» » Tales of the City

Tales of the City online

Tales of the City  online
Original Title :
Tales of the City
Genre :
TV Series / Drama / Mystery / Romance
Cast :
Olympia Dukakis,Donald Moffat,Chloe Webb
Type :
TV Series
Time :
Rating :

The stories of several colorful characters living in San Francisco. Based on the book by Armistead Maupin (Is A Man I Dreamt Up).

Tales of the City online

Trailer For Netflix's San Francisco Set Limited Series Tales Of The City with Laura Linney and Ellen Page 10 April 2019 GeekTyrant. See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie! The NeverEnding Story.

Tales of the City (TV Series 2019). A middle-aged Mary Ann returns to San Francisco and reunites with the eccentric friends she left behind. Next . The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin (2017). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7,6/10 X. THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN celebrates one of the world's most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels inspired millions to re-claim their lives. Director: Jennifer M. Kroot.

Middle-aged Mary Ann returns to San Francisco and the eccentric friends she left behind. Based on Armistead Maupin's books and starring Laura Linney. Starring:Laura Linney, Ellen Page, Olympia Dukakis. 1010? Tales of the City: Limited Series (Date Announce). TV Shows based on Books, TV Dramas, LGBTQ TV Shows Heartfelt, Emotional.

Tales of the City (1978) is the first book in the Tales of the City series by American novelist Armistead Maupin, originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle. Set in 1970s San Francisco, it follows the residents of a small apartment complex at 28 Barbary Lane, including the eccentric landlady, Anna Madrigal. Tales of the City was originally serialized in the Pacific Sun and then the San Francisco Chronicle

The third instalment of the series, Further Tales of the City, was produced by Showtime (without Channel 4) and was originally aired in the US on Showtime in May 2001. In June 2017, Variety reported that it was developing a new instalment, with Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis attached to reprise their roles. In 2005, Entertainment Weekly named Tales of the City one of the ten best miniseries on DVD. Calling Linney the "breakout star," the article called the series "a time capsule that treats its characters with humor, respect, and a sexual frankness (there's some brief nudity) that was uncommon for PBS in 1993 and would be politically impossible there today.

The stories of several colorful characters living in San Francisco. Based on the book by Armistead Maupin (A Man I Dreamt Up). Genres. Find out where you can watch Tales of the City online at 123movies. Stream HD movies TV series, TV shows.

Miniseries based on the first of the Tales of the City series of novels by Armistead Maupin.

