A Man For All Seasons 1966

Amazon Instant Video

(96) IMDb 8/10
Available in HD

Adapted by Robert Bolt and Constance Willis from Bolt's hit stage play, A Man for All Seasons stars Paul Scofield, triumphantly repeating his stage role as Sir Thomas More. The crux of the film is the staunchly Catholic More's refusal to acknowledge King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw)'s break from the church to divorce his first wife and marry Anne Boleyn (an unbilled Vanessa Redgrave).

Starring:
Orson Welles, Leo Mckern
Runtime:
2 hours 0 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

A Man For All Seasons

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Fred Zinnemann
Starring Orson Welles, Leo Mckern
Supporting actors Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw, John Hurt, Paul Scofield, Susannah York
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Universal, suitable for all
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 3 Feb 2005
Format: DVD
Films such as this are rare today; 'A Man for All Seasons' turns not on action sequences of battles past or present, nor on love affairs, or indeed political issues that have a burning relevance for today. It is not a comedy, nor a tragedy in the classic sense. In a word, it would seem to have little to recommend it -- however, it is one of the best film ever produced. Turning largely on the issue of personal integrity and the conflict of competing calls to faithfulness, this is a drama of the interior struggle of Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, writ large across the political/religious landscape of Henry VIII's England.
The whole tone of the film is excellent. From the opening scenes of couriers dashing from Wolsey to More, backdrops of pre-Renaissance England fill the screen, from the magnificent but appropriate un-ornate manor houses and parliamentary scenes (the set of Westminster Hall, a building in which I once worked) to the costuming and music, period in style and instrumentation. The director Fred Zimmermann resisted the urge to provide orchestral music as a background; indeed, through much of the film, there is no music at all, as the drama itself carries the weight of the narrative and atmosphere. The cinematographer, Ted Moore, as well as the director received Academy Awards for their work.
This is an actor's film, the force of the drama being driven by their performances. Exceptional acting by John Hurt, Leo McKern, Nigel Davenport and Robert Shaw enhance lead actor Paul Scofield's Oscar-winning portrayal. Scofield presents the intellectual More as a character of supreme integrity (following Bolt's play perfectly), an integrity hard to maintain in the shifting sands of Henry VIII's drive to break with Rome to secure a divorce.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Mar 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember the first time I saw this film in the mid-Sixties in Middlesbrough on a school trip. I thought it utterly wonderful, most of my classmates thought it wordy and foolish.

Sir Thomas More is played as a man of unbending conscience who depends upon his lawyerly skills to keep him from the axe (for this is England, not Spain) as such it is an evocation of the joys of hairsplitting. At times almost Shakesperarian in its language, it is a play about words and what they mean. More must seem a terribly unreal person to our present generations, but Scofield plays him very believably as a rather autistic good man who finds the foibles of others hard to accept. He is surrounded by a bevy of thespian talent. Nigel Davenport as the stentorian Duke of Norfolk, Leo McKern as the evil Cromwell, John Hurt as the man who gains all and loses all, Robert Shaw giving us a Henry VIII that (like Alec Guinesses's Charles I) sticks in the mind; and Colin Blakeney as the servant Matthew. It's a joy to behold. (And I've forgotten to mention Orson Welles and many many others).

I cannot think how many times I've seen it; please give it a shot, I think you'll enjoy it.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Ian Millard on 10 April 2007
Format: DVD
This tells the better known part of the story of Sir Thomas More, who was raised from lawyer and then judge to become Lord Chancellor or England, only to be sentenced to death and beheaded for treason, having failed to take an oath which would legitimize the divorce of Henry VIII from his Spanish wife and his soon-following marriage to Anne Boleyn (later also beheaded). More's book "Utopia" is not mentioned in this film. The film itself is a production of such quality that it is hard to praise it enough. Directed by Fred Zinnemann, the photography, especially of "sweet Thames" and its bird life, is of the highest and most moving quality, though in fact filmed not on the Thames itself (the banks of which are now largely developed between Hampton Court and Chelsea) but on the Beaulieu River in Hampshire. The acting likewise, featuring some of the best British film actors of the time of filming, as well as Orson Welles (playing the previous Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey). The screenplay by the unrivalled Robert Bolt is what really puts the seal on this most valued film. If you have never seen A Man For All Seasons, see it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mitsuko on 10 May 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered this film because i remembered it as containing the best Henry VIII, