A Tale of Two Cities


A Tale of Two Cities

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,138
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A Tale of Two Cities Photos

Movie Info

Jack Conway's 1935 adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities is often regarded as the finest film of the classic novel. Set during the French Revolution, the story revolves around two men -- English lawyer Sydney Carton (Ronald Colman) and French aristocrat Charles Darnay (Donald Woods) -- who share similar looks and a love for the same girl, Lucie Manette (Elizabeth Allan). In London Lucie marries Darnay, whose uncle, Marquis St. Evremonde (Basil Rathbone), is one of the most despised men in France. After St. Evremonde shows no concern for a young boy trampled by the Marquis' horse, the boy's father kills him, sparking a revolution. Darnay is persuaded to return to Paris, where he is arrested and sentenced to death. Still in love with Lucie, yet realizing his love will remain unrequited, Carton agrees to take Darnay's place on death row. Built entirely on a soundstage, the production orchestrated by producer David A. Selznick vividly captures France -- particularly Paris and the Bastille -- with its detailed photography and was an enormous success, earning Academy award nominations for Best Picture and Best Editing. The film also marks the film debut of stage star Blanche Yurka as Madame DeFarge. During the '80s, A Tale Of Two Cities was shown in a computer-colorized edition.

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Ronald Colman
as Sydney Carton
Elizabeth Allan
as Lucie Manette
Edna May Oliver
as Miss Pross
Basil Rathbone
as Marquis St. Evremonde
Henry B. Walthall
as Dr. Manette
Donald Woods
as Charles Darnay
Fritz Leiber
as Gaspard
Blanche Yurka
as Mme. DeFarge
H.B. Warner
as Gabelle
Mitchell Lewis
as Ernest DeFarge
Claude Gillingwater
as Jarvis Lorry
Billy Bevan
as Jerry Cruncher
Isabel Jewell
as Seamstress
Lucille La Verne
as La Vengeance
Tully Marshall
as Woodcutter
Fay Chaldecott
as Lucie, the Daughter
Eily Malyon
as Mrs. Cruncher
E.E. Clive
as Judge in Old Bailey
Lawrence Grant
as Prosecuting Attorney in Old Bailey
Tom Ricketts
as Tellson
Donald Haines
as Jerry Cruncher Jr.
Ralf Harolde
as Prosecutor
Nigel De Brulier
as Aristocrat
Boyd Irwin
as Aristocrat
Sam Flint
as Aristocrat
Winter Hall
as Aristocrat
Edward Peil Sr.
as Cartwright
Richard Alexander
as Executioner
Frank Mayo
as Jailer
Walter Kingsford
as Victor, the Jailer
Barlowe Borland
as Jacques, No. 116
Rolfe Sedan
as Condemned Dandy
Robert Warwick
as Tribunal Judge
Dale Fuller
as Old Hag
C. Montague Shaw
as Chief Registrar
Chappell Dossett
as English Priest
Jimmy Aubrey
as Innkeeper
Billy House
as Border Guard
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Critic Reviews for A Tale of Two Cities

All Critics (10)

  • Several of the big crowd scenes, especially the storming of the Bastille, are big-budget showstoppers with thousands of extras filling the frame in a way CGI still can't match.

    Aug 8, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Selznick's last production before leaving MGM to form his own company, this lavish film is an eloquent version of Dickens classic, benefiting from Ronald Colman's suave performance and the studio's reliable stock company.

    Mar 20, 2009 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Best telling so far of classic novel w/fine Colman turn.

    Jun 21, 2008 | Rating: 5/5
  • Selznick managed to create the cinematic equivalent of "the best of times" without a downside.

    Jun 15, 2007 | Rating: 4/5
  • It's everything I expect from a Dickens adaptation: a grand, sweeping storyline; impeccable period costumes and sets; and colorful villains and selfless heroes.

    Aug 21, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Tale of Two Cities

  • Apr 24, 2014
    Ronald Colman and crew do Dickens' work justice and the cinematic values are superior to most pieces done in the era.It was worth the loss of Colman's mustache.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 21, 2010
    This is a good movie about the French Revolution, which was the high point of the film, but the low points are just about every other scene where people are talking and not doing much, which are really boring. If you've read the book, it would be interesting to compare, but otherwise I don't recommend this movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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