"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"
The story is set in the late 18th century against the background of the French Revolution. Although Dickens borrowed from Thomas Carlyle's history, The French Revolution, for his sprawling tale of London and revolutionary Paris, the novel offers more drama than accuracy.
The scenes of large-scale mob violence are especially vivid, if superficial in historical understanding. The complex plot involves Sydney Carton's sacrifice of his own life on behalf of his friends Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette. While political events drive the story, Dickens takes a decidedly antipolitical tone, lambasting both aristocratic tyranny and revolutionary excess--the latter memorably caricatured in Madame Defarge, who knits beside the guillotine.
When former aristocrat Charles Darnay learns that an old family servant needs his help, he abandons his safe haven in England and returns to Paris. But once there, the Revolutionary authorities arrest him not for anything he has done, but for his rich family's crimes. Also in danger: his wife, Lucie, their young daughter, and her aged father, who have followed him across the Channel.
Release Date: December 27, 1935
Release Time: 123 minues
Ronald Colman as Sydney Carton
Elizabeth Allan as Lucie Manette
Edna May Oliver as Miss Pross
Reginald Owen as Stryver
Basil Rathbone as Marquis de St. Evremonde
Blanche Yurka as Madame Therese Defarge
Henry B. Walthall as Dr. Manette
Donald Woods as Charles Darnay
Walter Catlett as Barsad
Claude Gillingwater as Jarvis Lorry
H. B. Warner as Gabelle
Fritz Leiber as Gaspard
Lucille La Verne as The Vengeance
Mitchell Lewis as Ernest Defarge
Isabel Jewell as the Seamstress
Tully Marshall as a Woodcutter
Fay Chaldecott as Lucie Darnay
Billy Bevan as Jerry Cruncher
Eily Malyon as Mrs. Cruncher
Donald Haines as Jerry Cruncher, Jr.
E. E. Clive as Judge in Old Bailey
Robert Warwick as Judge at tribunal
Lawrence Grant as a Prosecutor
Ralf Harolde as a Prosecutor
John Davidson as Morveau
Tom Ricketts as Tellson, Jr.
Barlowe Borland as Jacques
1935 Academy Awards
Best Editing - Conrad A Nervig - Nominated
Best Picture - Nominated
One of the grand masters of Victorian literature, Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors' prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and "slave" factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years' formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney's clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.