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A Tale of Five Cities

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Tale of Five Cities
US theatrical poster
Directed byRomolo Marcellini
Emil E. Reinert
Wolfgang Staudte
Montgomery Tully
Géza von Cziffra
Irma von Cube
Written byMaurice J. Wilson
Jacques Companéez
Patrick Kirwan
Richard Llewellyn
Alexander Paal
Piero Tellini
Günther Weisenborn
Produced byErmanno Donati
Boris Morros
Alexander Paal
Paul Pantaleen
Maurice J. Wilson
StarringBonar Colleano
Gina Lollobrigida
Eva Bartok
Edited byMaurice Rootes
Music byHans May
Release date
  • 1 March 1951 (1951-03-01)
Running time
86 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
West Germany

A Tale of Five Cities (Italian: Passaporto per l'oriente and released as A Tale of Five Women in the US) is a 1951 British-Italian international co-production comedy drama film directed by Romolo Marcellini, Emil E. Reinert, Wolfgang Staudte, Montgomery Tully, Irma von Cube and Géza von Cziffra.[1] The five cities cited in the title are: Rome, Paris, Berlin, London, and Vienna.[2]

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Englishman Bob Mitchell leaves his longtime home in America to enlist in the Royal Air Force. After the war has ended, a drunken accident in a Berlin nightclub results in his losing his memory.

As he has no identity tags, doctors mistakenly repatriate him to America, where magazine writer Lesley learns of his condition. The only evidence of his past that he has is a set of five bank notes from different countries, each signed with a woman’s name.

Lesley’s magazine sponsors a trip for him to visit the five countries where the bank notes were issued, hoping he'll learn crucial details of his identity.



Shooting took place at the Riverside Studios and Walton Studios as well as on location around the various cities. The film's sets were designed by the art directors Don Russell, Jean d'Eaubonne, Fritz Jüptner-Jonstorff and Walter Kutz.[3]

Critical reception

Kine Weekly said "Omnibus romantic comedy melodrama. Prodigious and original, it accompanies an amnesia victim, formerly an officer in the RAF on an identity-seeking mission to various European capitals, sponsored by an American magazine. First-rate British offering."[4]

Monthly Film Bulletin said "The story, stretching coincidence as it does, is higly improbable, and the script fragmentary. A Tale of Five Cities, too, has failed to make as much use as might be expected of the opportunities provided by the varied locations. As a whole, indeed, the film suffers from trying to cover too much ground, and to include too many varied stories. Much of it is superficial and unoriginal. But there are some pleasant humorous touches and, although many of the players seem inexperienced, Bonar Colleano does adequately as the bewildered young man."[5]

Leslie Halliwell said: "Tedious pattern drama remarkable only for its then untried cast."[6]

In British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928–1959 David Quinlan rated the film as "mediocre", writing: "Some authentic atmosphere, otherwise a misfire."[7]


  1. ^ "A Tale of Five Cities". British Film Institute Collections Search. Retrieved 24 November 2023.
  2. ^ "NY Times Review: A Tale of Five Women". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2022. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  3. ^ "A Tale of Five Women: Production credits". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2012. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  4. ^ "A Tale of Five Cities". Kine Weekly. 431 (2382): 27. 19 February 1953 – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ "A Tale of Five Cities". Monthly Film Bulletin. 18 (204): 248. 1951 – via ProQuest.
  6. ^ Halliwell, Leslie (1989). Halliwell's Film Guide (7th ed.). London: Paladin. p. 988. ISBN 0586088946.
  7. ^ Quinlan, David (1984). British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928–1959. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd. p. 383. ISBN 0-7134-1874-5.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 November 2023, at 22:20
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