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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Disgusted with the policies of King Charles I, Oliver Cromwell plans to take his family to the New World. But on the eve of their departure, Cromwell is drawn into the tangled web of religion and politics that will result in the English Civil War. Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
Heavy make up was used so the actors would look like the portraits of their characters. See more »
The Battle of Naseby takes place in 1644, before the creation of the New Model Army, and Cromwell's Parliamentarian troops are heavily outnumbered by the King's Army. In reality, the Battle of Naseby was in 1645, the Parliamentarian troops were represented by the newly formed New Model Army which had a substantial advantage in numbers (some 13,000 to the King's 7400), and Sir Thomas Fairfax, not Cromwell, was in command. See more »
As a lover of history, especially the history of my own nation, I never miss an opportunity to see a great historical epic, with Kings and Queens fighting the very battles of words and blood, which have carved our nation into what it is today.
I also feel that for a film to be educational and informative it has to be accurate and unfortunately Cromwell is never going to win any awards in the 'what really happened' category.
Despite these inaccuracies, the film does give us a general idea of what went on in the England of the 1640's so it still has the power to be enjoyable.
Alec Guinness steals the entire film with the only accurate portrayal in the movie as Charles I. The stuttering Scot who believes in the divine right of Kings. A man who looks upon Parliament as a challenge to his authority over the people, and a head of a protestant state wrestling with his own strong catholic leanings and sympathies.
Richard Harris is outstanding and brilliant, but portrays Cromwell as someone he most certainly wasn't. As an Irishman, it amazes me what ever persuaded him to take on the role. With Cromwell being the most hated Englishman in Irish history, I was surprised he didn't portray him as an evil oppressor and murderer complete with handlebar moustache, top-hat and cape accompanied by Hammond organs and loud hissing sounds from the audience.
Instead Harris' Cromwell is so nice and decent, honourable and just that by movies end he would have been welcomed at any dining table in County Cork.
Cromwell's belief was that Parliament runs the country and the people run the Parliament (reminder for Tony Blair!!!) The system we have today. However during his time as head of a republic state, he seemed to have forgot this and went his own way on nearly everything despite what the people wanted (remind you of anyone Tony Blair!!!)
So again inaccuracies rain on what is on the whole a very good parade.
The battle scenes also fail to excite as they are not filmed on the dramatic scale needed to have done them justice. In fact sometimes they are reminisent of Monty Python's reenactment of the Battle of Pearl Harbour by the Batley Towns-women's Guild.
Watch this film and enjoy it as I did, but I beg of you, don't use it as a basis for a factual thesis in your History Degree...you will fail big time.
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