During the sixteenth century, the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots engages in over two decades of religious and political conflict with her cousin, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England, amidst political intrigue in her native land.
In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by British General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (Charlton Heston) defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi (Sir Laurence Olivier).
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>
Hyde is called 'Sir Edward Hyde' and addressed by the Queen as 'my lord' in scenes which take place in 1641: he was not knighted until during the Civil War and not elevated to the peerage until 1661. See more »
a good historical drama, if somewhat simplified & under funded
Oliver Cromwell the real person was not quite the people-loving man betrayed in this decent movie version drama of the English Civil War during the 1600s. In reality he became more the dictator & tyrant than the person he replaced in King Charles I.
However, putting that to one side, the film version of Cromwell's growing involvement in the War is marginally accurate and well done. Richard Harris, as Cromwell, makes a decent effort although I do feel he makes too much of a theatrical job with the role, with far too much posturing, self-smugness, and above all shouting....
I can understand his unhappiness at the Royalists encroachment of the Common People's liberties; and I can understand him fully remonstrating his feelings in the House of Commons, but Harris seems to shout in nearly every scene. So much so that by the end of the movie he is struggling for breath.
Conversely, Alec Guiness's Charles I is far more intelligently done. Underplayed yet convincing & too some extents we feel more sympathetic to his plight. After all he has a rather scheming Cathloic French Queen, the Catholic Church and a lot of other distractions to occupy his mind and usurp his powers.
The battle scenes are convincing but don't carry the same kind of savagery than the more prosaic Braveheart. But the supporting characters do a good job and add a more rounded feel from Harris' turgid performance.
The directing blows hot & cold, sometimes the story drifts & meanders before pulling back into sharp focus; while the choreography is sweeping & rich in content. The musical score, however, seems tacky & amateurish, lacking any depth in conjunction with what's going on in the film.
However, for all its faults and historical inaccuracies, we do get a slightly better insight into a rather grim & dark chapter in England's turbulent history.
Cromwell is a good film but should be taken with a large pinch of salt as far as retelling history is concerned.
15 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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