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The story takes place in 16th century England. But men like Sir Thomas More, who love life yet have the moral fiber to lay down their lives for their principles, are found in every century. Concentrating on the last seven years of English chancellor's life, the struggle between More and his King, Henry VIII, hinges on Henry's determination to break with Rome so he can divorce his current wife and wed again, and good Catholic More's inability to go along with such heresy. More resigns as chancellor, hoping to be able to live out his life as a private citizen. But Henry will settle for nothing less than that the much respected More give public approval to his headstrong course. Written by
Robert Shaw became the second actor to be nominated for an Oscar for playing Henry VIII after Charles Laughton. Later Richard Burton was nominated for playing him too, making it the only character to produce three separate nominations. See more »
Lord Chancellor Wolsey did not die in office; he was removed from the office of Lord Chancellor by Henry (because of his displeasure at Wolsey's failure to secure a divorce from Catherine), and died more than a year after Sir Thomas More became Lord Chancellor. Wolsey did, however, remain Archbishop of York. See more »
[first spoken lines are over 6 minutes into the film]
...there's the country every second bastard born is fathered by a priest.
[clears throat to get More's attention]
Why, in Utopia, that couldn't be.
Well, there the priests are very holy.
Therefore, very few.
Sir Thomas More:
Is it anything interesting, Matthew?
Bless you, sir, I don't know.
[...] See more »
If on occasions I babbled about some actor's performance being the best I've ever seen it was just because I hadn't seen "A Man For All Seasons". Well, up until today. And I definitely won't be that quickly amazed and impressed by a performance again. May I just say that Paul Scofield embodies great acting to it's very core. Comprehending his masterful and skillful acting is evident even to the greatest fool or layman and I (not being a big expert myself) could not believe how a man can attain such knowledge of perfection. His every word is spoken with the greatest skill, intonation and accent as well as his facial expressions and movements. His performance is so strong it's scary when I think about it. As if he knew(and he most definitely did!) EXACTLY how to perform his acting task. This movie is an explosion of outstanding acting and actors, showing their skills to the fullest and to the amazed viewers. It may well be the greatest movie ever made, but the reason for this lies also in the jaw dropping and mind opening script that deserves more credit than it could have ever gotten. If you thought "On The Waterfront", "Bridge On The River Kwai", "Glennary Glen Ross" or even "The Usual Suspects" or "Pulp Fiction" had some great dialogs then this inspiring and simply amazing script will definitely change your mind. There are so many memorable lines, monologues and great battling dialogs I can't even give an approximate number. Every moment is meaningful and the movie is full of smart and important thoughts. I won't go into the story, because as a previous commenter said, there are just too many points of view and meanings to it, but I will say this; Sir Thomas More was too moral and too strong to give in to the Church, and because of his reasons he was respected. But because he was, for some, this stubborn, he paid the price which in the real world when you play with the big boys, is a given. A movie every future actor, actress, director and screen writer should and must see and a movie that makes most of the later Oscar winners for best picture look like a joke. And a final though, Leonard Maltin was absolutely right; if Paul Scofield acted only in this movie he'd still be remembered as a marvel worth every praise and respect. 9/10
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