Título original: A Tale of Two Cities
Director: Frank Lloyd
Guión: Frank Lloyd (basado en la novela “A Tale of Two Cities”, de Charles Dickens)
Producción: Fox Film Corp.
Intérpretes: William Farnum, Jewel Carmen, Charles Clary, Herschel Mayall, Rosita Marstini, Josef Swickard
Duración: 70 min.
Argumento: Comienza con la joven Lucie Manette que, junto al señor Lorry (antiguo empleado de su padre), rescata a su padre, a quien creía muerto y lo lleva a vivir a Inglaterra, tras pasar 15 años recluido y olvidado en la prisión de la Bastilla, donde fue encerrado en el calabozo 105 de la torre norte por la sanguinaria familia de los Ebremont.
Cinco años después, Lucie y su padre presencian el momento en que un noble francés acusado de espionaje llamado Charles Darnay es declarado inocente en una corte inglesa. En dicho juicio, Charles fue ayudado por Sidney Carton, un abogado de malas maneras que tiene fama de borracho y antiguo pretendiente de Lucie, quien ha hecho trizas su talento y sigue estando enamorado de ella.
A.Tale.Of.Two.Cities.(1917).VHS-Rip.(Sound.Restored).AVI [561.90 Mb]
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This one was directed by melodrama expert Frank Lloyd, who went on to make another silent Dickens film,Oliver Twist, in 1922 before his famous talkies like Cavalcade andMutiny on the Bounty. You can see how much silent films had advanced in just a few years between 1911 and 1917, because the second film is feature-length (more than 70 minutes) and a far more lavishly produced affair all round, with spectacular mob scenes and a huge cast of extras. The powerful sequence in the book where the starving crowds lap up spilt wine from the street makes a great film scene, moving straight on to the devastating moment where the Marquis mows down a poor child with his carriage. There are also some clever camera angles from cinematographer William C Foster – when the Bastille is stormed, the drawbridge is seen collapsing from inside, and, when Manette (Josef Swickard) is reunited with Lucie (Jewel Carmen), he is touched by faint shadows of prison bars, suggesting how he will be unable ever to be truly free. However, the most striking thing about this version is the double performance by actor William Farnum, who was a major heart-throb at the time, as both Carton and Darnay – he manages to make the two recognisably different from one another by his facial expressions (helped by different hairstyles), and, as in the earlier film, there is a great mirror scene in the inn. In this one, Carton actually sees Darnay’s face looking back at him from the mirror and mocking him.
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Lloyd joined the Fox Film Corporation in 1916 where he continued writing and directing with some success, but it was not until he collaborated with author Charles Dickens that he scored a major hit. Feeling that it might be better to film Dickens’ classic novel A Tale of Two Cities than one of his own original stories, Lloyd went to great lenghts to capture the saga with all of its historical details. As a result, one reviewer declared that with these seven reels of him, Lloyd “earned himself a place in the hall of fame directors.”