Winstanley (film)

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Winstanley 1975 film poster.jpg
Directed by Kevin Brownlow
Andrew Mollo
Produced by Andrew Mollo
Kevin Brownlow
Written by David Caute (novel)
Kevin Brownlow
Starring Miles Halliwell
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Cinematography Ernest Vincze
Edited by Sarah Ellis
Release date
Running time
95 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Winstanley is a British film made in 1975 by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo, based on the 1961 David Caute novel Comrade Jacob.

This deals with some of the life 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.[1][2] 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.[3]



  1. ^ "Winstanley and the Historical Film: An Interview with Kevin Brownlow" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-20. 
  2. ^ Gardiner, David. "Winstanley". Mindspring Reviews. Retrieved 2012-11-20. 
  3. ^ "Winstanley on DVD and Blu-Ray". Retrieved 2012-11-20. 

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