This mini-series chronicles the adventures of Mary Ann Singleton, a young secretary from Cleveland who takes a vacation to San Francisco and decides to stay. Set in 1976, before the days of A.I.D.S. and crack, the story depicts the city at the height of its boisterous gay, drug, and disco cultures through the eyes of the innocent heroine.
Complete series cast summary:
Olympia Dukakis Olympia Dukakis - Anna Madrigal 6 episodes, 1993
Donald Moffat Donald Moffat - Edgar Halcyon 6 episodes, 1993
Chloe Webb Chloe Webb - Mona Ramsey 6 episodes, 1993
Laura Linney Laura Linney - Mary Ann Singleton 6 episodes, 1993
Marcus D'Amico Marcus D'Amico - Michael Tolliver 6 episodes, 1993
Billy Campbell Billy Campbell - Jon Fielding 6 episodes, 1993
Thomas Gibson Thomas Gibson - Beauchamp Day 6 episodes, 1993
Paul Gross Paul Gross - Brian Hawkins 6 episodes, 1993
Barbara Garrick Barbara Garrick - DeDe Halcyon Day 6 episodes, 1993
Nina Foch Nina Foch - Frannie Halcyon 5 episodes, 1993
Country Joe McDonald Country Joe McDonald - Joaquin 4 episodes, 1993
Parker Posey Parker Posey - Connie Bradshaw 4 episodes, 1993
Syd Straw Syd Straw - Laurel 4 episodes, 1993
Kevin Sessums Kevin Sessums - Peter Cipriani 4 episodes, 1993
Stanley DeSantis Stanley DeSantis - Norman Neal Williams / - 4 episodes, 1993
Cynda Williams Cynda Williams - D'orothea Wilson 4 episodes, 1993
Paul Dooley Paul Dooley - Herb Tolliver 3 episodes, 1993
Meagen Fay Meagen Fay - Binky Gruen 3 episodes, 1993
Michael Jeter Michael Jeter - Carson Callas 3 episodes, 1993
Belita Moreno Belita Moreno - Alice Tolliver 3 episodes, 1993
Ian McKellen Ian McKellen - Archibald Anson Gidde 3 episodes, 1993
Edie Adams Edie Adams - Ruby Miller 2 episodes, 1993
Robert Downey Sr. Robert Downey Sr. - Edgar's Doctor 2 episodes, 1993
Stephanie Faracy Stephanie Faracy - Candi Moretti 2 episodes, 1993
Lou Liberatore Lou Liberatore - Chuck 2 episodes, 1993
Mary Kay Place Mary Kay Place - Prue Giroux 2 episodes, 1993
Meadow Sisto Meadow Sisto - Cheryl Moretti 2 episodes, 1993
McLean Stevenson McLean Stevenson - Booter Manigault 2 episodes, 1993
Paul Bartel Paul Bartel - Charles Hillary Lord 2 episodes, 1993
David Brisbin David Brisbin - Lemon Candles 2 episodes, 1993
Vicky Preston Brown Vicky Preston Brown - Opera Singer 2 episodes, 1993
Lance Loud Lance Loud - William Deveraux Hill III 2 episodes, 1993
Lou Cutell Lou Cutell - Herb Siegel 2 episodes, 1993
Bob Mackie Bob Mackie - Richard Evan Hampton 2 episodes, 1993
Darin Heames Darin Heames - Skate Guy 2 episodes, 1993
Carolyn Lowery Carolyn Lowery - Hillary 2 episodes, 1993
Janeane Garofalo Janeane Garofalo - Coppola Woman 2 episodes, 1993
Michael McFall Michael McFall - Michael's Friend 2 episodes, 1993
Gender Gender - Drag Queen 2 episodes, 1993
Philip Moon Philip Moon - Lionel Wong 2 episodes, 1993
Mother Love Mother Love - Motherly Waitress 2 episodes, 1993
Tom Alan Robbins Tom Alan Robbins - Supermarket Creep 2 episodes, 1993
Sam Moore Sam Moore - Preacher 2 episodes, 1993
Amy Ryder Amy Ryder - Frieda 2 episodes, 1993
Don Novello Don Novello - Father Sarducci 2 episodes, 1993
Hank Stratton Hank Stratton - Robert 2 episodes, 1993
Howard Platt Howard Platt - Mr. Wilson 2 episodes, 1993
Kelvin Han Yee Kelvin Han Yee - Taxi Driver 2 episodes, 1993
Rod Steiger Rod Steiger - Bookshop Owner 2 episodes, 1993

PBS bowed to the pressure of the right, and dropped plans to film the second volume of the series with Channel 4. Channel 4 eventually produced the sequel More Tales of the City (1998), with Showtime, who then produced a second sequel, Further Tales of the City (2001).

Several members of the cast and creative team, including Sir Ian McKellen and Rod Steiger, offered their services, simply because they were close friends or fans of Armistead Maupin.

Over fifteen years, several companies bought options to film this story, including Warner Brothers and HBO. The six-part mini-series was produced by Britain's Channel 4, San Francisco's PBS station KQED, and American Playhouse (1981).

Final performance of McLean Stevenson (Booter Manigault).

Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Vanessa Redgrave, Diane Ladd, Anne Bancroft, and Ann-Margret were all considered for the role of Anna. Bancroft was actually offered the role, but rejected it, claiming that the part was too poorly written.

Final mini-series/movie performance of Edie Adams (Ruby Miller).

Heather Graham, Ashley Judd, Cynthia Nixon, and Maria Portillo were all considered for the role of Mary Ann.

