6.9/10
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86 user 11 critic

Cromwell (1970)

Oliver Cromwell can no longer tolerate King Charles' policies and the self-interest of the ruling class and leads a civil war to install Parliament as the ultimate ruler of England.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Carter
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Patrick Wymark ...
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Richard Cornish ...
Oliver Cromwell II
Anna Cropper ...
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General Byron
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Storyline

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 <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In his raised fist, the power of the people !


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

17 July 1970 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cromwell - Der Unerbittliche  »

Box Office

Budget:

£3,750,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final cinema movie of actor Sir Felix Aylmer though his scenes were all deleted. See more »

Goofs

Cromwell's dismissal of the Rump Parliament happened before he was offered the crown, not afterwards. See more »

Quotes

Henry Ireton: Though Strafford's hand be upon this warrant, I see in this business not the hand of Strafford, but that of the King.
Oliver Cromwell: It is not the function of this House to sit in judgment upon this King. The fault lies with those people from whom the King has sought counsel.
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Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Pretty lavish but uneven and inaccurate
25 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film ultimately fails as an historical drama. It has some pretty good elements. The production values of the costumes, scenes, etc., are overall quite good. Guinness is great as Charles: he looks a lot like him, and he does a good job at conveying the king's tyrannical, autocratic stance, his conviction in his belief that he's right, his nobility to the end, and the fact that while he usually ended up taking bad positions or doing the wrong things, he did so not entirely for bad reasons (at least in his own mind), for he was sure that he was right. The film also makes some modicum of effort at showing Cromwell's more troubling qualities, too, making him out to be the noble hero, but not entirely covering up his transformation into ruthless, hypocritical dictator.

However, the film has equally strong bad points. It tends to drag at many points and frequently gives the impression of being an overly drawn-out stage production that fails to be fully convincing. More serious, though, is the problem that, although presenting itself as historical, it plays fast and loose with history. It does not fully explain the causes of the Civil War or the differences of viewpoints within each side, especially the Parliamentarians, not all of whom were fighting for the same reasons. It portrays the Royalist forces as the flashy, well-equipped and stronger element when in reality the Parliament forces were not only much more numerous, but usually much better equipped as well (after all, it was not a war of rag-tag, grass-roots rebels trying to topple the government; each side represented in part one branch of the government and Parliament, not the king, was the body that held the purse strings). In addition, the Royalists often did quite well in battle despite their inferior forces. It clearly makes Cromwell out to be too important from the start: rather than being one of the key leaders in the beginning, he really started out as a military commander and simply rose to prominence over time. Finally, Cromwell, despite some of his autocratic tendency coming through, is still shown to be too much the reluctant, noble hero, and the film only hints at his other face, one which in short order made him none too popular in England, let alone Ireland. Needless to say, nothing is mentioned of his willingness to shed the blood of Royalists and Catholics, or to destroy historic architecture that conflicted with his Puritan views.


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