A Tale of Two Cities (1957): S01E01 – Recalled to Life


A Tale of Two Cities is an 1859 historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution.

The novel tells the story of the French Doctor Manette, his 18-year-long imprisonment in the Bastille in Paris, and his release to live in London with his daughter Lucie whom he had never met. The story is set against the conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. In the Introduction to the Encyclopaedia of Adventure Fiction, critic Don D’Ammassa argues that it is an adventure novel because the protagonists are in constant danger of being imprisoned or killed.

The novel has been adapted for film, television, radio, and the stage, and has continued to influence popular culture.


Opening episode of a dramatisation of A Tale of Two Cities. Mr Lorry is on his way by the night-coach to catch the ferry to France when he’s overtaken by Jerry Cruncher, the bank messenger, with the enigmatic message ‘Recalled to Life’. He goes to the tavern run by the Defarges where he collects Dr Manette, who has been imprisoned without trial for several years to take him to his daughter Lucy who hasn’t seen him since infancy and now lives in England.

A Tale of Two Cities Series

You can find a full index of A Tale of Two Cities (1957 Series) here.

You can find a full index and over of A Tale of Two Cities Franchise here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 28 July 1957.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 240 minutes (total running time).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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