A Tale of Two Cities (1980)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Chris Sarandon does the "far, far, better thing" when he tackles the dual role of Syndey Carton and Charles Darnay in this Anglo-American TV adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. The ubiquitous producer/screenwriter combination of Norman Rosemont and John Gay was responsible for this lavish, faithful cinemazation of Dickens' multiplotted account of the French Revolution. Featured in the huge cast are Peter Cushing as Dr. Manette, Alice Krige as Lucie Manette, Billie Whitelaw as the vengeful, eternally knitting Madame DeFarge and Barry Morse as the odious aristocrat St. Evremonde. Poignantly, the film also offers the late Kenneth More, making one of his last appearances as Jarvis Lorry, and the magnificent Flora Robson, taking her final bow in the role of Miss Pross. An Emmy nomination went to Olga Lehmann's costume design. A Tale of Two Cities debuted December 2, 1980.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Marble Arch Productions

Cast

Chris Sarandon
as Charles Darnay
Alice Krige
as Lucie Manette
Flora Robson
as Miss Pross
Peter Cushing
as Dr. Alexander Manette
Kenneth More
as Dr. Jarvis Lorry
Barry Morse
as Marquis St. Evremonde
Billie Whitelaw
as Madame Defarge
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Critic Reviews for A Tale of Two Cities

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Audience Reviews for A Tale of Two Cities

