Cromwell - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cromwell Reviews

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½ January 10, 2011
This was rather boring except for the amazing build-up and pay-off of the execution scene. Alec Guinness' portrayal of Charles I was excellent, but the way Cromwell was portrayed made me hate him even more. (Thus, it seems like it wasn't terribly historically accurate. Why would someone be considered so pious by his supporters swear curse-filled oaths on Jesus' name so often?) Perhaps this film would have been better served by simply being a courtroom drama because that's where it excelled, rather than an epic with boring battle scenes and little action beside in this very convoluted conflict.
½ January 7, 2011
The English Civil War from 1642 to 1651, Cromwell shows the story of the man himself portrayed by Richard Harris. When King Charles I stars the civil war by neglecting his people and more importantly in the course of things his own parliament things kick of when Cromwell's friend gets his ears lobbed of for getting a bit stroppy over the king giving his land to some rich get. The war comes to an end at the battle of Nasby but the king is bitter and continues to get up peoples noses.

Since this film I have never seen an English Civil War film revolve entirely round Oliver Cromwell even though he is the key figure in the whole ordeal. The reason for this in my opinion is Richard Harris; there has never been anyone that can even scratch the surface of what that man done for this film, he has almost created a stereotype of Cromwell (apart from the warts) and anything that will be made featuring a similar story line would just become a flop. There are also some good performances from Alec Guinness and a very young Timothy Dalton.

For the time there must have a been a tremendous amount of coinage put into the production of this feature, the battle scenes are huge and there was no aid of special effects, just pure labour, costumes and gunpowder. At over two hours I thought the movie would be a bit boring as I already knew allot of it would focus more on the arguing of parliament and people having banter about nasty Charles but I was surprisingly entertained.
December 29, 2010
Made towards the end of the era that bought us loads of worthy historical biopics, this feels like a proper rainy Sunday afternoon movie. Whilst the subject of the English Civil War and the personalities of Oliver Cromwell and Charles I should produce a tense and engaging backdrop, the pace is lethargic and the battles poorly realised making for a somewhat leaden tale, riddled with historical inaccuracies.
The cast is made up of the great and the good from the British movie industry of the time but the acting seems detached and lacking in passion, especially from Richard Harris as Cromwell who seems to lack the zeal and conviction that the role called for, perhaps he was a secret Royalist? Alec Guinness is charming rather than regal and I've seen the Sealed Knot give far more convincing reenactments of Civil War confrontations down the local park on a summer Bank Holiday than are on display here.
Never the less, this movie passes the time and serves a purpose, if only to send the viewer scuttling away to the history books to find out what battles are missing and which bits are wrong. This is a story much in need of a modern remake in order to giver a truer, dare I say, 'warts and all' portrait of Cromwell and his times but sadly, I don't think that there is an audience for such a venture.
December 4, 2010
Richard Harris brews intensity in this lavishly mounted but historically flawed epic. Harris is a good deal taller and more Irish then the geunine article, but he brings authentic life to his zeal to bring down what he feels is an unjust king. Alec Guinness brings some real humanity to his role as Charles I, his walk to his execution a particualrly pongiant scene. Timothy Dalton stands out in a showy role as Prince Rupert, shockingly flamboyant and dandy considering his mostly serious demenaor in other roles. Ken Hughes direction is lacking in capturing much energy from what's happening on screen, even during the battle sequences. The production design is excellent, especially the centerpiece set of the Parliment. The lead performances of Guinness and Harris makes this movie worth the occasional watch.
½ November 23, 2010
A horrible piece of fucking shit.
November 13, 2010
Richard Harris brews intensity in this lavishly mounted but historically flawed epic. Harris is a good deal taller and more Irish then the geunine article, but he brings authentic life to his zeal to bring down what he feels is an unjust king. Alec Guinness brings some real humanity to his role as Charles I, his walk to his execution a particualrly pongiant scene. Timothy Dalton stands out in a showy role as Prince Rupert, shockingly flamboyant and dandy considering his mostly serious demenaor in other roles. Ken Hughes direction is lacking in capturing much energy from what's happening on screen, even during the battle sequences. The production design is excellent, especially the centerpiece set of the Parliment. The lead performances of Guinness and Harris makes this movie worth the occasional watch.
October 13, 2010
Very good historical movie about a very important British figure
½ September 3, 2010
Some historical errors (superficial like "Cromwell" having a haircut more fashionable in 1970 than in the 1600s, as well as more academic) and too pro-Cromwell for my taste. It stops at his siege of power, and does not even mention the tyranny of his rule. However, inter alia, Charles I was well cast, and the costumes to my knowledge pretty accurate.
September 1, 2010
Actually saw this half my life ago in 12th grade World History class. It's a classic. Brilliant acting and very well executed. A tad dry..or maybe I was just a bit tired after work last night. Still definitely worth seeing as one of the scenes has remained imprinted in my brain from 17 years ago. The scene where Charles I is playing blind man's bluff with his youngest children.
½ December 30, 2009
I wanted to like this more than I did. Richard Harris was superb, as was Alec Guiness, but something about the pacing of the movie left me flat. Also, the battles scenes were flaccid.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
December 7, 2009
Aided by a very good cast, "Cromwell" is a lavish if mostly simplistic spectacle about the conflict between Parliament led by Oliver Cromwell(Richard Harris) and King Charles I(Alec Guinness) that starts in 1640 as England is facing an invasion from Scotland and Cromwell is about to immigrate to America with his family and fellow Puritans. However, the cause of defending farmers from the king's interests intercedes and Cromwell and his allies work tirelessly in Parliament in an escalating fight that leads to civil war.

