A Tale of Two Cities (1935) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Tale of Two Cities1935

A Tale of Two Cities (1935)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 (15)

A grand melodrama, filled with big emotions and stirring set pieces, but it's also incredibly dry, which holds it back from standing alongside many other classic Hollywood spectacles of the day.

March 25, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It's the richly textured screenplay and the slate of stellar performances that drive this film.

February 12, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A visually portentous film in production design, but I find little moving its historical and romantic drama about social injustice, honorable sacrifice, and impossible love. [Full review in Spanish]

August 8, 2020 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Isabel Jewell, as the seamstress, registers unforgettably in an emotional scene of the sort most difficult to render with restraint. Ronald Colman has attained a fine maturity, and gives real depth to Sidney Carton.

April 16, 2020 | Full Review…

There isn't much doubt that when the movies discovered Dickens they got hold of Something.

September 25, 2019 | Full Review…

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.

August 8, 2011 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for A Tale of Two Cities

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 Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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