[i][font='Times New Roman','serif']A Tale of Two Cities,[/font][/i][font='Times New Roman','serif'] the movie directed by Jim Goddard that was released for television in 1980, follows the lives of the main characters between two cities – Paris and London. Lucie Manette (played by Alice Krige), a young woman who has been raised as an orphan, learns that her father (Peter Cushing) is alive and has been released from prison after years of unfair captivity. She travels to France with Mr. Jarvis Lorry (Kenneth More), an employee of Tellson’s Bank in London who had managed her father's affairs before his imprisonment. They find her father at the home of Ernest Defarge (Norman Jones), a former servant of Dr. Manette's who is now housing the doctor. Later, Lucie and her father are called to testify in the trial of Charles Darnay (Chris Sarandon) who has been accused of treason against England. Charles Darnay is eventually saved when Sydney Carton (also played by Chris Sarandon), a member of his defense team, removes his wig and reveals that he looks very much alike to Charles Darnay, thus removing witness' credibility in terms of the certainty of having seen Charles Darnay. Charles Darnay, along with Mr. Lorry, becomes a friend of the family, and Sydney Carton becomes a regular visitor, although he is frequently drunk and gloomy. He soon falls in love with Lucie Manette, though Lucie marries Charles Darnay. When Charles Darnay is captured during the French Revolution and sentenced to death thanks to Madame Defarge (Billie Whitelaw) and a baffling letter, Sydney Carton devises a plan to free Lucie’s husband. Unfortunately, [i]A Tale of Two Cities[/i], the movie directed by Jim Goddard, is devoid of the proper symbolism, characterization, and mood that are so expertly portrayed in Charles Dickens’ book.[/font] [font='Times New Roman','serif'] The symbolism that Charles Dickens’ put in his book is either poorly expressed or non-existent in this movie version. For example, The Vengeance is a character in [i]A Tale of Two Cities [/i]that faithfully follows Madame Defarge and helps with the revolution. In the book she symbolizes the intensity of the French women’s rage at the time of the Revolution, shown by her manner and very much by her name “The Vengeance”. In the movie, this character is not even named and, unless the viewer has read the book, it is therefore difficult to see that this character represents the majority of the French women’s views at the time. Also, the fact that Sydney Carton represents a Christ figure in the book is non-existent apart from his fate at the end of the movie. The quote that Sydney repeats in the book from John 11:25 helps symbolize Sydney’s destiny in the book. Without him saying, “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die,” (Dickens, Book III Chapter 15) in the movie the symbolism of Sydney representing a Christ figure that Charles Dickens’ put in the book is not enforced. This also goes along with a reoccurring theme of resurrection that too is not present in the movie. The symbolism of Dr. Manette being resurrected or “recalled to life” is unsuccessfully presented in the movie because Jim Goddard did not include Mr. Lorry’s dream that explains how Dr. Manette has been “buried alive for eighteen years,” (Dickens, Book I Chapter 3 ) in his movie.[/font] [font='Times New Roman','serif'] The characterization that fills the book [i]A Tale of Two Cities[/i] is seriously lacking in Jim Goddard’s movie. Part of this is due to bad acting and bad casting. Alice Krige was a poor choice for the part of Lucie Manette, the young golden-haired beauty that wins the heart of both Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay. First of all, Ms. Krige does not fit the physical description of Lucie Manette: “…a short, slight, pretty figure, a quantity of golden hair, a pair of blue eyes,” (Dickens, Book I Chapter 4). Despite the clear description, Alice Krige’s hair is more brown than gold, her eyes are brown, and she obviously does not look like a 17 year-old (which she is supposed to in the beginning). Secondly, her acting was too amateurish to be playing such an important role. When she fainted, it was predictable and over-done. Bernard Hug’s (who played Gaspard) acting was also not up to par. When Gaspard’s child was killed by the Marquis in the book, Gaspard was frantic and falling apart; “’Killed!’ shrieked the man, in wild desperation…the miserable creature fell upon his shoulder, sobbing and crying,” (Dickens, Book II Chapter 7). In the movie, Gaspard was more shocked and angry than devastated like he should have been. Furthermore, many others in the movie were out of character. Jerry Cruncher, for instance, lost a large amount of characterization in the movie. His side job as a “resurrection-man” and the way he treats his wife in the book were nowhere to be found in the movie and so only a pleasant side of the character is represented. In addition, Sydney Carton is out of character at times. In Charles Dickens’ book, Sydney Carton’s drinking habit is lessened because of Lucie Manette. However in the movie, it is suggested that Lucie is the cause of Sydney’s drinking. Also, while in the book Sydney confesses his love to Lucie before she and Charles are married, in the movie he tells her of his love after she and Charles are married, making Sydney come off slightly immoral. [/font] [font='Times New Roman','serif'] The imagery Charles Dickens puts throughout the book is lost in the movie, messing up moods that should be present in certain scenes. For instance, in the beginning of the story Mr. Lorry has to meet Lucie Manette on behalf of strict, secret business that he must tell her that undeniably is supposed to shock her as it does in the book: “A shiver ran through her frame, and from it through his,” (Dickens, Book I Chapter 4). However, in the movie not only does Mr. Lorry and Lucie meet in broad daylight in a public place, but Lucie already seems to know some of what Mr. Lorry is supposed to inform her. The movie, therefore, depletes the scene of its air of secrecy and importance. Also, the slightly humorous mood that was supposed to be present at the beginning of Miss Pross and Madame Defarge’s face off in Book III, Chapter 15 was not shown. In the book, Miss Pross and Madame Defarge speak two different languages to each other, “Each spoke her own language; neither understood the other’s words,” and this gives a slightly humorous aspect to the situation. However, the movie did not portray this, and both women seemed to understand what the other was saying. More importantly, the ending of the movie seems too abrupt. In the book, Charles Dickens gives a serene depiction of what may follow because of the events of the conclusion, giving the reader a sense of closure despite a sorrowful outcome. Because of the sudden end in the movie, the viewer does not receive the same mood.[/font] [font='Times New Roman','serif'] [i]A Tale of Two Cities[/i] by Charles Dickens is a classic story that is filled with imagery and has the potential to be made into a meaningful movie. However, Jim Goddard’s movie rendition of the same name hardly does the book justice. His shot at Charles Dickens’ tale tells the story of love, loyalty, revenges, and loss during the French Revolution, but leaves out important aspects clearly stated in the book. The cast, merely competent, does not fully depict the characters that Charles Dickens crafted. Without the proper symbolism that carries the themes throughout the story, the correct characterization that completes the tale, or the accurate mood that is so skillfully expresses in Charles Dickens’ book, the movie is only tolerable at best – particularly for those who enjoy the novel.[/font]

