englishman Charles Darnay (Paul Guers). He is, however, hiding his true identity as a member of the French aristocratic Evrémonde family, whom he has denounced in private. The Marquis St. Evrémonde (Sir Christopher Lee) in particular was a cruel man. Those he wronged have vowed to see the end of the family line at any cost. Lucie's father Dr. Alexandre Manette (Stephen Murray) was imprisoned in the Bastille for eighteen years because of actions of the Marquis. Into their lives comes English barrister Sydney Carton (Sir Dirk Bogarde), who enjoys his alcohol to excess. Carton earlier defended Darnay in a trial on trumped up charges of treason. Carton doesn't really like Darnay in part because Carton also loves Lucie, he realizing that that love is unrequited. But Carton does eventually learn of Darnay's true heritage at a critical time. Carton takes extraordinary measures to ensure ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An immortal story... A brilliant cast... An unforgettable film of the French Revolution

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tale of Two Cities See more »

Filming Locations:

Loire Valley, Loire, France See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75: 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexander Korda tried to set up a version with Gregory Peck. See more »

Goofs

During the final scenes of the tumbrels rolling to the guillotine, Sydney Carton and the other characters in the tumbrel appear to switch sides. First, they are on the right, then on the left, then on the right again. See more »

Quotes

Sydney Carton: It is a far far better better thing I do than I have ever done. It is a far far better rest I go to than I have ever known...
See more »

Connections

Version of A Tale of Two Cities (1917) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A classic film version of a classic novel
11 January 2003 | by noelcoxSee all my reviews

This is a classic film version of one of Dickin's classic novels. Arguably his best novel (though the critics tend to dismiss it - it has a straightforward plot and structure), it translates into an exceptional film.

For those who don't know the story, it concerns the fortunes of the Manette and St Evremonde families at the time of the French revolution. In a Romeo and Juliet type situation, Charles Darnay (alias St Evremonde) loves Lucie Manette, whose father Darnay's uncle had wronged. Now living in London, neither can escape the terrible events in Paris, and they are drawn to a climatic conclusion as the guillotine falls on aristocrat and commoner alike.

The real hero of both novel and film is Sydney Carton (Dirk Bogarde), an English lawyer who initially defends Charles Darnay against a charge of treason, and later comes to love Lucie, now married to Darnay. The conclusion of the story, for Sydney Carton at least, is both tragic and inspiring, and Mr Bogarde certainly does justice to the role.


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