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A Man for All Seasons (1988)

King Henry VIII wants to divorce his wife, and seeks the approval of the aristocracy. Sir Thomas More is a man of principle and reason, and is thus placed in a difficult position: should he... See full summary »

Director:

Charlton Heston

Writers:

Robert Bolt (play), Robert Bolt (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlton Heston ... Sir Thomas More
Vanessa Redgrave ... Lady Alice More
John Gielgud ... Cardinal Wolsey (as Sir John Gielgud)
Richard Johnson ... Duke of Norfolk
Roy Kinnear ... The Common Man
Benjamin Whitrow ... Thomas Cromwell
Adrienne Thomas Adrienne Thomas ... Margaret More
Martin Chamberlain Martin Chamberlain ... King Henry VIII
John Hudson John Hudson ... William Roper
Jonathan Hackett Jonathan Hackett ... Richard Rich
Nicholas Amer ... Chapuys (as Nicolas Amer)
Milton Cadman Milton Cadman ... Cranmer
Valerie Minifie Valerie Minifie ... Woman Litigant
Geoff Owen Geoff Owen ... Chapuys' Assistant
Brian Badcoe Brian Badcoe ... Chamberlain
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Storyline

King Henry VIII wants to divorce his wife, and seeks the approval of the aristocracy. Sir Thomas More is a man of principle and reason, and is thus placed in a difficult position: should he stand up for his principles, risking the wrath of a corrupt King fond of executing people for treason? Or should he bow to the seemingly unstoppable corruption of King Henry VIII, who has no qualms about bending the law to suit his own needs? Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un hombre para la eternidad See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last completed movie of Roy Kinnear (The Common Man). See more »

Connections

Version of The Tudors: Lady in Waiting (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Original Tudor Music
Composed by Henry VIII (as H.R.H. Henry VIII)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Be fair: this is a great film!
9 July 2007 | by fellowmeladSee all my reviews

I think most of the comments on IMDb (or Amazon) for this film are rather unfair. Unfair to the actor Charlton Heston and unfair to the film itself. Please let me explain:

It seems to me a sort of "England, England!" thing is standing in the way of a fair and objective comment on this film (as if I could give one...). Even though Charlton Heston has sunk very much in my esteem since "Bowling for Columbine" I feel I need to set the record straight (for my own peace of mind): This film is great, and believe you me, I am a Scofield fan (I simply adored him in the 1966 version of this film as well as in the 1994 Martin Chuzzlewit television film/mini-series).

But to do away with this 1988 version of Heston as a failed attempt to improve on Fred Zinneman is not only an unfair comparison but also a foolish one. To begin with: Heston's version is far closer and more true to Robert Bolt's play than is the Fred Zinneman version. In addition, Heston's performance, although more obviously dramatical than that of Scofield, is more passionate. The scene in which he thrashes Roper and stands for his daughter Meg is simply the greatest ("They put about too nimbly!!!"), as is his performance with the Duke of Norfolk when they discuss water spaniels. Next to Heston, the performance of his fellow actors should not be discarded.

Roy Kinnear, bless his soul, is brilliant as the common man (a Robert Bolt invention that stayed alive in this version but was left out of the 1966 Zinneman production)

In addition, the role of the king is played simply brilliantly by Martin Chamberlain. The scene in More's garden is a scene that will never be mastered.

Vanessa Redgrave gives one of her finest performances as More's wife. The scene in the Tower where they part for the last time is always tearing me apart! (Oh God, all these plain simple men!)

And of course the roles of the "two ugly ladies" Benjamin Withrow and Jonathan Hackett are delicious and not to be found anywhere so great in the 1966 Zinneman version.

So I beg you: Please be fair, enjoy the Zinneman version, but also take the time to (learn to) appreciate Heston's version. The man has his faults, but just appreciate that what he has done right!


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