Film: 5056

History | 1950 | Sound | Colour


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An account of the English Civil War between King Charles I and Parliament, 1642-1646. Told using maps, cartoons and drawings, with little actual footage 1950's

Titles. Equestrian portrait of King Charles I - in armour and on horseback - by Van Dyck, commentary outlining the conflicts over government, money and religion that arose in his reign. Map of Britain (missing N. Scotland) and Ireland showing hill ranges and rivers: '1642' superimposed, an image representing Parliament at Westminster appears on the map where Westminster would be, then a ship representing the port of London, figures representing Puritans in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Gloucester and Taunton, a ship representing the navy in the Channel, the ships representing Bristol, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Hull - these all indicate Parliament's support, power and influence - these dissolve leaving the map bare to show the King's support: a cavalier on horseback representing the nobility, then figures representing people of the north and west - these all dissolve and are replaced by a Puritan figure representing the area of Parliament's control, then a cavalier representing the King's area of control, then the figures dissolve into the same but bearing a musket and a sword respectively - these dissolve and a castle appears representing where Charles raised his standard at Nottingham in August 1642. Closer of the castle as an animated Royal Standard is unfurled. Modern day site of Nottingham castle on rock, flagpole before it. Historical reconstruction: a pikeman wearing helmet and breastplate stands holding his pike (similar to a very long spear) upright. Closer, emphasising his armour. The pike man stands with his pike off the ground, resting against his shoulder, then he points the pike forward and lunges with it at an imaginary foe to demonstrate how to 'Advance' or attack with a pike. Pointing the pike forward at 45 degrees and drawing his sword, the pikeman demonstrates how to defend with the weapon. A musketeer demonstrates firing a musket at the enemy, the musket resting on a 'rest'. Closer, to show his soft hat and short buff (leather) coat. Model of a heavily armoured cavalry trooper on horseback, in a museum. Closer, of the head and torso. The full horseman and horse from another angle. Closer, a similar model but of a lighter armed trooper wearing buff coat and helmet. Images of these horsemen, the musketeer and pikeman, one each to the right and left representing opposing armies. In between these figures the map of England reappears, then figures for Nottingham and the Earl of Essex appear. Closer, the Essex figure changes to a flag, then the Westminster figure appears and disappears, then Nottingham changes to a black arrow which moves to Wales, then the flag becomes a white arrow which moves in a similar direction, then the black or King's arrow snakes south followed by the white or Essex's arrow, then a figure representing Kineton, where Essex stayed, appears. View from the actual church tower, a panorama of the countryside and Edgehill where the Royalists were. Opposite view from Edgehill to where Essex and the Parliamentarians were. Drawing showing Kineton, Egdehill, figures indicating the positions of musketeers and pikemen and cavalry or horses, guns or cannon, and Prince Rupert (the King's nephew and cavalry commander). A figure representing Rupert on horseback. His cavalry again. The full map again, cannon fire shown. Animation of the King's cannon firing. Similar of Parliament's cannon. Map of battle seen through a cartoon smoke cloud, an arrow indicating Rupert's movement. Closer of cavalry charging and shattering Parliament's left wing of horse. Rupert's horse pursue Parliamentarian infantry. The other half of the battle, Royalists again routing Parliamentarians on the side, but losing ground in the centre. Close up of figures representing the infantry clash and the Parliamentarian cavalry charge. Closer. Cavalry and infantry fighting. Drawing of a musketeer firing. Drawing of cavalry attacking with their swords. A cavalryman. A Royalist gunner is killed by a sword thrust. The positions of the armies. A line of Royalist musketeers fire. Parliamentarian musketeers reply. A line of