Riveting biographical drama about Oliver Cromwell, his role in the English Civil War and the subsequent execution of King Charles I. For a History buff like me, this film is a real treat, despite its inaccuracies.
Richard Harris is believable and captivating as Cromwell, the reluctant revolutionary who gradually becomes more and more radical. But he is more than matched by the superb Alec Guinness who plays King Charles as a flawed human being who despite his shortcomings as a leader, ultimately wins our sympathy with his stoic dignity.
Hughes's direction is sure-handed and (thankfully) non-showy, while top-notch art direction, cinematography and memorable secondary roles help elevating this film from a dry historical lesson to a lasting, unforgettable cinematic experience.