A Tale of Two Cities
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A Tale Of Two Titties (1859) is the second and last porn flick directed by Charles Dickens. The plot centres around the streets near cheap French Brothel and culminates in entering the epic building for the last, two scenes. The rather immature story touches upon medieval sexual imprisonment and was one of the earliest political satires of forced prostitution, but the actual story timeline begins in 1775 and ends five years later with a rather interesting and sexual three-way involving Sidney Carton.
The opening lines of the film, said in-between yells of pleasure and in husky, ironic voices – "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." – are among the most famous lines in English pornographic history. Many historians and critics have attempted to use these epic lines to justify the sexual content and deny the film is actually intended to be a pornographic work, but have proved unsuccessful because Dickens himself declared the film to be -
“My film is a porn film.”
The book tells, first and foremost, the story of Charles Darnay (a rich and lustful man who is willing to pay anything, and I mean anything) and Sydney Carton (played by George Clooney), who look similar but are very different in their sexual tastes. The two characters are physically and sexually attracted to each other (which allows Dickens to add a homosexual scene about half way through the film) but have their differences, like DVD choice, taste in fantasy wear, flavour of condom, etc. Darnay is a romantic, lustful and very rich French businessman; Carton is a cynical, dirty English playboy. Both fall deeply in love with each other but are dramatically torn apart by a young, hot cheerleader called Lucie Manette.
Other major characters include Lucie's father, Dr. Manette, who was unjustly imprisoned for many years because he was accused of "taking part in lewd public sodomy", and Madame Defarge, a rather old, ugly woman, but who proves to be strangely sexy in the bedroom. Many film critics have described Madame Defarge as the force that drives the hatred of the upper classes in the story. Even when her personal brothel goes out of business she refuses lots of rich clients on principle, despite the huge amounts of money on offer. These actions highlight Dicken's ideological passions.
The title reflects the way in which the setting alternates between a London club and the Parisian cheap brothel. Two of the 45 scenes are set in both countries, nineteen in the London French Connection and 24 in France (9 of which are set in Lucie Mannete's bedroom). They tell of the shameless sodomy, abuse, sexual bondage, fantasy, foreplay and underage sex which Dickens particularly delights in, as well as a highly emotive and satirical plot. This film has often be dubbed as the most "moving, thought-provoking and plot intensive porn flick of all time".
A Tale of Two Titties' Influence And Revolution
A Tale Of Two Titties was filled with what are now regarded as historic moments in the history of porn, moments that forever changed the young face of pornographic materials: from pictures to songs to films. The fifth porn film of all time, it set the benchmark for most modern porn flicks (see below "The Beginning of Popular Porn"). From the very coining of the term "porn" to the Popular Porn Revolution the Dickensian work is often described as "monumental" by film-makers, "heart-breaking" by the middle classes and "revolutionary" by film critics.
The actual term "porn" comes from the abbreviation of a famous line from the film, and has been used ever since. Why was this line picked? Why is the line so important? No one knows. This infamous scene opens with Lucie Mannete, depressed, after catching her father making babies, trying to lighten her mood by fingering herself. In an attempt to get herself in the mood and turned on she starts to whisper to herself.
“Police officers running naked on guard rails and prince Harry's yard”
And from the abbreviation of this line we have the term we've come to know and love today, "Porn".
This dramatic, sexy and hugely influential scene, was the single spark that lit the huge barrel of gunpowder (where the huge barrel of gunpowder symbolises a hole in the market for decent, respectable porn). The film is also credited with starting off the Popular Porn Revolution - a rather boring phenomena which saw so-called "Pornragettes" marching to governments, worldwide, in an attempt to recognise porn as a decent subject for conversations, films, books and photos.
The Beginning of Popular Porn
A Tale of Two Titties was one of the first ever porn films to popularise the genre while appealing to the ideals of the general Victorian middle classes. it signalled the end of what had often been described as a "working class only", "only for the working classes", "not for anyone but the working classes" or "mildly graphic on things of a slightly sexual nature". This film signalled the advent of the "middle class porn film" where huge budgets, dirty rich people, plots, and high emotion met to create something rather extraordinary for porn critics and the average porn audience.
In recent years the internet has hugely increased the amount of porn in the world (measured every year in kilos at the Centre Francais de Culture y Pronio) and Coca-Cola polls have also shown that access and availability has grown. Before Dickens' death, he famously said:
| I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and break out of the bonds that constrain porn and the users of porn, everywhere! I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of porn stars and porn users and the sons of the aristocracy, who so resent porn, will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the city of Paris, a place sweltering with hatred for porn, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and tolerance. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their choice of porn but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today...I have a dream today...I have a dream, etecera, etecera.
- Dickens on porn
The founder of "thebigporn-network.com" says that she was "very much inspired by Dickens' great classic...and if he was still alive he would probably be outrageously happy that his dream is coming close to being fulfilled!"
A Tale of Two Cities?
In recent years there has been much debate, as to whether Dickens originally named the film "A Tale of Two Cities", which would of course, have beenmuch less appropriate. Some believe that bad communications led to a misunderstanding at the production office. Although the film is set in two different cities, this is not one of the fundamental parts of the story. Dickens merely uses this to show the different sexual activities in the two capitals. However those who believe it was meant to be named "A Tale Of Two Cities" argue that this would have been highlighting Charles Dickens' fight for Tittie Rights. Some however, argue, that Dickens merely chose this title so that it would appeal to the middle classes, amuse himself and confuse those who watched it.
A Tale Of Two Titties 2002 Re-Release
In 2002 King Arthur attempted to re-release, after editing it and "re-mastering the image and the colours". Together with Paramount they spent $12 million on this new release, however the film proved wildly unsuccessful and after two weeks in the cinemas they decided to take it straight to the local fishmongers to get some fish for dinner and then on to be DVDised. The film was released as part of Paramount Home Video's "Classic Collection". In the two weeks that the film showed 17 people and 18 dogs went to see it (thus making it 17 men and their dogs + one extra dog for the cats to eat). Of this audience 78.986482% believed that the film was "crappy and dated". This is an interesting fact, because all 17 person who saw the film were involved somewhere in the production. Even King Arthur, the very person who came up with the idea, called it "crappy and dated, you bastard!".