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  • A Great Film
    Richard Harris looks more like Cromwell than Cromwell. Much of the dialogue is from the historical record and the pen of the historical characters portrayed. There are errors such as attributing Fairfax's prayer to Cromwell, and the numbers and situations at the battles of Naseby and Edgehill but overall it is very accurate for the medium of film. The battle reinactments are smaller scale than the actual battles (as always) but they are quite well done with some great camera work including a moving camera at horse hoof level.

    Even an Irishman (like Richard Harris) and a Royalist can find this film interesting even if one brings a prejudice against Cromwell to the viewing. ...more info
  • Cromwell
    Star studded film of excellant quality. Kept me interested all the way through. A nice easy way to revisit our history....more info
  • Superbly Done Historical Drama
    For a period piece about the English Civil War and the role that Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I played in it, this film is excellent. Both Richard Harris and Alec Guiness are perfectly cast as Cromwell and the King respectively and are surrounded by a fine supporting cast. Guiness at times is absolutely spellbinding as a King who slowly realizes that power is slipping from him and his performance is one of the greatest film representations of a Monarch I've ever seen. His trial scene is one of the film's highlights.
    The sets and costuming are accurate and beautiful depicting 17th century England realistically. The battles and military scenes may lack absolute historical accuracy as some below have noted but nevertheless they are well done and brief enough not to distract from the overall value of this film.
    The only negative aspect of this for me was the musical score which I found at times distracting and even annoying. The opening theme is brutal but don't let it discourage you, it does get better.
    ...more info
  • cromwell
    Very good movie about the English civil war between parliament and the king.Both Richard Harris(Cromwell) and Alec Guiness(Charles) are excellent representing two different views of government.While the king lost the war and his head, the political situation which started the war was never really resolved. Cromwell became "Lord Protector" a king in all but name, until his death and the restoration...more info
  • Little known but a fantastic period piece
    One of my favorite movies of all time. I show it to my 8th grade class in order to explain the foundations of our Revolution and democracy. Movie has terrific acting, costumes and worth battle scenes. AG and RH are beyond good. Makes Cromwell out to be a better man than he probably was but it is before he takes over as "Lord Protector." ...more info
  • Excellent Production Values, Horribly Inaccurate
    The inaccuracies in this film are too numerous to detail. They consist not only of relatively straightforward errors of fact but more serious errors in the construction of the story, namely wholesale distortion of the chronology and roles of major figures of the period. This has been done clearly to make the story more dramatic and comprehensible. The makers of this film were well intentioned but mistaken. The English Civil War is one of the most interesting episodes in European history and if can't be presented in a straightforward fashion, nothing in human history can be. Just as bad are the crashing anachronisms in the story, especially the presentation of Cromwell as some version of a 19th century liberal driven to extreme acts by the folly of his opponents.
    The production is handsome and the quality of acting quite good, especially the great Alec Guinness as Charles I and Richard Harris in the title role. The battle scenes are the best part. Since most of these engagements actually involved only a few thousand combatants, the producers were able to mimic parts of the real actions. Still, this is basically a silly movie. ...more info
  • Our Chief of Men
    A magnificent summary of the fundamental issues, and their resolution, which made the British nation what it once used to be, and was for 300 years, right up until 1945. There is obviously not the slightest hope of compressing the complicated historical events from 1640 to 1660 into 2 hours, and simplification is so inevitable as to be not worth even discussing. But the basics are presented with excellent clarity, and produced with a marvellous balance between entertaining drama and solid essentials. Guinness and Harris are both on tremendous form: the defining characteristics of Charles were vacillation and weakness, and those of Cromwell force and resolution. Both were pious in their own ways. Charles, however, thought he could do what he liked in his position because God had put him there. Cromwell didn't share this belief, and that is what makes him a great man, and a great architect of the British political values which lasted for so long. The ruthless crushing of the threat in Ireland has to be addressed, of course, and perhaps I'll add something on that at a later date. Such was the man's personality, however, that even an author from a British Roman Catholic background felt obliged to title her biography: "Cromwell, Our Chief of Men". ...more info
    It befuddles me how this film got an average of four stars. CROMWELL is an awful film. It is so pitiful that I feel bad picking on it but someone must speak up and tell the truth about this movie. Good acting talent (Richard Harris and Alec Guiness) is wasted on the worst possible screenplay. I think I could have written a better screenplay as could have the the bag boy at your favorite supermarket. And the history? If this was being shown to school kids in England, it's no wonder the country is socialist. I have read C.V. WEDGEWOOD'S three-volume work on the English Civil War twice so I know something about that conflict. In CROMWELL, the facts are over-simplified to the point of absudity. Charles I is portrayed as a stuttering namby-pampy bullied by his Catholic wife. Oliver Cromwell is shown as a righteous advocate for "democracy". The Cavaliers are thugs and greedy, oppressive rich; the Puritans are shown as innocent, hard-working farmers. You can see who our heros are in CROMWELL. In reality, both sides claimed the support of noblemen, craftsmen, laborers, farmers and townsmen. Also, the puritans saw pleasure and luxury as sinful and probably would have liked to impose their strict, black-and-white lifestyle on all of England. CROMWELL would have been much more interesting and truly educational if it had opted to present a balanced view of both sides. Beyond that, the characters are paper-thin and the dialogue painful. The costumes and sets seem pretty good so, for that, I'll give CROMWELL one star. Stay away from this one. Read WEDGEWOOD instead. ...more info
  • Excellent History
    Hollywood does not make them like this anymore. All aspects of this film are great....more info
  • Cromwell; Well worth investing two hours of your life.
    "Cromwell" is a truly outstanding film. Of course, there are historical inaccuracies (particularly in the portrayal of the Long Parliament and the Battle of Edgehill). But these are trivial points when set against the huge success of this film in encapsulating the enormity of the subject. The personal, military and political dimensions are vast but Ken Hughes captures them as succinctly as is humanly possible.

