7.2/10
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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:

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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

Paul Guers (Charles Darnay) and Marie Versini (Marie Gabelle) received "introducing" credits. 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 (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent adaptation, great cast
12 February 2010 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Though I gave the 1935 version of Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" a higher rating (before seeing this version), I'd have to say that this film, directed by Ralph Thomas, is probably better for the most part. This movie, done in black and white, captures the atmosphere of the Dickens novel - the filth and the cruelty - beautifully. No Hollywood gloss here. The cast is strong: Dirk Bogarde, Dorothy Tutin, Donald Pleasance, Ian Bannen, Christopher Lee, Alfie Bass.

Though Sydney is one of Ronald Colman's great roles, it also proved to be a great role for Dirk Bogarde. As much as I love Ronald Colman, he can't quite help but come off as noble, whereas, you really could believe that Bogarde was a drunk and a waste before his final moments. Both men had the great gentleness required for the role. The end of this particular adaptation is very simple and beautiful.

I highly recommend both versions. This one, I think, is closer to the Dickens novel.


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