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Winstanley (1975)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, War | 1975 (UK)
Winstanley explores the attempt by Gerrard Winstanley who formed 'The Diggers' and with a group of followers attempted to form a small farming community in one of the first proto-Communist attempts at collective agriculture.


Kevin Brownlow


Kevin Brownlow, David Caute (novel) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Miles Halliwell Miles Halliwell ... Gerrard Winstanley
Jerome Willis ... General Lord Fairfax
Terry Higgins Terry Higgins ... Tom Haydon
Phil Oliver Phil Oliver ... Will Everard
David Bramley David Bramley ... Parson Platt
Alison Halliwell Alison Halliwell ... Mrs. Platt
Dawson France Dawson France ... Capt. Gladman
Bill Petch Bill Petch ... Henry Bickerstaffe
Barry Shaw Barry Shaw ... Colonel Rich
Sid Rawle Sid Rawle ... Ranter
George Hawkins George Hawkins ... John Coulton
Stanley Reed Stanley Reed ... Recorder
Philip Stearns Philip Stearns ... Francis Drake
Flora Skrine Flora Skrine ... Mrs. Drake
George Barratt George Barratt


Winstanley explores the attempt by Gerrard Winstanley who formed 'The Diggers' and with a group of followers attempted to form a small farming community in one of the first proto-Communist attempts at collective agriculture.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1975 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BFI Production See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Novelist Marina Lewycka, best known for her 2005 debut 'Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian', acted as a language consultant on the film, advising the writer-directors on the English of the time. See more »


Referenced in It Happened Here Again (1976) See more »


Alexander Nevsky
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Played by Ceská Filharmonie (as The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra)
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User Reviews

Truly independent film
6 September 2010 | by strausbaughSee all my reviews

Today the term "indie film" is a bloated cliché, misapplied to any movie with a budget under $50 million and not too much CGI, regardless of how conventional and hackneyed the film is. To see really independent cinema you have to go back to the 60s and 70s, when revolutions in the technology allowed eccentrics and visionaries, working totally outside the industry and with virtually no money, to make truly unique movies. Folks like Warhol and Waters and Anger in the US, Herzog in Germany, and the team of Brownlow and Mollo in the UK. All very different from one another (and everyone else), which is part of what makes them authentic independents. Starting when they were just 18, Brownlow and Mollo made two extraordinary history-based films. First they spent eight years (and something like 20,000 pounds, minuscule even in 1970s currency) making "It Happened Here," a what-if fantasy about England occupied by the Nazis during World War II that looks so realistic you could be fooled it's a documentary if you're history-challenged. Then, with an equally tiny budget and fierce attention to detail, they made the true-to-history "Winstanley," about the proto-democracy (and proto-Quaker, and proto-hippie) revolt of the Diggers, Levellers and Ranters in 17th-century England. Again it looks so real it's like a documentary somehow shot in the 1640s, but it's also beautiful, poetic and philosophical in a kind of Herzogian way. They're both remarkable little films, unlike anything else, that should be remedial must-see's for anyone who likes or is involved in what's called indie film nowadays.

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