Cromwell CC

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(92) IMDb 6.9/10
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A period drama taking place during the English Civil War of the 17th century, seen through the eyes of Roundhead leader Oliver Cromwell (Richard Harris). Cromwell had planned to take his family to the New World (North America), when a succession of religious and political problems draw him into the fold which resulted in the British Civil War.

Starring:
Dorothy Tutin, Patrick Wymark
Rental Formats:
DVD

Cromwell

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 2 hours 14 minutes
Starring Dorothy Tutin, Patrick Wymark, Richard Harris, Frank Finlay, Patrick Magee, Alec Guinness, Timothy Dalton, Timothy D, Stratford Johns, Robert Morley
Director Ken Hughes
Genres Drama
Studio SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 10 November 2003
Main languages English
Subtitles Icelandic, Arabic, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Swedish, German, Hebrew, Czech, French, Turkish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Hindi, Polish
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 105 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Dec. 2003
Format: DVD
There are two ways to view this 1970 "classic".
The first is to see this as typical overblown but very enjoyable Ken Hughes classic, the second is as a very grand but totally inaccurate historical relic.
On many levels this is a superb film..the superb battle scenes,Guinness as Charles the 1st,the amazing scenery and the even paced script and camera work.However historically this film is full of holes...very little matches the real events of 1640-1655(the time frame of the film) and whilst Hughes is clearly good at the overblown epic style these historical inaccuracies weaken the overall effect.
One huge flaw however is Richard Harris, he dominates the last hour of the film and manages to portray Cromwell as a one dimensional bore, who is either brooding or shouting.His Puritan zeal seems to be playing second fiddle to Harris hamming it up and after five viewings of this film, it seems more and more inadvisable of Hughes to allow such over-acting.
The DVD mastering is great, the picture quality is fantastic and the colours good.
Over 75% of viewers will enjoy this but more as a grand Ken Hughes romp than gritty,historical drama.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD
A valiant and not entirely successful attempt at a very English 'thinking-man's' epic, Cromwell is one of the most interesting of the historical dramas of the early seventies - and also one of the most flawed.

The first third of the film is very ropey indeed, with banal dialogue full of stilted clichés (the best lines are from history, not Ronald Hardwood or Ken Hughes), a very mannered performance Richard Harris and a clumsy dilution of history. It is only too easy to think that the English Civil War was fought because Cromwell didn't get on with the King's wife and that it was won and lost on the outcome of two battles.

The first battle scene is surprisingly weak - even the extras die unconvincingly - and it is not until its aftermath and the training of the New Model Army that the film really finds its feet and gets some fire in its belly. Hughes saves his visual imagination for the Battle of Naseby, (long since turned into a motorway by the decree of an ungrateful Parliament) and gives a surprisingly gripping account of its aftermath that puts some humanity into the history.

As a warts and all portrait, the wart is most definitely missing but Richard Harris' Cromwell is a complex and convincing character, always being forced into action rather than forcing events. Alec Guinness' Charles I is also a considered portrait, a mixture of integrity and pragmatic duplicity (recalling Parliament to raise finance for a war with the Scots, he ends up allied to his enemies against his own politicians) that is entirely understandable and on occasion even sympathetic.

The cast of supporting players for the most part prove rather less convincing.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By STEWART DERRY on 31 May 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is a marvellous film, entertaining, visually stunning, intelligent, full of fine performances and set-pieces, along with an atmospheric score to boot. It is set in mid 17th century England, and centres on the conflict between King and parliament which leads to civil war, the execution of the King and the establishment of a republic. Cromwell is played By Richard Harris, and he gives one of his best performances, full of swagger, intensity and inner turmoil, tuning his range perfectly to the demands of each scene. In contrast, Alec Guiness as King Charles I, gives a masterly display of Kingly cool, sparring playfully with his fellow actors. The scenes that lead us through the trial and execution of the King are remarkably well crafted by Guiness, touching and pathetic in turn, and all the more dramatic for the contrast in style to Hariss's Cromwell. The film manages to sweep the audience along on an epic tour of English history, and in the humble opinion of this reviewer, is well worth repeated viewings. There are some fine supporting actors on display - Frank Finlay, Robert Morley, Dorothy Tutin, Timothy Dalton, Stratford Johns to name but a few. So sit back, dim the lights and enjoy this rich slice of English history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP on 5 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie buffs is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Riveting biographical drama about Oliver Cromwell, his role in the English Civil War and the subsequent execution of King Charles I. For a History buff like me, this film is a real treat, despite its inaccuracies.

Richard Harris is believable and captivating as Cromwell, the reluctant revolutionary who gradually becomes more and more radical. But he is more than matched by the superb Alec Guinness who plays King Charles as a flawed human being who despite his shortcomings as a leader, ultimately wins our sympathy with his stoic dignity.

Hughes's direction is sure-handed and (thankfully) non-showy, while top-notch art direction, cinematography and memorable secondary roles help elevating this film from a dry historical lesson to a memorable cinematic experience overall.
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