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  • Great Kings of England: King Charles I [VHS]
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Great Kings of England: King Charles I [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • VHS Release Date: September 26, 2000
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004ZEQR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,381 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

King Charles I was a deeply religious man, and possessed many kingly qualities. But his duplicity and procrastination contributed greatly to the bloodshed of the English Civil Wars and to his own eventual downfall.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Prof Wombat on April 23, 2009
Format: DVD
Not exactly operating at a Ken Burns level here, this documentary is nonetheless highly informative (it seems like a British High Schooler movie that made it to DVD), and quite accurate, though I found the 100 years in the future soundtrack of J.S. Bach somewhat distracting (Monteverdi would be more appropos), but this is a minor quibble.

The movie has one format: a rather monotone narrator voices over civil war re-enactors, interspersed with the occasional image from the era. It works, but makes it a bit dry. The re-enactors looked like they were having a fine time, as they always seem to in British documentaries. I'd agree with the other reviewer that the American Creative anachronism folks could take a clue from these sorts of documentaries, and expand to early modern or Roman era gear.

Bottom line - if you want a comprehensive overview of this fascinating period, take a look. If you have time for only one DVD on this period, then by all means watch Cromwell starring the Richard Harris.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joe on June 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Overall, this is a fair look at an extremely controversial monarch. Though it is a little harsh at times in my opinion, sometimes the truth does hurt. It tells about King Charles I, the second British sovereign of the House of Stuart from his early youth as a weak and sickly prince living in the shadow of his older brother Henry to his execution by the rebelling forces of parliament. He is both a kind man, devoted father & husband, and a despotic absolute monarch. This film covers both the good and bad aspects of his character which ultimately ended in civil war and gave him the distinction of being the only British monarch to be formally executed for fighting his own people.
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Format: VHS Tape
To appreciate this video, it is necessary to avoid the poor acting and absurdity of some of the scenes and concentrate on the history being rendered. It is especially important that you ignore the ridiculous false mustache and beard worn by the man playing Charles. A wiser director would have avoided some of the close-ups of the man's head.
That aside, this is a good video of the history of the climactic power struggle between the English Crown represented by Charles and Parliament. English society was changing into a mercantile one and this meant that economic power was being transferred from the nobility into the commoners. Political power derives from economic power, so the House of Commons in the British Parliament was growing in stature relative to the Crown. Charles I did not help himself by being arrogant and unable to offer even the simplest of compromises that could have broken the deadlocked power struggle. It had to end with a military victory by one side and Charles lost.
The trial and execution of King Charles I was a turning point in English history, forever breaking the principal of the divine right of kings and the notion of absolute monarchy. From that point forward, all English monarchs had to rule with the consent of the governed, a political principle that was passed on the to English colonies in America.
While the dramatics are clumsy and weak, the history in this video is not. It is a suitable selection for viewing in English history classes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on May 17, 2008
Format: DVD
I'm dating myself with this reference. Remember when Theo Huxtable thought he could listen to an LP of "MacBeth" rather than reading Shakespeare's work on "The Cosby Show"? It didn't work because he couldn't understand the 17th-century English being spoken. However, I think this documentary could help high school students who are about to be tested on this period in English history.

This was not an easily divisible schism where Yoda and the Emperor are diametric opposites. This work spoke of divisions between Protestants and Catholics, but it was really a division between Catholics, Anglicans, and Puritans. It was the Continent vs. England vs. Scotland. It reminded me that absolute monarchy did not exist in Britain as it may have in France. For people who have become fascinated by Marie Antoinette due to S. Coppola's film, they may enjoy this work as it shows what happens when royalty loses the support of its people. It shows how powerful people can be incredibly naive. (Why hadn't King Charles read Machiavelli's "The Prince"?)

Just as Marie Antoinette was a flawed figure, so was this King. The work emphasizes that not only did he make huge mistakes, but he also suffered from being indecisive. Then it goes further and explains how he was a liar. He bargained with Parliament, but would write letters to his wife admitting that he had no intention of working jointly with them. We do have rampant identity theft now, but it was hard to watch this and not think any person who hand a letter to a carrier for someone else in another country sure is stupid if he thinks no one can read the letter or intercept it.

There are paintings here, but otherwise this is entirely done from reenactments.
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