Screenwriter T.E.B. Clarke, the writer of such fifties British comedies as The Lavender Hill Mob and Passport to Pimlico, dips his pen into a more stately inkwell in this stilted adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. Dirk Bogarde takes the lead role of worn-down, drunken lawyer Sydney Carton, who finally wakes up from his stupor during the French Revolution to make the ultimate sacrifice for Lucie Manette (Dorothy Tutin), the love of his life. Also on hand are the evil tyrant Marquis St. Evermonde (Christopher Lee), the treacherous informer Barsad (Donald Pleasence), and the fanatical Madame Defarge (Rosalie Crutchley), who denounces Lucie and her husband Charles Darnay (Athene Seyler) to the tribunal.
by Paul Brenner synopsis