‘CROMWELL’ 1970. (Richard Harris, Alec Guiness).
Quotes from this great film:
“Therefore, put your trust in God - and keep your powder dry!”
“We would as much go back to our homes and our farms as pursue this mockery of a government one more day.”
“You are no more capable of managing the affairs of this nation than you are of running a brothel!”
As Historical epics go, this magnificent film, directed by Ken Hughes, has always been one of my favourites. It engagingly portrays the ‘brother against brother’ conflict of the ‘English Civil War’, (1642-1651), when Oliver Cromwell (excellent portrayed by the late, great Richard Harris), defending the Protestant Church, organises an uprising (albeit grudgingly), against the Monarch, Charles I (Alec Guiness).
The cast, alone, in this film, is exceptional: Charles Gray, Timothy Dalton, Robert Morley, Geoffrey Keen, Dorothy Tutin, Michael Jayston, Nigel Stock, Patrick Wymark, Patrick Magee, Frank Finlay…
Filmed both in England, at Shepperton Studions, Surrey, and at Sierra de Urbasa, Navarra, Spain, it is a great shame that such a slice of history only won one Academy Award, in 1970, for Best Costume Design, by Vittorio Nino Novarese. The exceptional film score, by Frank Cordell, was also nominated, but didn’t win.
And, as for Richard Harris…if ever an actor deserved one…! I think that he was born to play the part of Cromwell. Shamefully, in my opinion, he was passed over, at the Academy Awards.
However, if memory serves me right, the award for ‘Best Actor’ went to yet another magnificent actor, George C. Scott, for his role in ‘Patton’. Ironically, I seem to remember that Scott turned the award down…
Later, in 1971, Richard Harris was awarded ‘Best Actor’ award, at the ‘Moscow International Film Festival’.