90 user 13 critic
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.


Ken Hughes


Ken Hughes (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Harris ... Oliver Cromwell
Alec Guinness ... King Charles 'Stuart' I
Robert Morley ... The Earl of Manchester
Dorothy Tutin ... Queen Henrietta Maria
Frank Finlay ... John Carter
Timothy Dalton ... Prince Rupert
Patrick Wymark ... The Earl of Strafford
Patrick Magee ... Hugh Peters
Nigel Stock ... Sir Edward Hyde
Charles Gray ... The Earl of Essex
Michael Jayston ... Henry Ireton
Richard Cornish Richard Cornish ... Oliver Cromwell II
Anna Cropper ... Ruth Carter
Michael Goodliffe ... Solicitor General
Jack Gwillim ... General Byron


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


In his raised fist, the power of the people !


14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

17 September 1970 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Cromwell, hombre de hierro See more »


Box Office


£3,750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This movie made no mention of the Second Civil War. See more »


Cromwell orders one of the three mutineers to be hanged and John Carter is the unlucky man. A horse is heard whinnying, implying that he was sitting on it with the noose round his neck and was left hanging when the horse moved away. Cromwell immediately rushes back to stop the hanging but finds Carter already dead. In reality, people hanged like this (i.e. without a long drop) take up to twenty minutes to die in agony. Cromwell would have had ample time to save Carter's life and he would have suffered only minor injuries. See more »


Oliver Cromwell: Gentlemen! An immovable Parliament is more obnoxious than an immovable King!
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Referenced in The South Bank Show: Sir Alec Guinness (1985) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A breathtaking and overblown historical epic film with great battles , colorful cinematography and evocative score
2 June 2004 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Splendid historical flick based on the confrontation which created the only England Republic . The movie deals with take over from Republican government in England . Facing off between Olivier Cromwell and King determined to rid England of a tyrannical rule and an absolutist King : Charles I , it resulted in beheading of the King . There was created two factions : the Roundheads (Cromwell congressmen) and Cavaliers or Royalists (King's nobility) , both sides had generals of considerable skill and undaunted courage as Thomas Farfaix . Cromwell defeated King's army in battles of Moor , Preston and Naseby (1645). Later on , in 1653 , he was named Lord protector of the Republic "Commomwealth" . He imposed a dictatorship ruled by Puritans and vanquished the Irish and Scottish army . Cromwell was a Puritan leader who , according to several historians carried out near genocide in Ireland . He also battled Holland and Spain . Cromwell developed a law of navigation for the British navy . He early died by fever's illness . Richard Cromwell succeeded his father as President but he was rapidly dismissed . Duration Republic was 1648 to 1660 . Charles II went back to British kingdom and the regicides (those who had condemned Charles I to death) were arrested and hanged , drawn and quartered at Charing Cross . The Cromwell's body was disinterred, and his remains were hung from a scaffold.

Spectacular historical melodrama with magnificent acting , wonderful locations , glamorous gowns and attention to period detail . In the movie there are historic events , intense drama, and Richard Harris as well as Alec Guinness give excellent performances , though Harris as a coldly unsympathetic Briton is usually shouting and overacting . Great acting by secondary players : Frank Finlay , Patrick McGee ,Dorothy Tutin, Robert Morley , Geoffrey Keen, Timothy Dalton , Michael Jayston , Douglas Wilmer , Charles Gray , among others . The film is a bit boring for parliament speeches but in the battles (Naseby 1645) is more entertaining , being splendidly staged . The final version of Cromwell at one stage was 180 minutes long, but it was cut down to 141 minutes, deleting a number of featured roles in the process .

The film is appropriately atmospheric and based on real deeds . First-class production design and sets by John Stoll are outstanding , including Oscar winning costume design by Novarese . In fact , close to 5.000 costumes were made , and 17.0000 separate ítems or props found or realized . Heavy make-up was utilized ; in addtion , thousands of wigs from all around the world. Glowing cinematography in Panavision by Geoffrey Unsworth and evocative as well as rousing musical score by Frank Cordell . Good direction by Ken Hughes . The motion picture will appeal to history's buffs . Rating: 7,5/10 , above average .

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