Cromwell

Cromwell (1970)

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President Bradshaw: Sir, you are before a court of law.
Charles I: I see I am before a power.

Charles I: I do not intend now to be schooled in my high office by illiterate farmhands, cobblers and basket weavers.

Oliver Cromwell: When men run out of words, they reach for their swords. Let's hope we can keep them talking.

Oliver Cromwell: My Lord! Why in Christ's name did you sound the retreat?

Charles I: Do you not rise, Sir, when your king approaches? Rise, Sir, or to your knees in shame! You did give me your most solemn promise that you would hold Bristol for four months, but you have not held it for four weeks! You promised mountains yet you've performed molehills. You make a knave of your king!

Oliver Cromwell: Do you think I don't desire that? Go home to my farm and my family? Very well. Go again to this king. Offer to him once more our terms. Oh God knows he should be well acquainted with them by now. Tell him he may sit upon his throne, but that this country will be governed by parliament and parliament will be elected by the people. Now, Sir Thomas, if you can achieve this where we have failed this trial will end.

Oliver Cromwell: Does the king think that God can be bought with gold, trinkets and gilded rubbish?!

Oliver Cromwell: Any action against any member of this House is a breach of privilege, and I move that this House declare as public enemies any who lays hands upon its members. I FURTHER MOVE! I further move that any such action against this House be considered a crime against the people and treason against this nation.
Charles I: So be it. Mister Speaker, you will inform the members of this House that their service is no longer required by the nation. This parliament is, by my authority, terminated. Dissolved.

Oliver Cromwell: O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me.

King Charles: Mr. Cromwell, you are impertinent.
Oliver Cromwell: Such issues are beyond good manners, sir. Catholicism is more than a religion. It is a political power. Therefore, I am led to believe there will be no peace in Ireland until the Catholic Church is crushed.

Thomas Fairfax: I seem to remember we cut off the head of a king for such as this.

Charles I: A democracy, Mr. Cromwell, was a Greek drollery based on the foolish notion that there are extraordinary possibilities in very ordinary people.
Oliver Cromwell: It is the ordinary people, my Lord, who would most readily lay down their lives in defense of your realm. It is simply that being ordinary that they would prefer to be asked and not told.

Factual error: Halfway through the film, Cromwell decides to create the New Model Army, and he kits them all out in dark brown uniforms. In fact, Cromwell's New Model Army wore red coats, (cheapest available colour), and this was the reason the British army wore red until the late 19th Century. In the movie, King Charles's troops all wear red; in fact each different regiment wore their own coat colours, blue being a popular choice.

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Trivia: After the execution of Charles I / Alec Guiness, Oliver Cromwell / Richard Harris returns to his home. Sitting by the fire, he is consoled by his wife: he can now put the cares and worries of war and politics behind him, and enjoy a quiet life as a country gentleman. This cosy domesticity is rudely interrupted when some of his old colleagues arrive to tell him tell him that he is now needed to run the country. He protests that, as a country gentleman he would be unfit for such a role, but he reluctantly assumes power. In fact, by the time of Charles I's execution Oliver Cromwell was one of the most powerful political figures and military commanders in Britain, and actively continued commanding armies in Ireland, Scotland and England, and involving himself in government. Although rejecting a suggestion that he should be crowned king (after much deliberation), he was quite willing to take the title of 'Lord Protector' and govern England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales until his death in 1658.

Rob Halliday

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