A Man for All Seasons

A Man for All Seasons

DVD - 1998
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Historical drama about the opposition of Sir Thomas More to the divorce of King Henry VIII and the events which led to More's execution.
Publisher: Culver City, Calif. : Columbia TriStar Home Video ; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 1998
Edition: Special ed
ISBN: 9780767827072
0767827074
9781424847471
1424847478
Branch Call Number: 791.4372 M266a
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (120 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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SusyHendrix
Mar 27, 2019

Fred Zinnemann might not be the most accomplished director in terms of visual imagination, but he does know how to do a good character study.
Much like his earlier THE NUN'S STORY (which features Audrey Hepburn's best performance in my opinion), A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS is a fine drama about an individual in the face of a system they cannot accept. Whether or not you're sympathetic to Moore's religious convictions is beyond the point (nor do I believe that the movie necessarily champions them)-- what makes his character admirable is that unlike everyone else at the Tudor court, he is not willing to throw away his principles in order to be comfortable in conformity.
While the cinematography and editing are very traditional, this movie is buoyed by great performances, nice production values, and a strong script. I would happily recommend it.

l
loella
Mar 25, 2019

Although lacking much if any cinematic imagination, Fred Zinnemann's filming of Robert Bolt's shallow play has a couple of piquant performances--Wendy Hiller's as Sir Thomas More's wife, Alice, and Robert Shaw's as the scary, megalomaniacal King Henry VIII--and one fine animating conceit, that the natural world is vastly larger than the comparatively tiny English court: humility such as More is supposed to body forth is entirely appropriate for even the monster monarch. That the real More wasn't very much like the sleepwalking Jesus Bolt would have him be is not so much as hinted by the drab dialogue--which, however, is rendered into babytalk by the hideous English subtitles; luckily, there's nothing wrong with the sound on this DVD (the image is another matter, for the color is faded, making one wish for monochrome). We hear nothing of the Protestants that More condemned to death nor of his biblically harsh punitive bent. As for the political issues of clerical-v.-monarchical authority and a properly (i.e., Christian) ordered universal hierarchy that are at the heart of More's ultimate tragedy, issues that would soon be made redundant by the Lutheran juggernaut and its imitators, they only hover, lacking any spokesman. For the record, Georges Delerue's early-Renaissance-pastiche score is quite handsome, not overused, and appropriately scaled to the historical period. Most of the very fine English cast is wasted, though seeing Leo McKern venomously glittering and scheming (as Cromwell, this time) is always a treat. --Ray Olson

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akirakato
Mar 12, 2019

Directed by Fred Zinnemann in 1966 based on Robert Bolt's play of the same name, this British docudrama delves into the final years of Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century Lord Chancellor of England who refused to sign a letter asking Pope Clement VII to annul King Henry VIII of England's marriage to Catherine of Aragon and refused to take an Oath of Supremacy declaring Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church of England.
Robert Shaw's representation of the king seems somewhat comical and less powerful while Scofield's performance appears quite awesome with his genteel voice and steadfast refusal to kowtow to the king, even at the expense of his head.
John Hurt plays Richard Rich you would probably love to hate.

r
richibi
Dec 23, 2018

a dry, stodgy retelling of the plight of Thomas More, famously beheaded for his Papist convictions - though the principle is noble, watching it here as it happens is tedious, like sitting in on a sermon

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mighty_mom
Mar 16, 2018

Excellent movie, easily a favorite! (I keep pressing 5 stars, and only 4 1/2 are showing up). Thomas Moore, friend of King Henry VIII, refuses to go along with Henry's divorce and subsequent split with Rome and the Catholic Church. Thomas serves the king, but has a greater loyalty to a higher authority. Lush scenery and costumes, great screenplay and acting. Classic story and movie.

p
ptour
Mar 05, 2018

My favorite film, however I have probably only seen about 5000.

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EvanSchoenfeld
Jan 20, 2017

Certainly one of the greatest movies ever, smart and beautiful. I think one reviewer suggested that More's character was narcissistic, but I am forced to see this this as rather a courageous stand for individual conscience and independent spirit. Anyway, I can't praise it enough.

t
Tabaqui
Sep 25, 2016

A really good movie, but I found it hard to tell the characters apart. It may be because it was dark, it may just be me, but I thought they all looked the same. If you have the opportunity, go to see the play. It is absolutely amazing! It also is slightly different than the movie.

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grouchykitty
Jul 09, 2016

Great film. Good dialogue. Horrible costumes.

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UptownGirl1
Apr 10, 2016

Greetings Reviewers! I thought this was a beautiful masterpiece to view. The film went into detailed events of Thomas More's life.

In this film, we were shown his wife Alice, his daughter Meg, Roper; the man his daughter is to marry, Richard Rich ( the man who begs him to hire him), Thomas Cromwell ( Cardinal Wosley's secretary ), King Henry VIII and all of the people in his church and court.

The film demonstrated to us the religious beliefs of Thomas More, and also of how it conflicted with the beliefs of others. The film goes into the detailed events that lead to his execution.

We were also shown King Henry VIII. We were shown his personality, how the people who knew him felt about him, and we were also given historical information pertaining to him wanting to marry Anne Boleyn and divorce Catharine of Aragon.

With Henry VIII wanting the divorce, it brought on a lot of problems between the church and his court.

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m
Monolith
Aug 13, 2013

Margaret More (visiting her father in his prison cell): "Father... God more regards the thoughts of the heart than the words of the mouth, or so you've always told me." Sure Thomas More: "Yes." Margaret More: "Then say the words of the oath, and in your heart think otherwise!" Sir Thomas More: "What is an oath, then, but words we say to God? ...Listen, Meg... (cupping his hands together) When a man takes an oath, he's holding his own self in his own hands, like water... And if he opens his fingers then, (gesturing) ...he needn't hope to find himself again... Some men aren't capable of this... but I'd be loathe to think your father one of them."

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Monolith
Aug 13, 2013

Sir Thomas More (in his prison cell): "...If we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us saintly. But since we see that abhorrence, anger, pride, and stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice, and thought, perhaps we must stand fast a little -- even at the risk of being heroes..." Margaret More (crying): "But in reason! Haven't you done as much as God can reasonably want?" Sir Thomas More: "...Well, finally... it isn't a matter of reason. Finally, it's a matter of love."

m
Monolith
Aug 13, 2013

Sir Thomas More: "I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith, I long not to live."

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