User reviews



One is always concerned when a great work of written fiction is dressed up for the screen, but you can have no worries about the integrity of this production. We all paint pictures of characters when reading a book, and these images remain locked in our minds.

More often than not, when these characters appear in the flesh on the TV, we are a little disappointed. Not in this case! Maupin's wonderfully colourful feast about San Francisco in the seventies transfers vividly to the screen. The emotion and pace of the written original is dutifully kept in this production, with sterling performances all round. Dukakis exudes mystery, D'Amico portrays the endearing 'Mouse' with style, and Linney is sublime.

Expect to be experiencing all the human emotions in this delightful mini series. Perfect.


These actors were so well cast. I had read the book long before the mini-series came along. But this cast was almost exactly what I had imagined as I read the chapters. What an amazingly interesting and fun story of life. Not just life in San Fran in the '70's, but of human emotions and interaction anywhere and anytime. Very well acted and directed. If you like this, then by all means, pick up all of Armistad's books - you'll love them!


Armistead Maupin's classic series, which started as a serial in The San Francisco Chronicle, comes to life in "Tales Of The City," a love letter to the city by the bay, San Francisco, during the late 1970's.

Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney), came to S.F. for a vacation and is so enthralled by what she sees that she gives up her life in Cleveland. After being introduced to the dating scene by former High School pal Connie Bradshaw (Parker Posey), she decides to move into an apartment on 28 Barbary Lane, run by the full-of-life Mrs. Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis), who treats her tenant like her children, and tapes a joint on each door. Among them Mona Ramsey (Chloe Webb), who seems drugged and out of sync with life; her roommate Michael "Mouse" Tolliver (Marcus D'Amico), who searches for love in interesting places; and Brian Hawkins (Paul Gross), a former lawyer now a waiter, whose always on the prowl.

Intertwined in their lives is Edgar Halcyon (Donald Moffat), who is dying and meets Anna and have a wonderful romance; His daughter, DeDe (Babara Garrick), whose marriage to Beauchamp Day (Thomas Gibson) is a sham. He strays off in affairs with Mary Anne and Dr. Fielding (Bill Campbell), who ends up with Mouse. Then there's D'orothea (Cynda Williams), a fashion model with a connection to Mona. Finally, there's the mysterious new tenant Norman Neal Williams (Stanley DeSantis), who has a fractured romance with Mary Anne who discovers his connection to Anna.

This is a very interesting miniseries, with lots of twists and turns. By the end of the series, many lives are altered and changed forever. The cast is stellar, but it is Dukakis who shines as Anna, a woman with an interesting secret. If you are uncomfortable with homosexual themes (This is San Francisco in the 70's, you know), then you may want to skip this, but it's your loss, because this is still a wonderful story of lives and love in San Francisco.


Usually when I've already read a book and liked the results, a movie or TV show on the same material doesn't stand a chance. But this show brings the book's quirky charms and character interweaving along with zest and fun. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is comfortable with the issues of gayness, drugs and sexual promiscuity. Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney are perfect, the direction and screenplay and music impeccable.


I remember watching this on PBS when it first came out, and how absolutely riveting I found it. Never had I watched something and been so wrapped up in it. The characters were brilliantly written and brilliantly portrayed by the excellent cast. This program succeeded in bringing to life a time and place where you really did "have to be there". This program takes you there. Whether you're into countercultures, history, or just plain entertainment, there is no other program that I could more wholeheartedly recommend.
Swift Summer

Swift Summer

I have had a copy of this series since it originally was broadcast on my local PBS station. Watch it many a time since.

I found the entire series to be a wonderful unflinching look at the times/situations relative to the mid to late 1970's San Francisco. I've heard and read of what went on during that decade, and found what was portrayed to be accurate, but deftly done to not offend in any major way. Yes, there was nudity, sex and what not, but like I said, it was deftly dealt with.

The characters were believable and had obviously been well fleshed out in their back histories. You understand, as the series moves along, the main character's histories, rare in productions of this type.