    From a near perfect screen presentation by Alec Guniness to Richard Harris at his pugilistic best, the characterisations are superbly drawn.

    The struggle of the common man against a faltering autocracy is a theme conveyed convincingly without becoming a modernist rant.

    From an historical perspective this film is a must. Oliver Cromwell has a good claim to be the grandfather of the United States and through it, modern democracy. After Charles II was restored in the military coup of 1660, many of Cromwell's supporters (and at least two tyrannicides - as John Milton called them) sought freedom in their United States. Their grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the revolutionaries who founded the USA; Cromwell had shown it was possible. Cromwell's Statute of Government 1653 (revised 1657) was the cornerstone of most democratic thinking in the 18th century and was the ultimate basis for the US Constitution. Cromwell's Equitable Maxims of 1650 still form the basis of both English and American laws. (Cromwell also introduced the English speaking world to chocolate and opera!).

    Unfortunately many myths surround Cromwell; he is reviled by the Roman Catholic church and monarchists. 350 years have seen the creation of many historical inaccuracies - no civilians were killed at Drogheda. Cromwell did not cancel Christmas. Cromwell did not issue coins with the inscription "Olivarus Imperator"; these coins were issued by Charles II and backdated (a rather clever piece of propaganda).

    Anyway this movie is a fascinating and a sufficiently accurate introduction to one of the most important events in Anglo-Irish-American history. Enjoy....more info
  • simplified masterpiece
    visually, this is a stunning film. and also a neglected topic. this period of history is usually dismissed for a variety of reasons, typically because Cromwell seems to modern sensibilities as a kind of Taliban-style leader, a moralistic monster, hell-bent on forcing his religious beliefs/moral outlook on a resistant populace. likewise, many of the Puritan leaders seem officious, overbearing and oppressive.
    it's also all to easy to lose sight of this: much of Europe's then royalty supported each other to the detriment of their supporting subjects. also easy to miss is this is the time when national identities begin to assert themselves. for all the negativity that's usually been attributed to Cromwell, the man himself wanted nothing more than to return to the England of Elizabeth's time when national safety and security had been toally affirmed with the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
    Charles Stuart, on the other hand, seemed the antithesis of all that.
    what results is a study in democratic to and fro that reverberates down until today. impossible to forget, undeniably provocative and so ably acted by a tremendous cast. I felt so fortunate to acquire a film that I hadn't seen since it's original release....more info
  • it's ok
    the history is interesting but the movie does not hold up as well as A Man for all Seasons or Becket....more info