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To Kill A King [DVD] [2003]

Tim Roth , Dougray Scott , Mike Barker    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
Price: 15.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

To Kill A King [DVD] [2003] + The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] + Charles II [DVD] [2003]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Olivia Williams, James Bolam, Corin Redgrave
  • Directors: Mike Barker
  • Writers: Jenny Mayhew
  • Producers: Dougray Scott, Bradley Adams, Christopher Petzel, Jeff Abberley, John Chambers
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 26 April 2004
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001FYQNQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,523 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Mike Barker's costume drama is set 1645 when England is coming out of a civil war. The New Model Army have defeated the Royalist forces and King Charles I (Rupert Everett) is now imprisoned. General Thomas Fairfax (Dougray Scott) celebrates with his deputy Oliver Cromwell (Tim Roth) but they don't agree on what to do with the King. However, it is the more powerful of the two, Cromwell who manages to take charge and in order to indroduce his new parliamentary ideas he must put the King on trials and eventually execute him.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good historical drama 25 July 2008
To Kill a King (aka Cromwell and Fairfax) came as quite a surprise - the film's troubled production is a local legend in the UK, the reviews were lukewarm and the film was further scuppered by a dreadful ad campaign and trailer. Then there was the fact that director Mike Barker's feature debut, the insultingly stupid The James Gang, was one of the very worst films I've ever had the misfortune to see. And that's ignoring Rupert Everett's efforts at promoting the movie in the States by describing it as boring rubbish and his performance being the only worthwhile thing in it.
The omens weren't good, to put it mildly, but it actually turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining and ambitious retelling of the troubled relationship between Lord Fairfax and his deputy Oliver Cromwell in the aftermath of the English Civil War. I can't vouch for its historical accuracy, but as drama it works very well, despite the fact that Roth's Cromwell isn't at the top of his game while Scott lacks the voice for the rabble-rousing speeches (although he's much better here than his usual lacklustre screen performances).

It's well-directed and hides the budget problems that saw the picture shut down for a few weeks while they scrambled for money to finish the picture quite admirably. It has a sense of scale both in story and treatment and, though it loses momentum slightly after the king's death, it deserved to find the audience it was denied in cinemas. Certainly a notch above the usual staid British historical picture, it's well worth a look.

The 2.35:1 transfer is good and the disc has a reasonable package of extras - featurette, behind the scenes footage, interviews and the aforementioned terrible trailer, surely one of the worst of all time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent film 8 Sep 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this film very much. Watching Cromwell take the well-trodden path of those who find that " power corrupts..." was, I thought, well portrayed in the lines of the script. Yes, I'm sure that the hopes of those reviewers seeking perfect chronological accuracy may not have been fully realised but the film remains true to the overall thrust of the developments of the time and compares very favourably with the many films currently on the circuit dealing with other historical events. For instance, I would think it improbable that Francis Drake actually ignited the fire ships as in " Elizabeth: The Golden Age " but I still enjoyed the film. The acting in this film is universally excellent although I found Tim Roth rather disappointing in the early scenes; but perhaps I was expecting too much after his terrific performance in " Reservoir Dogs ". That said, his rather clipped, succinct delivery is much more appropriate to his change of character in the second half of the film. Fairfax is superb throughout as he watches in, at first, bafflement and then horror the downward descent in his friend and co-conspirator. The dilemma in which he finds himself immediately after their success is beautifully scripted and portrayed, as is that experienced by his wife and her family and does much to explain the events that occurred subsequent to Cromwell's demise. Rupert Everett is superb as Charles the first resisting the temptation to depict him as an effete, rather peripheral figure overtaken by events. His dignity and firm belief in his " Divine Right " to govern are beautifully portrayed as are his efforts to influence events from his isolation and his refusal to sign the document that would have ensured his survival. The script has some lovely, thoughtful lines that are generally well-delivered and the post-battle scenes are realistic without yielding to the modern generation's preoccupation with gore. I strongly recommend you see this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I cannot watch the movie in the US. There was no mention of this limitation when I bought it despite the fact that my "home" account and address are in the US.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute rubbish; a waste of money 24 May 2004
By Gareth Simon TOP 100 REVIEWER
I agree with the critical reviews below.

This is a travesty of history; even Cromwell [DVD] (1970) [2003] was better than this. If this is the best the British film industry can do, I shall never make fun of Hollywood again.

There are so many factual errors it is not worth listing them.

This is not a criticism of the actors, however - only the script. If you know nothing about the Civil War, then you might enjoy the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good 1 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
it good movie and arrived on time i like it and it met my expectation i will recommed it to others
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars history 6 Dec 2012
By Karin
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bought this for school-- doing civil war with my students. I thought it would be too difficult for the lower group but in the end all the students in that year watched it and enjoyed it. There did need to be a bit of pause for clarification but overall I feel this is a little known gem which explains everything very well. Especially how ultimate power, ultimately corrupts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting study of Thomas Fairfax 19 Jan 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a clever film that looks at the role of Thomas Fairfax and his relationship to Cromwell ( who doesn't age at all over the 15 years of the film). With excellent roles by Tim Roth as Cromwell, Rupert Graves as Charles - there is much to like about this movie in terms of character development, changing allegiances and the complexity of friends who became foes.

Good strong character driven movie
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4.0 out of 5 stars I was counting on you. You let me down. 11 Jan 2014
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
To Kill a King is directed by Mike Barker and written by Jenny Mayhew. It stars Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Olivia Williams, James Bolam and Rupert Everett. Music is by Richard G Mitchell and cinematography by Eigil Bryld.

It's the end of the English Civil War and with King Charles 1st (Everett) held prisoner by the Parliamentarians, Sir Thomas Fairfax (Scott) and Oliver Cromwell (Roth), friends and colleagues, fall out over the best plan of action for the New England.

A severely troubled production and budgetary constraints left To Kill a King with a mountain to climb just to get acknowledged as a historical epic of worth. Add in the dubious take on this part of English history that so irked the historians, and you would be forgiven for thinking that the film is something of a stinker. Not so actually. For although it's clearly far from flawless, it's a literary piece of work that chooses character dynamics over blood and thunder. Suffice to say that those searching for a battle strewn epic should look elsewhere, but if you have a bent for observations on key personalities involved in war politics during times of upheaval in a period setting? Then this delivers the goods. Well performed by the principal players as well. 7/10
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Five RIVETING Stars!! Directed by Mike Barker and starring DougRay Scott, Tim Roth, Rupert Everett, and Olivia Williams, this is a brilliant historical retelling of the bloody... Read more
Published 1 month ago by RBSProds
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmm
Some good images, some nice shots but thats about it. I can take dramatic licence and even a very stylised version of events and period as long as essence of the story is well told... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Barry Wom
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling
A film I can only remember for its sheer awfullness. Cromwell comes over as some sort of malevolent sprite. I came over grey and ashen that I'd wasted money and time on this.
Published 13 months ago by AD Stewart
1.0 out of 5 stars Historically totally inaccurate
In this entire film the only nod to accuracy is in the first speech the King makes at his trial. Everything else is fiction. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Venetia
4.0 out of 5 stars Cromwell
Interesting and some great acting.Could have mentioned a bit more of the Ireland connection which is my main interest in Oliver's little holiday here and all that his generosity... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Brendan Wall
3.0 out of 5 stars worth a watch
this is worth a watch. the costume and scenery are fantastic. the faillings of this movie is that it is rather rushed. Read more
Published 21 months ago by stefo
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD
I don't care what the other reviews say, this movie is underrated, it is very good, informative, pretty accurate and tells us things about Charles I that hasn't been covered in... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Nell Gwynn
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