I find I like watching this series, partly because I was old enough to remember some aspects of the late 70's. (I was in junior high at the time) but because of the stories that are woven throughout the piece. A well cast and thought out production. It's rare to see a mini series, or film for that matter, be this accurate in portraying the late 70's.


This mini-series has great writing, memorable characters, fine acting from a stellar cast, and is sure to flap even the most unflappable viewer.

The absolutely unflinching look at the lives and loves of a group of eccentric characters in the free-love environment of late 1970's San Francisco. Promiscuity and drug use run rampant, relationships and lives are destroyed and rebuilt, but gay, straight, or bisexual, we really care about the characters.

Excellent dialogue and acting, coupled with fine acting, turn what could easily have been a pornographic exlpoitation picture into a true work of art. I highly recommend it.


This 1993 mini-series is a delightful translation of Armistead Maupin's book. A window into a more carefree time and place - 1976 San Francisco, when love was free and life was much simpler.

The cast is appropriately attractive, especially the deliciously sleazy Beauchamp Day (Thomas Gibson, pre-"Dharma & Greg") and the charming Dr. Jon Fielden (Billy Campbell, pre-"Once and Again"). The then-unknown Laura Linney is perfect as the innocent MaryAnn Singleton, and Chloe Webb is outstanding as the spacy ad exec, Mona Ramsey. And, of course, Olympia Dukakis is marvelous as the "mother of us all", Anna Madrigal.

This is must-see television. The sequel was made in 1998, and the third book is filming now in Vancouver for a 2001 release.


Armistead Maupin come to live! At least as far as the small screen can take it, and surprisingly enough for me it is a huge canvas of human emotions, Kudos to RTP2 for showing this on primetime here on my home country! And hyper-kudos to everyone involved (certainly not least of all the magnificent actors) for bringing to life an extraordinary, funny and compelling script!)


Please. This film deserves a good review because it addresses a pastiche of events, occurring in a diverse neighborhood. A reviewer panned this film because the characters do not "link together". That is the point.

Does everyone "link together" with their neighbors?. The characters are well presented, and Laura Linney was very good in this, one of her earlier roles. Chloe Webb also deserves mention. Olympia Dukakis is also very believable, given the surprise role she is playing.

Donald Moffat is a repressed ad guru (quite a common character, these days, it seems) and Dukakis and he develop a relationship. The beach scenes are diverse and romantic; like any city; it is complex, and everything has good and bad aspects.

For anyone with an open mind, this is a noteworthy film. San Francisco is a beautiful backdrop, and the happenings in human relationships remind us that romance is never predictable, never empirical. This is a lovely film about the caprices of human nature. 9/10.


Tales of the City is a film about which one has to impose oneself into a different mindset in order to write. This adaptation of Armistead Maupin's classic novel adopts a lampoon of chronicling story yarns, taking place in a progressive neighborhood in San Francisco where the least accepted felt in the time in which the film takes place was a place wherein they could live freely amongst their own, and the otherwise accepted were the ones who are subject to adjustment. At the same time it involves elements that are larger than life, its structure creates an atmosphere that is so close to life that it is larger than film.

It starts as the sumptuously sexy Laura Linney plays a naïve girl from the Midwest seeking a change in her life, impulsively to San Francisco, soon finding herself living in a neighborhood where things are out of control only because they are the natural way of the world unlike the perception of a reticent, sheltered American woman. Her life knots with her various neighbors and an incidental mass of quaint, intriguing, odd, bizarre, perfectly normal characters. It's an upturned impression of San Francisco in the 1970's, exploring what the rest of the world saw as "alternative lifestyles" and "underground culture," and what they saw of themselves. This includes a host of wonderfully entertaining performances, especially by the endlessly charming Parker Posey.

For anyone willing open their mind to the exploration of gays, casual drug users, free thinkers, different sorts of mysterious, nonconformist people, and the repressed, Tales of the City is a striking portrait with a picturesque environment, and the comings and goings in the lives of the multitude of characters strike a chord with us that love is as unpredictable as everything else, and that there always very well may be fathoms of new discovery and progression in our existence.


