A Tale of Two Cities


Ralph Thomas
J. Arthur Rank Organisation

Excellent interpretation of Dickens' work will probably forever remain in the shadow of the 1935 Ronald Colman version, and will perhaps be a richer experience to those who have read the novel. The only real detriment is that Guers' dubbing is rather distracting. Fantastic cast, though, with Bogarde's droll, self-loathing (and sleepy!) Sydney Carton a standout amongst a surfeit of great character actors. Interesting to see Christopher Lee playing a similarly corrupt nobleman the same year he first essayed Count Dracula, as well; the Marquis is a much nastier piece of work than the the Count, though (and dies in a remarkably similar way)! Indeed this film is full of nastiness, as Dickens no doubt intended; the poor are just as awful and corrupt once they get power as the noblemen ever were--a message the 99-percenters might well stop to consider. Even acknowledging that, Carton's actions and final words allow some light to shine into this darkness, and therein lies the true power of Dickens' words and the film's images.

Note: David Lodge's scenes were reshot with Sam Kydd replacing him, for whatever reasons. However, Lodge does remain in the film briefly, receiving a tip from Dirk Bogarde at coach journey's end.

-Dave W.

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A Tale of Two Cities
4th August 1958

117 mins

Dirk Bogarde
Sydney Carton
Dorothy Tutin
Lucie Manette
Cecil Parker
Jarvis Lorry
Stephen Murray
Dr. Alexandre Manette
Athene Seyler
Miss Pross
Paul Guers
Charles Darnay
John Witty
Charles Darnay (voice)
Marie Versini
Marie Gabelle
Ian Bannen
Alfie Bass
Jerry Cruncher
Ernest Clark
Rosalie Crutchley
Madame Defarge
Freda Jackson
The Vengeance
Duncan Lamont
Ernest Defarge
Christopher Lee
Marquis St. Evrémonde
Leo McKern
Attorney General, Old Bailey
Donald Pleasence
John Barsad
Eric Pohlmann
Dominique Boschero
Peasant Girl
Yves Brainville
Foulon (uncredited)
Michael Brennan
Tom, Coach Driver
Robert Cawdron
Turnkey (unconfirmed)
Peter Copley
Mellor (uncredited)
Dominique Davray
Minor Role (uncredited)
Lesley Dudley
Little Girl (uncredited)
Jacques Dufilho
Defarge's Employee
Frederick Farley
Usher at Old Bailey
Danny Green
Body Snatcher (uncredited)
Leslie Handford
Double for Yves Brainville
Nicholas Hannen
Old Bailey Judge (uncredited)
Prudence Hyman
Madame Manette (unconfirmed)
Raymond James
Young Boy (Gaspard's Son)
Harold Kasket
Turnkey (unconfirmed)
Sam Kydd
Joe, Coach Guard
David Lodge
Joe, Coach Guard
(see note above)
Guy Mills
Bastille Governor (unconfirmed)
John Moffatt
Body Snatcher (unconfirmed)
Hubert Noël
Gatekeeper (uncredited)
Laurence Payne
President of Tribunal
Sacha Pitoëff
Gaspard (uncredited)
Alain Reynaud
Coachman (unconfirmed)
Marjorie Rhodes
Robert Rietty
Foreman of Tribunal Jury
Alan Robinson
Clerk of the Assizes
George Rose
Roger Cly
Maurice Sarfati
Peasant Youth (unconfirmed)
Aram Stephan
Senior Official (unconfirmed)
Peter Swanwick
Jury Foreman at Old Bailey
Reg Thomason
Man in Defarge's
Alan Tilvern
Body Snatcher (unconfirmed)
Ian Whittaker
Stable Boy (uncredited)
Brian Wilde
Man Standing By Stocks
("Body snatchin'")
Ben Williams
Turnkey at La Force
George Woodbridge
Dover Innkeeper
Unknown 18895-01
Body Snatcher
Unknown 18895-02
Man in Defarge's
Unknown 18895-03
Barry Johns
Porter at Dover Inn
Unknown Male 122
Prison Officer

Dave Wright: 1/2

Dave Wright: 47 Caps