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Robert Harris

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Reviewer
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Feb 8, 1999
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13,859
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Robert Harris
A Tale of Two Cities, based upon Dicken's work, would have made a perfect production for David O. Selznick, to be distributed by M-G-M.

Two of the class acts in the motion picture trade.

The nice thing, and it's obvious through every frame, is that it is a Selznick production, and his last before going independent.

With this and San Francisco coming from Warner Archive concurrently, it's a great moment to love cinema.

Based upon the finest surviving film elements, in this case a safety dupe, struck from a contemporary nitrate lavender that no longer survives, it's one of the films that looks far better than it should, and perfectly representative of the era and elements.

Very slightly soft in places, but with requisite and not overbearing grain, good blacks, and a pleasant gray scale that finishes with just a wave of nutmeg, tobacco and cocoa.

I'll use the term again.

One of the great films in cinema history.

And before someone asks the question, I'll bring it up.

Now that we have A Tale of Two Cities, where's George Cukor's David Copperfield?

The storming of the Bastille was directed by Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur.

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 

lark144

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Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
1,341
Real Name
mark gross
Now that we have A Tale of Two Cities, where's George Cukor's David Copperfield?
Agreed. "Dinner at Eight" would also be a delight. I can finally have an excuse to put on that tux that's been languishing in the closet.

Not that I'm complaining. Many of the 1930's MGM's that I've been waiting ten + years to appear on Blu-Ray, and thought they never would, such as "Libeled Lady" & "After the Thin Man" finally have, and in glorious condition. Just reveling in the visual quality is sufficient. I don't even need to pay attention to the story.
 

RobertMG

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Messages
146
Real Name
Robert M. Grippo
A Tale of Two Cities, based upon Dicken's work, would have made a perfect production for David O. Selznick, to be distributed by M-G-M.

Two of the class acts in the motion picture trade.

The nice thing, and it's obvious through every frame, is that it is a Selznick production, and his last before going independent.

With this and San Francisco coming from Warner Archive concurrently, it's a great moment to love cinema.

Based upon the finest surviving film elements, in this case a safety dupe, struck from a contemporary nitrate lavender that no longer survives, it's one of the films that looks far better than it should, and perfectly representative of the era and elements.

Very slightly soft in places, but with requisite and not overbearing grain, good blacks, and a pleasant gray scale that finishes with just a wave of nutmeg, tobacco and cocoa.

I'll use the term again.

One of the great films in cinema history.

And before someone asks the question, I'll bring it up.

Now that we have A Tale of Two Cities, where's George Cukor's David Copperfield?

The storming of the Bastille was directed by Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur.

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
Mr H does the OCN exist on Northwest Passage 1940????????????
 

PMF

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Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
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Philip
I used to believe that the reading of a Robert Harris review was for free, but every time he writes a WAC review I somehow find myself getting further into hock.:)

FILE UNDER: A Tale of Two Credit Cards.:thumbs-up-smiley:
 
Last edited:

Billy Batson

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Feb 19, 2008
Messages
3,760
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London
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Alan
I can't remember ever seeing this film, I probably did, maybe around 1960 on TV. I really fancy seeing it. I love everything to do with the French Revolution, & those scenes in Paris & the storming of the Bastille look truly epic, very MGM A film.
 

lark144

Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
1,341
Real Name
mark gross
I can't remember ever seeing this film, I probably did, maybe around 1960 on TV. I really fancy seeing it. I love everything to do with the French Revolution, & those scenes in Paris & the storming of the Bastille look truly epic, very MGM A film.
It's an amazing film, one of David O. Selznick's greatest achievements. Every image seems alive. Everything works on a number of multiple and interlocking levels; the cinematography, the production design, and the performances, which contain the deepest kind of emotion. It's a film you can get lost in, and every time you see it, you notice something new, as well as see the story from a different perspective. The scenes of the storming of the Bastille are very epic, very MGM in scope and ambition, and yet also very intimate, dark and poetic, a precursor to the work Tourneur & Lewton did in "Cat People" & "I Walked with a Zombie".
 

RPMay

Agent
Joined
Dec 5, 2008
Messages
30
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Los Angeles CA
Real Name
Dick May
This is one of the films that got me interested in movie history. When I was in Jr. High we had 16mm cut-downs of a few of the MGM literary features, running about an hour, designed for classroom use. The storming of the bastille was most impressive. This especially when usually having a diet of Erpi Classroom Films (true title) made for schools.
 

Matt Hough

Reviewer
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23,033
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Charlotte, NC
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Matt Hough
Yes, we had those, too. My first exposure to A Tale of Two Cities, the 1936 Romeo & Juliet, Anna Karenina were all on those 16mm cutdowns. (Local television stations here would not, for some reason, license MGM syndication packages with anything but the Tarzan movies, so I got my MGM education eventually from revival theaters until VHS tapes showed up).
 

moviepas

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
661
When they first showed this film on TV in Melbourne Australia in the early 1960s, the book was on Senior High School study that year. However, they showed a couple of reels out of order and a result they had to rescreen it the following Sat afternoon. Oh, and unlike North Carolina, we had the complete TV packages at the stations but few 1928-30 films were ever shown then such as The Big House(MGM 1930) which I had to wait to the Late Late Show when living with family in the Wayne County/Michigan. Trouble was they had ads on that slot every five minutes against 10mins for the Late Show films so I kept falling asleep. Thanks to Warner Bros I now have it in three versions!!!!!!
 

B-ROLL

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Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
3,467
Real Name
Bryan
Can David Copperfield be far behind???????
Well you never know when or where he'll pop up -
1612035236938.png
:D

I heard the M-G-M version has a comedic actor who was outstanding in his Fields ;) ...
 

Nick*Z

Screenwriter
Joined
Apr 30, 2003
Messages
1,321
Location
Canada
Real Name
NICK
A Tale of Two Cities, based upon Dicken's work, would have made a perfect production for David O. Selznick, to be distributed by M-G-M.

Two of the class acts in the motion picture trade.

The nice thing, and it's obvious through every frame, is that it is a Selznick production, and his last before going independent.

With this and San Francisco coming from Warner Archive concurrently, it's a great moment to love cinema.

Based upon the finest surviving film elements, in this case a safety dupe, struck from a contemporary nitrate lavender that no longer survives, it's one of the films that looks far better than it should, and perfectly representative of the era and elements.

Very slightly soft in places, but with requisite and not overbearing grain, good blacks, and a pleasant gray scale that finishes with just a wave of nutmeg, tobacco and cocoa.

I'll use the term again.

One of the great films in cinema history.

And before someone asks the question, I'll bring it up.

Now that we have A Tale of Two Cities, where's George Cukor's David Copperfield?

The storming of the Bastille was directed by Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur.

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
You forgot Marie Antoinette (1938) which would probably look spectacular too!
 

roxy1927

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
540
Real Name
vincent parisi
And Romeo and Juliette where it seems Cedric Gibbons and Adrian were given a money is no object budget. Yeah the cast is too old but who cares when the actors are all so magnificent and they seem to have been cast by God or Irving Thalberg.
 

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