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A Man for All Seasons (1966) Poster

Trivia

Truckloads of Styrofoam were ordered to simulate a snowy landscape. As soon as it was delivered, real snow began falling.
Vanessa Redgrave refused to be paid for her cameo role as Anne Boleyn.
Orson Welles used an exact duplicate of Cardinal Wolsey's official seal, as well as authentic sheepskin parchment and a quill pen.
According to Orson Welles, he had Fred Zinnemann removed from the set and directed his scenes himself. However, in his autobiography, Zinnemann - while discussing the casting of, and working with, Welles - makes no mention of this.
Robert Bolt borrowed the title from Robert Whittinton, a contemporary of Thomas More, who in 1520 wrote of him: "More is a man of an angel's wit and singular learning; I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity: a man for all seasons."
The trial and execution scenes are based very closely on an eyewitness account, published anonymously in the Paris Newsletter of August 4, 1535.
Charlton Heston lobbied heavily for the role of Thomas More, but was never seriously considered by the producers as a candidate for the role. Heston would go on to play More in several stage productions of the play and ultimately film a television production of it in 1988.
Although it is never mentioned in the film, Lady Alice More was not Margaret More's mother. Before Alice Sir Thomas More was married to a woman named Jane Colt with whom he had four children. More remarried almost immediately with Alice, who was a widow herself. They did not have any children, but she raised Margaret as her own.
One of only 4 productions to win both the Best Play Tony (1962) and the Best Picture Oscar (1966). The other 3 are My Fair Lady (1964) (1957/1964), The Sound of Music (1965) (1960/1965) and Amadeus (1984) (1981/1984).
For his first major film role, John Hurt was paid £3,000.
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.
To keep the budget under $2 million, all the actors took salary cuts. The only actors to receive payments over £10,000 were Orson Welles, Paul Scofield and Susannah York.
Paul Scofield won the 1962 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Drama for "A Man for All Seasons" and recreated his role in the filmed production, for which he won the "Best Actor" Oscar.
Vanessa Redgrave was originally lined up to play Margaret but she had theater commitments. Instead, she agreed to do an unpaid cameo as Anne Boleyn on the condition that it remain unbilled.
The producers originally wanted Laurence Olivier as Thomas More and Alec Guinness as Wolsey, but director Fred Zinnemann insisted on Paul Scofield and Orson Welles in the roles.
Richard Burton turned down the role of Sir Thomas More.
Peter O'Toole was the first choice to play Henry VIII.
Paul Scofield and Leo McKern reprised the roles they played in the Broadway production of the play. During most of the play's 20-month run, the role of Margaret was played by a young Faye Dunaway.
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The original play opened at the ANTA Playhouse (New York) on November 21, 1961 and played for 637 performances starring Paul Scofield.
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Filmed over a period of 12 weeks.
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Fred Zinnemann, as quoted in his autobiography, calls this the easiest film he ever made, thanks to the extraordinary caliber of the crew and the actors and the way they worked together.
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Eira Heath considered turning her part down because it was so tiny.
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Richard Harris was considered for the part of Henry VIII.
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David Warner turned down the role of Rich, as he was busy playing Hamlet at Stratford Upon Avon.
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Robert Shaw was paid just $15,000, a big drop from the $350,000 he had earned on " Battle of the Bulge" the previous year, but he also received 2.5% of the profits.
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Robert Bolt offered the part of Norfolk to his friend, American actor-director John Huston. Huston turned it down.
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One of two Best Picture Oscar winners whose title begins with the word "A" (the other is A Beautiful Mind (2001).
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Frank Finlay and Bill Travers were both offered the role of Thomas More. Finlay turned it down in favour of Paul Scofield (who had created the role on stage) and Travers bowed out to concentrate on Born Free (1966)
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Nigel Davenport was offered his role when John Huston turned it down.
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Dirk Bogarde was considered for the role of Sir Thomas More.
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Patrick Marley said he filmed his role in two days.
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In a list submitted to The People's Almanac in the 1970s, John Wayne ranked 'A Man for All Seasons' as one of the five greatest films of all time.
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Nicholas Grimshaw was offered a featured role but confusion over the offer meant he accepted a stage role instead.
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In the first London run of the play, Leo McKern played not Cromwell but the Common Man, a narrator-figure who addresses the audience and plays several characters in the story - More's servant Matthew, the man who rows him home, his jailer, etc. These characters also appear in the film, but are played by several actors. The original stage device of having them all played by the same actor was kept in A Man for All Seasons (1988). In the play, the lines stating what happened to the historical figures after the play's end are spoken by the 'Common Man'; in the film, they are spoken in voice-over at the end by Colin Blakely, who plays Matthew.
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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 3 separate nominations.
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Named by Jack Valenti as his all-time favorite film in an AFI poll.
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Norman Scace was offered a featured role but was not free because the dates clashed with a play.
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Dilys Watling auditioned for a featured role.
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Vanessa Redgrave later played Anne Boleyn's daughter Queen Elizabeth I in Anonymous (2011), in which her daughter Joely Richardson played the younger version of the Queen.
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This was the only time Robert Shaw and Orson Welles worked together, but in 1970 when Shaw was renting Welles's Madrid home, he accidentally started a fire which destroyed many of Orson's unfinished scripts and films,.
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