What works best in "Cromwell" is the contrast between Charles and Cromwell which is expressed perfectly in a great debate about whether ordinary men are capable of extraordinary things. Cromwell takes one side of this argument as he fights for a more just society but loses himself along the way, eventually becoming a tyrant as much as the one he eliminates. On the other hand, the subject of religion is skirted over as is Cromwell's brutal stint in Ireland.(Gore Vidal once wrote that the Puritans left England not because they were persecuted but because they were persecuting everyone else.) The movie's one critical error is in arguing that a country requires a strong head of state to succeed. Just don't knock anarchy if you haven't tried it.
October 24, 2009
i was an innocent young man till i saw this film ,it opened my eyes to corruption to a world that as not changed ,if cromwell was around now he would clear the rabble we have in parliment now ,he was a true englishman who cared
for england and god rather than himself ,i know he did some bad things a lot of them can be explained and have been
½ September 23, 2009
I never bothered to see this movie until now. This is due to the fact that the historical Cromwell was a first rate piece of shit and is on the list of "World's Most Deadly and Tyrannical People of All Time." Here in this film he is glorified as libero Britannia, the father of modern British politics. Fortunately for Cromwell's credibility the narrative of this movie ends before his regime lays waste to Ireland and Scotland as a dictatorship in the guise of "Lord Protector." No doubt all this was in conflict with the filmmaker's romantic vision of Oliver Cromwell. I was eventually attracted to the movie because of its fine cast. I will watch anything with Alec Guinness, but it was also fun to see Charles Gray, most recognizable from Rocky Horror and Diamonds are Forever, Michael Jayson who played Tsar Nicholas II in Nicholas and Alexandra, Timothy Dalton remembered as the Bond no one liked, and of course Richard Harris who is these days mostly associated with Dumbledore from the first two films of the Harry Potter series. It goes without saying that Harris' performance of Cromwell is amazing and very powerful, but it seems to me that Alec Guinness steals the show as the soon to be beheaded King Charles I. Guinness is a mirror image of the King from those famous van Dyck portraits of Charles, it's an uncanny resemblance and adds to the actors flawless performance. See this movie if you like the actors, if you like Cromwell... then go read a history book.
½ July 13, 2009
Lavishly made and historically accurate and very well acted. The film does however suffer slightly in both it's length and it's slightly too over dramatic feel, sounding more like a Shakespeare play than a feature film. However, this aside it is an enthralling portrayal of the two protagonists and is worth a look for both those interested in history and for those who just like a good story
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2009
"It's an odd thing, Mr. Ireton. Every man who wages war believes God is on his side. I'll warrant God should often wonder who is on his."
Director: Ken Hughes
Starring: Richard Harris, Alec Guinness, Robert Morley, Dorothy Tutin
Running time: 139 minutes
Country: UK
I had high expectations for this film because it stars two great and late actors who were both very talented but what I was mostly disappointed with in this film was that I don't think the acting from the actors were brilliant. It is good when it comes to action but when it comes to the story it feels sort of rushed. When the English Civil War ends it feels really rushed from then until the end. The Civil War ended about 1 hour 30 minutes and it had less than 40 minutes to try and write up and film the rest of the story with 2 hours 15 minutes duration. Well, that is what I think about it anyway. The costumes, art direction and cinematography were the best thing about this film apart from that is was pretty crap.
I wasn't that keen on neither Richard Harris as Oliver Cromwell nor Alec Guinness as King Charles I because neither actor made Charles or Cromwell very believable like they were history and lived 400 years ago. Richard Harris was better than Alec Guinness but neither actor gave me that feeling where there was any proper emotion involved within the characters like that really was England 400 years ago.
Ken Hughes' direction wasn't brilliant to be honest because it wasn't as believable as I was anticipating. The epic action scenes in the English Civil War didn't really help it very much. I wasn't that fond of the script neither because it was more like a made-up story rather than historical England. I am disappointed with saying that but it is true though.
This film won the Oscar for Best Costume Design and was nominated for Best Music Original Score but lost to Love Story. It was nominated for Best Music Original Score at the Golden Globes but lost to Love Story. Overall, Cromwell is a film that I found really disappointing. Alec Guinness was a legendary actor and his portrayal of King Charles I is at the moment his most disappointing. The late Richard Harris wasn't bad and wasn't good either but he was better. It is a film that is extremely underrated but should be considered for its technical design rather than its acting, directing and producing.
½ May 14, 2009
Whilst not overly accurate historically, it did follow the general gist correctly. Thought that Sir Robert Morley was brilliant as that bent MP who was feathering his own nest out of the public purse (just like a lot of our MP's today!). Liked the way that Richard Harris had all of those corrupt MP's ejected at the end of the film.
½ April 21, 2009
Historisk drama med Richard Harris som Oliver Cromwell, der i 16 hundrede tallets England spiller et forraederisk og blodigt politisk spil mod Kongen paa vegne af folket, som bringer landet ud i borgerkrig. Emnet er set med vore dagens demokratiske oejne stadig sine steder aktuelt og interessant og som film er det godt fortalt, fint lavet og trovaerdigt spillet. Filmen kan dog ikke undsige sig at vaere en anelse forsimplet og uden dybere psykologiske lag og det traekker lidt ned.
½ March 21, 2009
Mixed feelings about this film. As a history buff and Anglophile, I cannot help but be fascinated by the narrative and the actors' portrayals, but the inaccuracies and liberties taken by the production team irked me.
February 15, 2009
good version of this
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