The nub of director Ken Hughes’ $9 million film (from his own screenplay, with Ronald Harwood as ‘script consultant’) is the confrontation of the two complex leading characters, Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I. Richard Harris and Alec Guinness, respectively, give powerhouse performances.
Harris plays the idealistic, dedicated Cromwell with cold eyes, tortured, rasping voice and an inflexible spirit. He is the man who regarded Jehovah as his main ally and was determined at all costs to rescue the England he loved from the corruption of a weak, greedy court and to set up a Parliament that would be truly democratic, speaking for the people and not be the puppets of the King.
The battle scenes (shot in Spain and using the Spanish Army) at Nazeby and Edgehill are excitingly drawn.
1970: Best Costume Design.
Nomination: Best Original Score