Lyss D
Lyss D
½

[url="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1041674-tale_of_two_cities/"][img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/movie/coverv/83/1309983.jpg[/img][/url] The Novel A Tale Of Two Cities is great a near perfect novel that is very enjoyable. But The Movie is Mildly entertaining. The Problem with the film is their is too much diffrence from the Novel. Someone who has not read the novel would not recognize the diffrences, but those who have read the Novel can barley watch the film. [b][u]Historical Information on the Novel[/u][/b] The Novel Takes Place before and during the French Revolution. When The 3rd estate ( The Common people) rebel and murder the 2nd estate ( The Clergy) and The 1st estate ( The Corrupted Caltholic church). The Novel also takes place in england. List of Characters in The Novel 1. Lucie Manette-The Daughter of Doctor manette 2. Doctor Manette- A man who was imprisoned at the Bastille for 18 years A hero in the eyes of the French 3rd estate 3. Charles Darnay- The man who marries Lucie manette, He is Condemned to die by the French 3rd estate. 4. Sydney Carton- An Alcoholic lawyer who is the man 5. Jarvis Lorry- A Banker at Tellsons Bank and close friend of The manette family 6. Miss Pross-The caretaker of Lucie manette would die for Lucie 7. Jerry Cruncher-Gravedigger non-religious englishman who is freinds with Mr.Lorry 8. Gaspard- Murder Marquis St.Evermonde 9. Madame Defarge-The Villian of the book one of The leaders of the revolution 10.Monsiuer Defarge- Leader of the revolution but not evil like his wife Madame Defarge. 11. Little Lucie- Lucies manettes daughter [b][u]List of Diffrences[/u][/b] 1. Lucie Manette has blonde hair in the novel that causes Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton and Mr. Stryver to fall in love with Lucie. In the Film Lucie has Brown Hair. 2. There is part in the book where Jerry Cruncher digs up the grave of Roger Cly and sells his body for the use of science. This is not in the film. 3.In Book the third when Charles Darnay is sent to prison for being an aristocrat he is put in solitary confinement. Mr. jarvis lorry A banker and long time family friend of the Manettes tells Lucie that if she stands outside in the streets by the Prison Laforce that charles might be able to see her which will help him keep his sanity, but he also tells Lucie not to wave or make any contact with charles for someone could think that Lucie is sending messages to the prisoners which would be considerd Treason where as the punishment is execution by the means of the "La guilliotine". In The Film Lucie waves at charles and says hello charles I love You. 4. Madame Defarge and Miss Pross fight in the apartment of the manettes (who by this time in the novel are fleeing paris). In the Novel Miss Pross and madame Defarge speak in two different languages ( Madame Defarge in French, Miss Pross in English). In The Film They Speak the same language. 5. At the end of the Novel Sydney Carton (Who looks Like exactly like Charles Darnay) switches places with Charles. Charles was condemned by the french People to die by "La Guilliotine". While Sydney is being transported to be beheaded, their is young girl beside him who is also going to be beheaded. Sydney tells the Girl many things such as certian Bible Versus. Doing This Sydney No Longer fears his death he is enlightend and happy to die, Because he is dying for Lucie manette and her family. In The Film The woman is in her twenties.

White Zombie
White Zombie
½

[center][img]http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/6376/theskullsnm9.jpg[/img][img]http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/4839/paprikalx6.jpg[/img][/center] [center][img]http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/2162/frankensteinqr3.jpg[/img][img]http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/2091/ataleoftwocitieszt3.jpg[/img][/center] [center][b][font=Courier New][size=5]I WATCHED EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE IN MY ENGLISH CLASS...EXCEPT ONE. [/size][/font][/b][/center] [center] [/center] [center][b][font=Courier New][size=5]GUESS WHICH ONE AND I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER.[/size][/font][/b][/center]

Logan Miller
Logan Miller

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