A Tale of Two Cities

( 4 )

Overview

Screenwriter T.E.B. Clarke, the writer of such fifties British comedies as The Lavender Hill Mob and Passport to Pimlico, dips his pen into a more stately inkwell in this stilted adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. Dirk Bogarde takes the lead role of worn-down, drunken lawyer Sydney Carton, who finally wakes up from his stupor during the French Revolution to make the ultimate sacrifice for Lucie Manette Dorothy Tutin, the love of his life. Also on hand are the evil tyrant Marquis ...
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Overview

Screenwriter T.E.B. Clarke, the writer of such fifties British comedies as The Lavender Hill Mob and Passport to Pimlico, dips his pen into a more stately inkwell in this stilted adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. Dirk Bogarde takes the lead role of worn-down, drunken lawyer Sydney Carton, who finally wakes up from his stupor during the French Revolution to make the ultimate sacrifice for Lucie Manette Dorothy Tutin, the love of his life. Also on hand are the evil tyrant Marquis St. Evermonde Christopher Lee, the treacherous informer Barsad Donald Pleasence, and the fanatical Madame Defarge Rosalie Crutchley, who denounces Lucie and her husband Charles Darnay Athene Seyler to the tribunal.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
While not as emotionally satisfying as the 1935 film, this version of A Tale of Two Cities is a very welcome alternative, and in some ways is truer to the spirit of Dickens. The chief asset is Dirk Bogarde's subtly played Sydney Carton, which contrasts very effectively with Ronald Colman's equally effective but much more florid interpretation in the 1935 version. Bogarde does not attempt to make Carton into the noble, heroic figure that Colman does; he's clearly a wastrel, although Bogarde's subtextual performance makes it clear that, while it may be unknown to the audience, there is a good reason why his Carton has wasted his talents and his life, and that his inclination to drink is clearly a cover for the scars he has obtained somewhere along the way. All of this makes his attraction to Lucie -- and his willingness to give up his life for her happiness -- all the more touching and effective. As Lucie, Dorothy Tutin is properly innocent and appealing, and quite striking. Athene Seyler makes a most Margaret Rutherford-like Prossy, and Cecil Parker is quite good as Lorry. Perhaps the best performance among the supporting cast comes from Rosalie Crutchley, whose Madame Defarge is much younger and more attractive (though still heartless and terrifying) than we have come to expect. Tale dawdles in a few places, its French Revolution montage is not as effective as it could be, and it isn't until the end that it really delivers the impact it is trying for throughout the film, but it is nevertheless a respectable adaptation with a sterling lead performance.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/30/2008
  • EAN: 4897007032259
  • Original Release: 1958
  • Rating:

  • Source: Castaway Pictures
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Subtitled / B&W
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 11,366

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dirk Bogarde Sydney Carton
Dorothy Tutin Lucie Manette
Cecil Parker Jarvis Lorry
Marie Versini Marie Gabelle
Stephen Murray Dr. Manette
Athene Seyler Miss Pross
Paul Guers Charles Darnay
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
Donald Pleasence Barsad
Eric Pohlmann Sawyer
Dominique Boschero
Ralph Thomas
Technical Credits
Ralph Thomas Director
Richard Addinsell Score Composer
Betty E. Box Producer
T.E.B. Clarke Screenwriter
Beatrice Dawson Costumes/Costume Designer
Carmen Dillon Art Director
Muir Mathieson Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Alfred Roome Editor
Ernest W. Steward Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Tale of Two Cities
1. Mystery of a Doctor [18:55]
2. Victim of a Vicious [17:27]
3. The Confession [19:00]
4. The French Revolution [18:11]
5. Return To France [19:36]
6. The Switch [18:57]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Tale of Two Cities
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Subtitles
      English
      Traditional Chinese
      Simplified Chinese
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

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3 Star

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    Posted September 28, 2011

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