This funny, ironic and surprising mini-series will have you hooked from the very start. A stellar cast (including then-unknown Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis and Bill Campbell) brings to life the book by Armistead Maupin. Much has been made of the sex and nudity, but it's relatively tame compared to most movies. (It was originally shown on PBS--PBS!) The first part is somewhat slow, but it really picks up in part two. Although many of the main characters are gay, anyone who has ever found themselves looking for love in the big city can definitely relate. Most memorable moments: Michael entering an underwear dancing contest and DeeDee's hilarious visit to a fat farm for the rich and famous. Also, don't miss Thomas Gibson's turn as a lecherous husband, pre-"Dharma and Greg".


In my quest to see every thing Parker Posey has ever done, I put this miniseries (and it's successors) on the back-burner. I finally got around to it and was very impressed! What a fascinating and engrossing show. It has this magical atmosphere that really made me wish I was living in SF in the 70s. Parker is only in it a bit, but she's got some great dialogue. Olympia Dukakis is lovely and Laura Linney (who I find somewhat overrated these days) shines in the lead as a naïve Midwestern girl moving to the big city for the first time. It's probably the best work I've seen from her. My only complaint about this (and I suppose the fault lies with the source material) is that so many of the story lines take such an abruptly dark and twisted turn in the final episode. Even though I typically go for dark themes in my entertainment, it seems to come out of left field here. Still, it's great overall, and even features a cameo from the notorious Karen Black, playing herself as a candy bar craving fat farm attendant!


Just happened to stumble across this film, followed by "More Tales of the City", on Bravo last week. I'd been under the impression that it was another ridiculous piece of rubbish about people shagging and snorting their brains out. Instead it was a fantastically fun time with a house filled with interesting and neat people (except Norman). Yes some do sleep around and some use drugs a bit, but that's just a part of the story.

The real story here is a familiar one of relationships. While I'd agree that casting went a little over-board in recruiting "pretty people", it's an extraordinarily well done job of telling that story and each actor does a super job with his/her role, especially mother-hen Olympia Dukakis.

Shame on PBS for caving into the pressures of conservatives, postponing the sequels. I'll certainly add Showtime to my cable for next year's installment.



I really enjoyed the show. I appreciate the justice they did to the series. I felt like I was part of the show. It was so close to reality for me. I hope that people watched it. The 70's was a time of sheer freedom. Maupin captured the feeling of the time and presented a collague of interesting, realism to his characters. They seemed so real and approachable. I felt like I could walk down the street and meet any one of the characters.

Thank, Albert


Excellent mini-series! It's about Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney) in the 1970s. She moves from Ohio to San Francisco and decides to start a life there. She meets the wonderful Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis) who offers her a room at 28 Barbary Lane. There she meets Mona Ramsey (Chloe Webb) a bisexual hippie type, Michael Tolliver (Marcus D'Amico) an openly gay man, Brian Hawkins (Paul Gross) a single str8 guy and the mysterious Norman Neal Williams (Stanley DeSantis). These and other characters all interact in various ways and plots.

A wonderful adaptation of Armistead Maupin's book. The book isn't long but a LOT happens in it. The story wastes no time on descriptions or what the characters look like--it zips right into the various plots with wonderful dialogue and wild plot twists. The mini (wisely) retains ALL the dialogue and story. It runs about 6 hours but you're never bored. The acting is just superb. The actors don't seem to be acting--they ARE the characters! They're believable every step of the way. The only disappointments are Gross as Brian. He's handsome and in great shape (and has frequent shirtless scenes) but he seems uncomfortable in his role. DeSantis is even worse in his. He overplays his character badly and it doesn't work. Still everybody else DOES work! It was beautifully shot in San Fran and they got the clothes and feel of the 1970s just right. The open drug use here might shock some but that's the way it was! To add to the fun they are cameos by Armistead Maupin, Karen Black, Ian McKellan, Rod Steiger, Paul Dooley and many others.

