A Tale of Two Cities

Synopsis: An elaborate adaptation of Dickens' classic tale of the French Revolution. Dissipated lawyer Sydney Carton defends emigre Charles Darnay from charges of spying against England. He becomes enamored of Darnay's fiancée, Lucie Manette, and agrees to help her save Darnay from the guillotine when he is captured by Revolutionaries in Paris.
Production: Warner Home Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
128 min

Get up. Get up. Come on.

Get up. Get up.

Get up there, get up there.

Come on there.

Now push hard.

Get up. Push hard. Come on.

Come on, there. Come on, there.


Hey, Joe, what o'clock is it?

It must be nearly 11.

Eleven, and we ain't atop

of Shooter's Hill yet?

- Push.

- Come on, now. Hey.

Come on.

Aye, Joe.

What do you say it is, Tom?

Well, I'd say it's a horse

coming up at a canter.

Well, I say it's a horse

coming up at a gallop.

Gentlemen, in the king's name,

on guard, all of you.

Dover mail?

Are you the Dover mail?

Never mind what we are. What are you?

I'm a messenger from Tellson's Bank.

Stand! No nearer.

I wants Mr. Jarvis Lorry.

I've got a message for him from his bank.

Here I am. Is that Jerry Cruncher?

Right you are, sir.

Stop! Keep where you are.

It's quite all right. I know him.

Then step over and speak to him if

you must, but don't let him come no nearer.

You never know these days.

What is the message, Jerry?

The message is to wait at

the Royal George for mademoiselle.

She'll be at Dover.

Give this reply to the office, Jerry:

"Recalled to life. "

"Recalled to life. "

Right you are, sir.

- Did you hear the message, sir?

- I did.

- What did you make of it?

- Nothing at all.

That's a coincidence too.

That's what I made of it myself.

Now then, gentlemen,

all together, please.

- Hot gravy, sir?

- No, no.

The young lady you were expecting, sir...

...Miss Manette...

- Yes.

- She has arrived, sir.

- Good.

It's business. Strictly business.

Of course, sir.

I'm from Tellson's Bank in London,

and it is business.

Quite, quite.

I am Mr. Jarvis Lorry Jr.

Of Tellson and Company, bankers.

Your humble servant, miss.

Yes, I... I received a letter

from the bank, sir...

...informing me that some intelligence,

some discovery...

The word is not material, miss,

either one will do.

- Are you quite a stranger to me, sir?

- Miss Manette, I am a man of business.

Pay no more attention to me

than if I were a machine.

- I am not much else.

- But I know you. I'm sure I know you.

Yes. When you were a little girl...

...I was instrumental in bringing you

and your mother over to England.

No romance. Business, you know.

- No room for sentiment in business.

- Yes.

That was 17 years ago.

Yes. I speak, miss, of that time.

Our business today has to do

with your father, Dr. Manette.

- You knew him before he died?

- Before...?

Yes. Yes, he was a client

of Tellson and Company's Paris bank.

I am an arm of that bank.

That is how you will regard me.

A mere mechanical arm

of Tellson and Company.

Mr. Lorry, what have you

come to tell me?

Now, let us suppose

that your father had not died.

- Suppose...

- Don't be afraid, child.

Mr. Lorry, please do not

keep me in suspense.

What is it?

If your father had not died.

If he had suddenly

and silently disappeared.

If he had an enemy

who caused him to be imprisoned...

I entreat you, sir.

Pray... Pray, tell me.

No, no. Don't kneel, child.

In heaven's name,

why should you kneel to me?

For the truth,

oh, dear, good, compassionate, sir.

For the truth.

Mr. Lorry, is my father alive?

Yes, child.

- Where is he?

- You will find him greatly changed.

A wreck it is probable,

though we will hope for the best.

My father.

My poor, poor father.

Now you know the best and the worst.

You will see this poor,

wronged gentleman...

...then with a fair sea voyage,

and a fair land voyage...

What is the matter?

Miss Manette, my dear child.

What are you doing to my Ladybird?

I was just... I... I...

I had to tell her some news.

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Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are still widely read today.Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms. Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. Cliffhanger endings in his serial publications kept readers in suspense. The instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features. His plots were carefully constructed, and he often wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.Dickens was regarded as the literary colossus of his age. His 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted, and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best-known work of historical fiction. Dickens has been praised by fellow writers—from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell, G. K. Chesterton and Tom Wolfe —for his realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of saccharine sentimentalism. The term Dickensian is used to describe something that is reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"A Tale of Two Cities" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 21 Feb. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_tale_of_two_cities_2040>.

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