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Cromwell [DVD] (1970) 
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Richard Harris and Sir Alec Guinness star in this sweeping, handsomely-mounted epic drama recounting the battle which raged between the monarchy and a commoner over the very soul of Great Britain. In17th-century England, ambitious country gentleman Oliver Cromwell (Harris) dared to challenge the political oppression and corruption which besieged his nation. Watching his power being usurped by a commoner, King Charles I (Two-time Oscar(r)-winner Guinness, 1957 Best Actor, The Bridge on the River Kwai; 1980 Honorary Award) springs to challenge his adversary. One man will become absolute ruler; the other will be executed. Rousing battle sequences, excellent lead and supporting performances fromRobert Morley, Dorothy Tutin and Timothy Dalton, Academy(r) Award-winning costume design and spectacular photography by renowned cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth (Cabaret, Tess), make CROMWELL an outstanding historical drama in the tradition of Braveheart.
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I find it hard to imagine that this could be anyone's favourite film, but to fans of either Alec Guinness or Richard Harris, these kind of historical epics or those particularly interested in the period, it is worth a look.
I have watched this film many times and have recently bought it on DVD. I find the film fascinating, especially Richard Harris's depiction of Cromwell. There is always a tension within his portrayal, between a man who just wanted to get on in a "normal" life and a man who was constantly being pulled into action by first the King and then his fellow members of Parliament. Alec Guinness also plays the complex character of King Charles perfectly. Guinness's mannerisms, eye movements and gestures all give the impression that the King was two faced, a liar, a cheat and a squanderer of the Crown.
The direction by Ken Hughes is done very well, so are he costumes and sets. It gives the feel of 1600's England. I can watch this film over and over again and always see something I did not see before. It is purely an entertaining film with a good story. Whilst I cannot say it is a great historical record of what actually did happen in the English civil war, it is nonetheless a wonderful 1970's English production, with charm and great acting by the two stars.
An enjoyable film, if you can ignore the inaccurate scenes.
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