This was (predictably) attacked by religious and family friendly groups for it showing drug use (which they hysterically said DIDN'T happen in the 1970s) and showing gay men kissing, in love and making out. It showed on PBS in the US which caused a HUGE uproar in some states. It seems kind of funny now. This is pretty tame stuff compared to shows like "Queer As Folk":) A wonderful funny mini. WELL worth catching!


I lost interest in reading the Maupin books after just two which I found to be too pat & episodic for my taste. The unsatisfying plots of the followup series are a better indicator of the books helium-light melodrama, so it's a miracle that such a memorable show was generated from them. This is much more enjoyable and intelligent than most TV series. I think what really clicked for me was the characters earnest efforts to find surrogate families... and Mouse.

Marcus D'Amico as Mouse is just achingly sweet. Even though he disappears for a good portion in the middle, his storyline practically carries the show. To make that point, just try to watch the followup series with it's poor replacement of D'Amico with an actor who had none of his natural charm. Zero points there. D'Amico just melts your heart, not in lust (although he's definitely attractive), but in warmth and connection to the audience. I missed Mouse the second the show ended. I loved Chloe Webb as Mona.

I haven't been able to shake Lynney as the square, Midwestern Mary Ann since seeing this. It doesn't matter what she's in; there's Mary Ann smack in the middle of The Truman Show or The Mothman Prophecies, etc.. Maybe she doesn't have much range and keeps getting typecast.

Strangest of all, is that when you learn the big surprise at the end, you realize that you can actually kind of see a man in Olympia Dukakis' features. That was some lucky casting.

At the close of this, the first series, I was grateful to have been vividly reminded of the fun of the 70s, but equally sad to have to say goodbye to it and return to the nineties, which previously I had been so content with. It really makes the two decades we were given afterward look like the short-changed, calculated mess they were. A side-effort to quote Hitchcock visually is handled adequately.

I could do without placing pedophilia in a plot next to gay characters so that the gay characters can, by comparison, be normal. Hasn't Maupin learned that this device is questionable and warped, from observing how narrow-minded straight people (the insecure ones) normalize themselves via comparison to gay people? It reminds me of the pecking order in Shakes the Clown, where the rodeo clowns hate the circus clowns, but everybody hates the mimes.


Charming series of stories aboutthis wonderful family of friends, who live together in a boarding house, and their adventures.

If you have ever lived in San Francisco, in the 70's, this will bring back all those good times. What compassion and dignity of the human comedy, that teaches ethics, and enriches our human experience.

Magical, similar to "Vertigo" the Hichcock film, this story is wonderfully human and you wished that this family actually existed.

Bravo to cast, writer, and director, as Larry Kramer's script, keeps the magic of the original books.

A slice of the River, from those childlike days of Hippie touches, that reminded me of my years in San Francisco in my youth.

Thank you Billy Campbell for your risking in taking on this role. Solid performances from all. After several viewings, this film maintains its power, charm and brilliance. A must see and a must own film.


One of the most enchanting, charming miniseries imaginable, this legendary adaptation of Armistead Maupin's classic, beloved book series is a pleasure to watch from beginning to end. Filmed entirely like a 1970s movie while set in 1970s San Francisco, the show paints a downright utopian picture of the era and its surroundings: Following the birth of the gay rights revolution in the early 1970s but before AIDS wreaked so much misery in the LGBT community throughout the 1980s. It's easy to see why the miniseries is so revered by its target audience, what with its intimacy, charm and gloriously ridiculous sense of humor that channels the best of campy soap opera conventions. In addition, it's perfectly cast, from Laura Linney, Marcus D'Amico and the slyly charming Paul Gross, but none as good as Olympia Dukakis, who seems simply delighted to play the captivating Anna Madrigal. A truly wonderful, timeless delight.


Long before I discovered the lights of Broadway, I longed to live in the city by the bay, a Pacific coast metropolis that even today puts La La land to shame. Living in L.A. for 25 years made me cynical to swimming pools, movie stars, the lack of a subway. But when I go to San Francisco, I am tempted still to wear a flower in my hair. Even though I never moved there and haven't been there in years, I have enough of my tales, but am still intrigued by Arstid Maupin's.

