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A Tale Of Two Cities (1958) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
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A Tale Of Two Cities (1958)
British barrister Sydney Carton lives an insubstantial and unhappy life. He falls under the spell of Lucie Manette, but Lucie marries Charles Darnay. When Darnay goes to Paris to rescue an imprisoned family retainer, he becomes entangled in the snares of the brutal French Revolution and is himself jailed and condemned to the guillotine. But Sydney Carton, in love with a woman he cannot have, comes up with a daring plan to save her husband.
Dirk Bogarde ... Sydney Carton
Dorothy Tutin ... Lucie Manette
Paul Guers ... Charles Darnay
Marie Versini ... Marie Gabelle
Ian Bannen ... Gabelle
Cecil Parker ... Jarvis Lorry
Stephen Murray ... Dr. Manette
Athene Seyler ... Miss Pross
Alfie Bass ... Jerry Cruncher
Ernest Clark ... Stryver
Rosalie Crutchley ... Madame Defarge
Freda Jackson ... The Vengeance
"Tale of Two Cities" is one of those overworked and tired tales that has been over told dozens of times ad nausea! However, this rendition is glorious. Only the Ronald Colman version is slightly better, but Dirk Bogarde fits this role perfectly, as he does most of his other roles in film. Although most of the versions of "Tale of Two Cities" are boring, much like the tired renditions of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, this version is like the Herbert Von Karajan or Carlos Kleiber orchestrations that are spectacular and inspiring, as if played for the very first time. There are beautifully crafted scenes in this film that create an interest in the humanity of the characters. This is truly a wonderful film.
One of the most powerful ending's to a film I have ever seen, similar to the sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross, this is a film you must see and you will be glad you did. You will ask yourself, how many people could make such a sacrifice for the one they love? I know I couldn't. The courage of these characters' is awe-inspiring and as one of the character's says, Sydney Carton (Bogarde) shows the best that is in us, and is the best of us, in desperate times. A Super Hero in a great film! See this one! If you have a heart, you will have a lump in your throat and your eyes will be moist at the end of this one!
The English 1958 interpretation of Charles Dickens' great novel "A Tale of Two Cities", directed by Ralph Thomas, is a really terrific picture, capturing the essence of Dickens' tale deftly. Thomas' craftily directed black and white adaptation lends itself quite tangibly and nicely to the purposes of the story, I would say more succinctly than the 1935 interpretation directed by Jack Conway. The earlier adaptation featured as many fine performances (Ronald Coleman, Edna Mae Oliver, Basil Rathbone, Blanche Yurka, etc), and succeeded in special effects and cinematography a little better, perhaps, than THIS picture, but Thomas' directing emphasizes the key points of the original story, and this becomes the better picture as a result.
Dirk Bogarde playing Sydney Carton is quite perfect here, and a young Christopher Lee as the conceit driven supercilious Marquis St. Evremonde is fantastic, as is Rosalie Crutchley as the cruel hearted revenge driven Madame Defarge. Cast-wise, both pictures do a great job, and Edna Mae Oliver's performance in the earlier picture is missed here. But the director uses a lighter brush to get many of the complexities of the story in this English version. In one scene, during the climactic period of the story in the dungeon of the Bastille, Barsad (Donald Pleasence), a character of low repute working for whichever side will use him, finally catches onto the heroism of Mr Carton and holds his hand out for a respectful shake. . . with no reply for several seconds. Then, just as he turns to open the door to have the guard take out Mr Carton, who by then is really a passed out Charles Darnay made to look like the supposed drunken Carton . . .the real Mr Carton (Dirk Bogarde) touches his shoulder, just enough to convey that a good angel is bringing hope to the world, even to low characters like Basard. It is very touching. This scene is handled with master craftsmanship by the director. And this sort of directing pervades the film's entirety, which is the primary reason why this movie IS the better of the two, in my opinion.
As an avid admirer of nineteenth century novelist Charles Dickens' work, with an interest in the French Revolution, then I felt compelled to watch this Rank adaptation of; A Tale of Two Cities, directed by Ralph Thomas. Although I have not yet read the original novel, I got the impression that this film adaptation of; A Tale of Two Cities stuck as much as possible to the original novel as Dickens intended it to be.
We see in this film adaptation of; A Tale of Two Cities the social origins which culminated in the French Revolution. It illustrates the traditional aristocratic 'ruling class's' demise. The demise of the French aristocracy resulted in a reaction by them, where their fears and anxiety pertaining to their precarious position in society culminated in the mistreatment of the ordinary people of France, otherwise referred to as; 'surfs'. Encouraged by the American War of Independence, and influenced by the intellectual elite of The Enlightnement movement culminated in the French Surfs rebelling against the causes of their imposed position within an undemocratic, feudal society, which permitted their mistreatment by the aristocracy. It is the factors of mistreatment and being restrained by their inability to change their situation via the democratic processes we have today, which caused the French surfs to overthrow the aristocratic ruling class at that time in the eighteenth century. The overthrowing of the French aristocracy subsequently made way for a new elitist ruling class to emerge in the form of industrialists and businessmen, thereby creating a new type of class consciousness for modernity.
As to the acting in the film, it is an eclectic bunch of British character actors playing the parts. This is exemplified by the part played by Dirk Bogarte, who makes the character he plays a portrayal of himself, as opposed to immersing himself into the character, and becoming it! Bogarte illustrates that he is able to become the character he plays in such films as; The Blue Lamp' (1950), where he acts the part of villain Tom Riley with a real and definite intensity. If there were to be any accolades for acting in; A Tale of Two Cities, it would go to the actor, Christopher Lee who played the part of the bombastic French nobleman,Marquis St. Evremonde .
If the film is going to be defined as worthy of watching, it is due to the director's ability to keep close to the original Dickens novel.