Communication. FilmsWINSTANLEY, Gerrard (1609?-1660)

U.K. 1975


96 minutes. Black and White

Directed by

Kevin Brownlow

Writing credits (in alphabetical order)

Kevin Brownlow

David Caute

novel Comrade Jacob: Andrew Mollo

Cast (in credits order)

Miles Halliwell....Gerrard Winstanley

Jerome Willis....General Lord Fairfax

Terry Higgins .... Tom Haydon

Phil Oliver .... Will Everard

David Bramley .... Parson Platt

Alison Halliwell .... Mrs. Platt

Dawson France .... Capt. Gladman

Bill Petch .... Henry Bickerstaffe

Barry Shaw .... Colonel Rich

Sid Rawle .... Ranter

George Hawkins .... Coulton

Stanley Reed ....Recorder

Philip Stearns .... Drake

Flora Skrine .... Mrs. Drake

April 1,1649. St. George’s Hill. Surrey, England. " A Reformation-era religious sect called the Diggers sets out to form a commune and till the soil on "common" land," which by law permits grazing - but not settlement and cultivation. Led by Gerard Winstanley, theirs is a nonviolent action to reclaim land for the poor who had been dispossessed by Oliver Cromwell’s recent Civil War. But the local villagers see the Diggers’ "occupation" as a threat to their livelihood and, led by the Presbyterian parson, John Platt, take action to harass and burn them out.

With Winstanley, Brownlow and Mollo set out to make an absolutely authentic historical film. They even used rare breeds of animals that dated back to the seventeenth century and borrowed armor for the battle scenes from the Tower or London. Basing their screenplay on Winstanley’s writings (the same pamphlets which Marx read in the British Museum while forming his ideas on communism), they created an almost perfect dramatic rendering of the events."