Winstanley (film)

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Winstanley 1975 film poster.jpg
Directed byKevin Brownlow
Andrew Mollo
Produced byAndrew Mollo
Kevin Brownlow
Written byDavid Caute (novel)
Kevin Brownlow
StarringMiles Halliwell
Music bySergei Prokofiev
CinematographyErnest Vincze
Edited bySarah Ellis
Release date
Running time
95 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom

Winstanley is a 1975 British black-and-white about social reformer and writer Gerrard Winstanley. It was made by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo (the creators behind It Happened Here) and based on the 1961 David Caute novel Comrade Jacob.[1]


The film details the story of the 17th-century social reformer and writer Gerrard Winstanley, who, along with a small band of followers known as the Diggers, tried to establish a self-sufficient farming community on common land at St. George's Hill ("Diggers' Hill") near Cobham, Surrey. The community was one of the world's first small-scale experiments in socialism/communism, and its ideas were copied elsewhere in England during the time of the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, but was quickly suppressed and in the end left only a legacy of ideas to inspire later generations of socialist theorists.


Great efforts were made to produce a film of high historical accuracy. Armour used was actual armour from the 1640s, borrowed from the Tower of London.[2][3] Real-life activist Sid Rawle played a Ranter (English Revolution period anarchist-type group).

The film was reissued on DVD and Blu-ray in 2009 by the British Film Institute (BFI), which funded the original project.[1]



  1. ^ a b "Winstanley on DVD and Blu-Ray". Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Winstanley and the Historical Film: An Interview with Kevin Brownlow" (PDF). Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  3. ^ Gardiner, David. "Winstanley". Mindspring Reviews. Retrieved 20 November 2012.

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