A Tale of Two Cities

Watch A Tale of Two Cities

  • TV-PG
  • 1980
  • 2 hr 42 min
  • 6.6  (997)

A Tale of Two Cities is a dramatic film from 1980 that follows the intertwining lives of several individuals during the French Revolution. Based on Charles Dickens' novel of the same name, this film is a powerful portrayal of the chaos and tragedy that defined this time in French history. The story centers on Charles Darnay (played by Chris Sarandon), a French aristocrat who is disgusted by the treatment of his fellow countrymen and chooses to renounce his title and move to London. While in London, Darnay falls in love with Lucie Manette (played by Alice Krige), the daughter of a French doctor who was imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years.

Across the channel, the French Revolution is gaining momentum, with the people of France outraged and determined to overthrow the monarchy. As the situation in France intensifies, Darnay finds himself drawn back to his home country, despite the danger that awaits him.

Meanwhile, Lucie's father (played by Allyn Ann McLerie) is released from prison and makes his way to London. But the years of torture and isolation have taken a toll on his mental health, and he struggles to readjust to life outside of prison.

Other key characters include the villainous Marquis St. Evrémonde (played by Peter Cushing), who is Charles Darnay's uncle and represents everything that is wrong with the French aristocracy. There is also Sydney Carton (played by Kenneth More), a drunken lawyer who becomes enamored with Lucie and ultimately plays a pivotal role in the outcome of the story.

Throughout the film, the tumultuous events of the French Revolution serve as a backdrop to the personal dramas unfolding among the characters. The violence and bloodshed of the Revolution are vividly depicted in scenes of rioting, guillotines, and public executions.

As the film reaches its climax, the fates of the characters become increasingly intertwined. Charles Darnay's decision to return to France puts both him and Lucie in peril, while Sydney Carton must summon the courage to make a heroic sacrifice in order to save the people he loves.

Overall, A Tale of Two Cities is a moving and suspenseful adaptation of a classic novel. The performances are strong across the board, with particular standouts including Chris Sarandon as Charles Darnay and Peter Cushing as the malevolent Marquis. Although the subject matter is dark and somber, the film ultimately delivers a message of hope and redemption, making it a timeless classic that is still worth watching today.

A Tale of Two Cities is a 1980 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 42 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.

A Tale of Two Cities
Where to Watch A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities is available to watch free on Peacock, Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent A Tale of Two Cities for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 42 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (997)