Monday, March 2, 2009

A Tale of Two Cities. A-

Nominated for the Best Picture Oscar way back in 1935, (unfortunately it didn't win) 'A Tale of Two Cities,' based of of Charles Dickens' classic novel, is still, after all these years, the best adaption of the story. The character of Sydney Carton, played by Ronald Colman, is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. Colman plays the drunken hero brilliantly. Why is he such a great character? Because he accepts the fact that he can't marry Lucie Manette, he lives a rather depressing life, he generally cares not for others, but for his own pleasure, and yet he proves that all of us can find redemption. Carton's sacrifice is one of the greatest ever captured in a story. Of course, this is a very good depiction of The French Revolution. The central villain, Madame Defarge (Blache Yurka) is an example of the villainy that so many of the townspeople were guilty of. Though the film does not compare to the book in the least (it is under two hours and leaves out many segments from the original story, plus it feels quite rushed towards the end), 'A Tale of Two Cities,' thanks especially to the character Sydney Carton, is classic without a doubt.

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