pikemen. Thrusting pikes. Cavalry and pikemen fighting. General map of the battle, night falls. Map of England showing the Edgehill battle site and London. Closer, as the arrow indicating Charles I moves to Oxford, and the arrow indicating Essex moves to London. Actual quadrangle of Christ Church College, Oxford, where the King's HQ was. Map of England showing Oxford, London, and the Royalist march on London. Closer. Map of the Thames at Brentford, Royalist progress under Prince Rupert, who moves on to Turnham Green. Cartoon of London streets. Cartoon of a London apprentice. Same, of a tradesman. All three, dressed for war. An arrow indicates their movement west. Cartoon of a general addressing his troops. Turnham Green again. Map showing Rupert's retreat to Oxford, Parliamentarian advance on Windsor. Larger map with London, Oxford, and the King's supporters in N and W under the Duke of Newcastle and Sir Ralph Hopton, respectively, which move versus London. Closer, showing the King's plans. Larger map again: '1643'. The SW, showing Bristol and Plymouth. Closer animation of Plymouth. SW map again, Hopton's advance and battle at Lansdown. Closer, the armies move to Devizes, then the battle of Roundway Down. Footage of Roundaway Down in Wiltshire. SW map again. Large map again. Closer, the Duke of Newcastle's advance into Yorkshire, obstructed by the city of Hull and Sir Thomas Fairfax, then the battle of Adwalton Moor. Map of middle and eastern England, with Newcastle's advance into Lincolnshire. Closer, attacks against Newcastle led by Oliver Cromwell. Cartoon of Cromwell's cavalry. Map showing Newcastle's advance to Nottingham. Map showing all the Royalist advances up to August 1643. Same, with arrows for the armies of the Earl of Manchester, Earl of Essex, and Sir William Waller, and the Parliamentarian towns of Hull, Plymouth and Gloucester shown. Closer, the King's siege of Gloucester. Map with London. Cartoon of London streets. Cartoon of London troops. London again. Map of the Londoners' advance to relive Gloucester. Closer, Gloucester. Actual Gloucester Cathedral. Map of England and Wales showing the state of the armies and towns and the failure of the King's plans against London, '1644' superimposed, then the map moves up to Scotland to show a Scottish Presbyterian minister and the Earl of Montrose, then the whole of Britain and Ireland with armies' movements. Closer, Scottish army movements. Closer, as Newcastle goes to York and Rupert comes to his aid. Map of the siege of York by Manchester, Fairfax and the Scots. Actual footage of Clifford's Tower - a medieval keep - at York. Map showing Rupert's advance. Closer, as the siege of York is broken off and Rupert slips into York. Actual footage of Marston Moor in Yorkshire, a panorama of the corn fields. Map showing the battle plan of Marston Moor, fought between Rupert and Newcastle (Royalist) and Fairfax, Manchester and the Scots (Parliamentarian). Cartoon of Cromwell's charging horsemen. Similar, as they fight. Rupert's countercharge. Swords clash. Cavalry fight. A horse. A cavalryman. Royalists pushed back. Cromwell in pursuit. General map of the battle. Closer, of Fairfax's rout. Drawing of cavalry fighting. Map of the battle. Closer, Fairfax's rout. Cavalry fighting. A horse. Fighting in a lane. Wounded men. Actual footage of 'Bloody Lane' as it is called. Map of the battle as Cromwell returns to charge. Closer. Cavalryman. Fighting. Map, as Cromwell charges the Royalist infantry. Drawing of infantrymen. Musketeers firing. Similar. Map again as Newcastle's Whitecoats are wiped out. Map of the Marston Moor battlefield and York, which surrenders. Painting of Charles I. Painting of Prince Rupert. Painting of Cromwell. Title: '1645'. Drawing of cavalry representing the New Model Army. Drawing of piles of coins. Drawing of cavalry equipment. Drawing of massed ranks of musketeers and pikemen. Large map of England and Wales. Closer, of Oxford as the King heads N from it and Fairfax besieges the town. The King moves E, Fairfax breaks off his siege and pursues Charles - they meet at the battle of Naseby. Actual footage of the fields at Naseby in Northamptonshire. Map of Naseby. Drawing of massed soldiers. Map of SW England, '1646', then drawing of Lord Astley (Royalist commander) superimposed, then credits superimposed.

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