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A Tale Of Two Cities Blu-ray Review

“A Tale Of Two Cities” is one of the best Charles Dickens movie adaptations.

Based on the classic Charles Dickens novel of the same name, “A Tale Of Two Cities” is a 1935 film adaptation directed by Jack Conway. As the title suggests, this 18th century story takes place in 2 cities (London and Paris) during the French Revolution in which the oppressed French citizens revolted against the aristocrats. The central story focuses on a family that is caught in the middle of this conflict- Dr. Manette (who was imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years by Marquis St. Evremonde) and his daughter Lucie who falls for Evremonde’s cousin Charles Darnay. The main character though is another person who gets mixed up in both the conflict and with the Manette family- a kind hearted lawyer named Sydney who has a taste for liquor.

On the eve of the Oscars, it seems fitting to review an Oscar nominated Best Picture. Surprisingly, I had never seen this one before, but I’m glad I finally did as it’s easily a classic of 30’s cinema.

The novel and movie kick off with what is arguably one of the most iconic opening lines (if not the most) “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” which really sets the stage for the story to come. And what a story it is. This is the type of drama that has everything you could desire from a story. There are rich characters, heart wrenching drama, high stakes, death, tension filled courtroom drama, action (see the assault on the Bastille), a historical backdrop, and powerful themes about sacrifice, forgiveness, hate, suffering, and love. Everything is wrapped up in a deeply impressive production (especially for the time) that is filled with big sets, lavish costumes, and grand stagings of mass crowd events.

Ronald Colman (Sydney) may be the one who gets the most attention here from critics and film fans alike (and deservedly so), but there are plenty of other noteworthy performances here from the likes of Basil Rathbone (Marquis), the scene stealing Blanche Yurka (Madame De Farge), Donald Woods (Charles Darnay), and Henry B. Walthall (Dr. Manette).


Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect a crisp B&W transfer.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The Mono track is a little on the snowy side but it’s adequate.

* 1942 Lux Radio Theatre radio drama of “A Tale Of Two Cities.”
* Re-issue trailer
* 2 MGM cartoons “Hey-Hey Fever” and “Honeyland.”
* A documentary short film about 3-D titled “Audioscopiks”

April 24, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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