I had known of Olympia Dukakis long before she won the Oscar for "Moonstruck". Oh so deliciously theatrical, she has shined in practically every kind of role, and even if she had never told Cher that her life was going down the toilet or offered Sally Field the opportunity to take a wack at Ouiser, I would have adored her, simply for this, an earth mother who has indeed fooled mother nature as the pot growing landlady from 28 Barbary Lane.

Cleveland wasn't rocking anymore for naive Laura Linney who discovered real life as she learns to grow up and face adult issues, especially with the odd characters she encounters in her journey. Chloe Webb's Mona is delightfully bohemian as her neighbor, helping out her love starved gay pal " Mouse", a sweet but goal-less pretty boy who will face all sorts of romantic ordeals in the city where it seemed that only the bridge was straight.

Of course, there are straight men in Dan Francisco, and they are represented by Donald Moffat's ailing businessman whose unhappy marriage to alcoholic socialite Nina Foch leads him to a "friendship" with Dukakis. His son-in-law Thomas Gibson seduces Linney, leaving his uptight wife Barbara Garrick to look for her own variation of affection.

Definitely made in the soap opera mode, this intertwines all of the characters while utilizing the signs of the times to explore the culture of a swinging era that lead to certain upheavals yet to come. Easy to follow even with the plethora of characters, this has both a sense of mystery and clues of things yet to come in future installments. Still incomplete, I would adore more tales down the road, but only as long as Dukakis is involved.
Error parents

Error parents

"Tales of the City" is tremendous fun to watch. However, it's hard to take too seriously since the characters, endearing as they are, and the entire story itself are barely credible. The plot device of somehow linking all the characters together ultimately wears thin. Revealing the characters' unexpected traits, mostly regarding sexual preference, tends to become gimmicky. The fact that this does not subtract from the overall enjoyment is that the entire series has an unreal quality about it, as unreal as the fake Barbary Lane set. It's as if we are not really expected to believe it all. This makes "Tales of the City" good entertainment, and while that's fine, the overall feeling is that it could have been a lot more.

The allusions to "Vertigo" in a couple of the scenes may be fun to movie buffs, but are out of place and irrelevant. Ultimately it's the uniformly excellent performances that make this mini series work so well. The characters are well drawn and played with much affection. Laura Linney, Chloe Webb, Marcus D'Amico and Donald Moffat all do wonders in their parts, but the dominating performance is Olympia Dukakis in an extremely endearing role.

With this engaging bunch of characters its not surprising that sequels (of lesser merit) were to be made.


When delving into the legend that is Tales Of The City, i found it an exciting and adventurous place to spend time, great writing mixed with great performers and great character chemistry, which unfortunately disappears in later additions.

The always excellent Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney both give wonderful performances as always and the wonderfully kooky Chole Webb breaths life and sole into my favourite character Mona.

Anyone who enjoys a metro-sexual adventure mystery story that concentrates on its players rather than what is played will love this breathtaking treat.


The script writer for "Tales of the City," Part One, has an interesting challenge. How to write a story about five couples within a single episode, and not have it look like a soap opera? The format is tailor made for a soap, and in juggling the stories of five different relationships back and forth, a soap it inevitably must be.

True the casting treats us to some nice looking actors, and the lines are quite naturalistic for the time period's setting. It's just that the script was somewhat doomed from the start, due to the original novel's pre existing structure.

How much one likes this will depend on how one finds these characters interesting. Like a good soap writer, the scripter here is skillful enough to make the chatter topical, sophisticated, and sassy. That doesn't guarantee a fine motion picture, though, and the plot(s) emerge as on a bit of a sleazy level.

"Tales of the City," Part I was, for me, interesting, thanks to the obvious talent both onscreen and behind the scenes. But a fine film it's not -- nor did it intend itself to be. Just a series of confidental peaks into private lives of some of the "beautiful people" of San Francisco.