7.7/10
30,945
193 user 78 critic

A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Trailer
3:21 | Trailer
The story of Sir 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)
Won 6 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 9 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 ... Boatman
Yootha Joyce ... Averil Machin
Anthony Nicholls ... King's Representative
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Storyline

The story takes place in sixteenth 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:

His silence was more powerful than words. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected by the Vatican in the "religion" category of its list of 45 "great films". See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the film, when the messenger is being rowed to Thomas More's house, the sun is setting in the sky, it is obvious that daylight is fading. When the messenger arrives at More's house, the daylight is no longer fading and instead the brightness of the day indicates early afternoon or even morning. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[first spoken lines are over 6 minutes into the film]
The Duke of Norfolk: ...there's the country every second bastard born is fathered by a priest.
Matthew: [clears throat to get More's attention]
1st Scholar: But in Utopia that couldn't be.
The Duke of Norfolk: For why?
1st Scholar: Well, there the priests are very holy.
Courtier: Therefore, very few.
Sir Thomas More: Is it anything interesting, Matthew?
Matthew: Bless you, sir, I don't know.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: A War for All Seasons (1980) See more »

User Reviews

 
powerful and misunderstood study of identity
26 February 2004 | by BrixiaSee all my reviews

This is one of my favorite films. It is of perfect length and pacing, and the script is one of the best ever written. The acting, direction, and design of this movie are uniformly excellent. The segue into Henry VIII's entrance is alone reason for seeing the movie. The production design is top-notch, both beautiful and--unlike many "costume dramas"--not so overwhelming as to lose the actors among outrageous sets and costumes. For an adaptation of a stage play, a remarkable proportion of the action taking place outdoors, with More's house at Chelsea being particularly lovely.

It's very easy to see this film superficially as a moral fable, and many people scoff at it as being a stagy morality play. But it's both more subtle and more vibrant that that. The subtlety of Robert Bolt's script lies in its exploration of identity. We're not meant to identify or admire More's religious ideas, which the movie actually tiptoes around. Instead it's what Bolt called More's "adamantine sense of his own self" that the movie really highlights.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin | Spanish | French

Release Date:

16 December 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Man for All Seasons See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Highland Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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