Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Ken Hughes
Production: Columbia Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations.
139 min

Is that him?



- God be with you, Oliver.

- You too, John.

This is Henry Ireton, a friend.

- Good day, sir.

- Mr. Ireton.

I've been taking a last look at my land.

We had heard you were leaving.

We came from London directly.

You could have saved

yourself the effort.

- lf we could discuss it, I'm sure...

- There is nothing to discuss.

Well, come back to my house.

You've got a long journey back.

You must forgive the manner

of our table, Mr. Pym.

Our best crockery

is packed for the voyage.

- Bridget, fetch the bread.

- Yes, Mother.

We'd hoped to persuade

your husband... change his mind

about going to America.

I should have thought you'd know

Oliver better than that, Mr. Pym.

It was not an easy decision, John.

This is my country, my land.

God has been good to me here.

- Then, sir, why are you leaving?

- I have a family, Mr. Ireton.

I owe it to my sons

to make a better life for them.

England is no longer

a country for a young man.

I recall you spoke

out in Parliament for the rights...

...and privileges of common people.

That was a long time ago, Mr. Ireton.

I had a vision then.

A great nation.

Prosperous, God-fearing,

good laws, strong...

...respected throughout the world.

That was the England I dreamed of.

Well, sir, you are a squire now,

a man of property.

Perhaps you no longer care

for the common people.

Perhaps I've been misinformed, sir.

I thought, as a Puritan, you

would see it as your God-given duty... do the Lord's work in this land,

regardless of sacrifice.

Mr. Ireton, I was fighting

for the liberty of the common people...

...when you were in knee breeches.

Then why are you leaving?

I am leaving because this country

crawls with greed and corruption.

It is governed by profiteers...

...who think more

of their pockets than their principles.

I am leaving because we have a king

who taxes the rich beyond its means...

...and steals land

from the poor to maintain...

...his lavish court

and his Catholic wife.

When Parliament objected

against these injustices...

...he closed his Parliament down.

And our man dare not speak

his mind for fear of imprisonment.

Oh, yes.

All my life I believed it was God's work

to fight against such tyranny.

But God has turned his back

upon this nation, and we are leaving it.

And what if Parliament

should be recalled, Mr. Cromwell?

- And why should a king do that?

- He needs money, Oliver.

- What? To build another palace?

- No.

To fight a war.

A war, John?

A war against whom?

The Scots have assembled

on our border.

They may invade us at any moment.

The king needs money

to raise an army.

By the king's own decree, Parliament

has not sat these past 12 years.

- And now the king needs money.

- Once Parliament has assembled... will lie within our power

to change...

...the whole structure

of government in this country.

How many times

did we sit in Parliament?

How many resolutions did we pass?

And how many times did

this king overrule us?

The king can have

his war with Scotland.

- We will be in America.

- There will be a war...

...but it will not be with Scotland.

- Henry.

- With whom, Mr. Ireton?

- We've argued this matter many times.

I am convinced.

- A war against whom, Mr. Ireton?

- Against the king, sir.

The king?

You mean a civil war? In England?

You know not the ways of this nation.

Such things do not happen here.

And, in my opinion, it is long overdue.

I will not have such talk in my house.

It is common enough talk

these days, I fear.

Then it is treasonable talk!

And I will not have it in my house!

I mark the time

when you were against the king.

There is much in this

king that offends me.

Yet I would not take up arms against

him, and I'd oppose any move to do so.

In such a cause,

our swords will be in God's hands.

Every man who wages war

believes God is on his side.

I warrant God should often wonder

who is on his. Good evening, sir.

If I gave you offence,

I beg your pardon.

You're a young man. It's fitting a young

man should want to change the world.

Not the world, sir.

Only England.

With a civil war.

- Good evening, Mrs. Cromwell.

- Good evening.

I'll get your cloak, Mr. Ireton.

I hope you'll forgive him.

Goodbye, John.

God be with you, Oliver.

You've no right to do this.

Leave them animals be.

This is the common land.

Any man who raises a hand against

the king's men will be arrested.

You have no right to do this.

This land is ours.

- Now it's the earl of Manchester's.

- By whose authority?

- By the authority of the king.

- Then I say the king is a thief!

You're under arrest.

Take him away!


Release that man!

- Who are you?

- This man works for me.

I will take full responsibility.

He's spoken treason against the king.

Will you take responsibility for that?

The rights to pasture belong

to the common people.

By what authority

do you take it away?

By the authority

of His Majesty's commissioners...

...granting me full rights to this land

for the purpose of improvement.

Such a contract cannot be legal.

It is in violation of the law of this land.

As a magistrate, you should know

the king is the law of this land.

On the contrary, Lord Manchester.

It is the king's duty to maintain the law.

This is common land.

It belongs to the people.

This is my land

and you are trespassing.

It's only out of respect for your rank

I don't have you arrested.

Captain Lundsford! See that no

unauthorized person enters this area.

Yes, my lord.

Remove these people.

Good morrow to you, squire.

Good morrow, Mrs. Cromwell.

- Have you news of my husband?

- It's in God's hands, Mrs. Carter.

- And in the king's.

- Aye.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, look down upon this

thy house and we, thy humble servants.

Grant us the spirit of thy grace

through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Who has done this?

- Answer me. Who has done this?

- An edict, squire...

...from the archbishop himself and

by order of the king.

By order of the king.

Is the Church of England

not a Protestant church?

Would the king turn the house

of God into a Roman temple?

- Mr. Cromwell, I beseech you.

- Does the king think that God...

...can be bought with gold,

trinkets and gilded rubbish?

I know only

that I have been instructed.

Has this king

forgotten the Reformation?

- Mr. Cromwell...

- Away with it.

Popish idolatry!

Did the Lord not say unto Moses:

"Thou shalt not make unto thyself any

graven image...

...nor bow down to them"?

Has this king forgotten

the Spanish Inquisition?

Is the Roman Catholic Church

to have a seat in Westminster?

Oh, my God.

My God.

Oh, my God!

Goddamn this king.

King's guard, attention!

Here we are, my lord.

That'll do, damn it.

I'm not a damned cripple.

Me sticks, where are me sticks?

Come over here, boy.

- Here they are, my lord.

- Give me the damned things.

- And who the devil are you?

- Edward Hyde.

Let's in to His Majesty.

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Ken Hughes

Kenneth Graham "Ken" Hughes (19 January 1922 – 28 April 2001) was a British film director, writer and producer, who is best known as the co-writer and director of the children's film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). more…

All Ken Hughes scripts | Ken Hughes Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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