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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent film
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...
Published 11 months ago by Dr. Philip R. Horobin

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good historical drama
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...
Published on 25 July 2008 by Trevor Willsmer


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good historical drama, 25 July 2008
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] (DVD)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute rubbish; a waste of money, 24 May 2004
By 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent film, 8 Sep 2013
By 
Dr. Philip R. Horobin "Homer" (Wimborne, Dorset) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] (DVD)
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
2.0 out of 5 stars I cannot watch the movie in the US. I know it is a great movie, which makes the situation worse :-((, 8 Jun 2013
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This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] (DVD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars history, 6 Dec 2012
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This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] (DVD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting study of Thomas Fairfax, 19 Jan 2014
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This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] (DVD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I was counting on you. You let me down., 11 Jan 2014
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] (DVD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good, 1 Jan 2013
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This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Delighted with my purchase and the very fast delivery
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE BLOODY BIRTH OF THE ENGLISH COMMONWEALTH, 12 Mar 2014
By 
RSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Kill A King [DVD] (DVD)
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 transition of the English government from a royal monarchy to a republican Commonwealth. It's also centers on the love and tensions between Sir Thomas Fairfax (Scott) and his wife (WIlliams), and the friendship between Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell (a blazing Tim Roth) who became the Lord Protector of England, and the defiance of King Charles I (Everett) to certain political changes which were on the horizon for this king who ruled England, Scotland, and Ireland. The beautiful Olivia Williams steals every scene she's in, her beauty is seen in relief to the huge amount of testosterone evident throughout the movie in both war scenes and in the halls of parliament. But this film is mainly the vehicle for Scott (who also co-produced the movie)l, Roth, and Everett. and they are riveting individually and in the ensemble with Ms Williams. This is a must-see historical drama that is both gripping and mesmerizing with no wasted scenes. Highly Recommended. Five HISTORICAL Stars!!! (DVD: Region 2, 102 minutes; color; widescreen; Dolby Surround Sound: 2.0 and 5.1; closed captioned; extra features.)
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To Kill A King [DVD] by Mike Barker (DVD - 2008)
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