A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  3 May 1967 (France)
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Reviews: 162 user | 58 critic

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.



(from the play by), (screenplay)
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Won 6 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Blakely ...
Chief Justice
Thomas Heathcote ...
Yootha Joyce ...
Averil Machin
Anthony Nicholls ...
King's Representative


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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


...a motion picture for all times!


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

3 May 1967 (France)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre de dos reinos  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Five of the historical persons depicted in the film all had the first name Thomas: Sir Thomas More, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, and Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. Perhaps to avoid confusion, in the play and film, the only character referred to as Thomas is Thomas More. See more »


Wolsey says it is known that Catherine (of Aragon) was barren, or infertile. In fact by this point she had given birth several times, including to the future Mary Tudor, Queen of England, though there were no other surviving children. See more »


[first lines]
[first spoken lines are over 6 minutes into the film]
Man: ...there's the country every second bastard born is fathered by a priest.
Matthew: [clears throat to get More's attention]
Man: Why, in Utopia, that couldn't be.
Man: But why?
Man: Well, there the priests are very holy.
Man: Therefore, very few.
Sir Thomas More: Is it anything interesting, Matthew?
Matthew: Bless you, sir, I don't know.
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Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

The Ultimate Lead Performance
4 March 2004 | by (Washington DC) – See all my reviews

Paul Scofield's rendition of Sir Thomas More as written by Robert Bolt and directed by Fred Zinneman is the greatest lead dramatic performance EVER in cinematic history. He is that magnificent. He IS Sir Thomas More. We feel his hope, weariness, fire, virtue, protectiveness, morality, and bemusement as richly as he conveys each one frequently, one right after another. He was made for Bolt's dialogue, and Bolt's dialogue is drilled forever into our conscious by Scofield's flawless performance.

Everything else is also here. Leo McKern is brilliant as politically motivated prosecutor, Lord Cromwell. A bit subtler, but no less brilliant is Nigel Davenport as a man of some conscience, but not quite enough. John Hurt is unforgettable as ambitious young Rich led into temptation by Lord Cromwell. The incomparable Dame Wendy Hiller -- who passed just last year -- adds several more dimensions than her rather sparsely written role as Scofield's wife should have allowed for. Every minute she is on the screen is magnificent. Susannah York walks a tightrope between being scholarly reason and her passion for what is right. Robert Shaw as Henry VIII and Orson Wells as Cardinal Woolsey are larger than life and completely compelling during their all-too-brief virtuoso solos. The cinematography is lush. The soundtrack is historically accurate and perfectly positioned. Key sounds punctuate three pregnant pauses with explosive impact. The movie is technically as perfect as an historical epic can be. The film is simply exquisite.

All that being said, as I reflect momentarily in my head on closing this, it is Scofield's incomparable and breathtaking performance which still leaves me in complete awe.

108 of 118 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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