A Tale Of Two Cities Alas, an aristocrat and a barrister on the same plateau. This is the story of a revolution, a revolution that occurred in France known as the Reign of Terror. The barrister, the town alcoholic and man of disrepute, is in love with a beautiful woman, who marries the aristocrat and bears a beautiful baby girl. The baby girl is infatuated with the barrister, and he her because of her mother. The ultimate sacrifice occurs and a man’s soul goes forward.
Faithful screen version of the classic Dickens tale…
A TALE OF TWO CITIES contains enough material for a four hour movie but amazingly David O. Selznick’s production has managed to tell the epic tale in just a little over two hours. While there are many memorable characters, the ones that stay in the memory longest are Ronald Colman as Sydney Carton and the little seamstress (Isabel Jewell) who gets her courage from him before they go off to the guillotine and he utters those immortal words, “It’s a far, far better thing I do…”
Edna May Oliver is just one of the pleasures among the supporting players. Donald Woods makes a handsome, if somewhat subdued, Charles Darnay and Blanche Yurka does an outstanding job as the bitter Madame Defarge. Basil Rathbone is excellent as the aristocratic Marquis St. Evremonde who is annoyed when his horse-driven carriage runs amok and kills a child, setting in motion the bitter Evremonde legacy of hate and mistrust among the French peasants.
The storming of the Bastille is awesome in its detail, as is all of the set decoration for interiors and exteriors which really captures the atmosphere of this turbulent time in history.
Probably Ronald Colman’s finest hour–his world weary Sydney Carton becomes a highly sympathetic character by the time he is ready to assume another man’s place. A memorable film.