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A Man for All Seasons (1966)

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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 remarry.

Director:

Fred Zinnemann

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Scofield ... Thomas More
Wendy Hiller ... Alice
Leo McKern ... Cromwell
Robert Shaw ... Henry VIII
Orson Welles ... Cardinal Wolsey
Susannah York ... Margaret
Nigel Davenport ... Duke of Norfolk
John Hurt ... Rich
Corin Redgrave ... Roper
Colin Blakely ... Matthew
Cyril Luckham ... Archbishop Cranmer
Jack Gwillim ... Chief Justice
Thomas Heathcote Thomas Heathcote ... Boatman
Yootha Joyce ... Averil Machin
Anthony Nicholls ... King's Representative
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Storyline

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 the English chancellor's life, the struggle between More and 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

Taglines:

...a motion picture for all times! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin | Spanish | French

Release Date:

3 May 1967 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

El hombre de dos reinos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$28,350,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Highland Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of only four productions to win both the Best Play Tony (1962) and the Best Picture Oscar (1966). The other three are My Fair Lady (1964) (1957/1964), The Sound of Music (1965) (1960/1965), and Amadeus (1984) (1981/1984). See more »

Goofs

When Thomas More is imprisoned in the Tower of London, he looks out the window of his cell, which is shown to have bars. When the camera switches to a close-up of the window and its view of the outside, the window no longer has any bars. See more »

Quotes

[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.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Henry VIII (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Ultimate Lead Performance
4 March 2004 | by tomreynolds2004See 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.


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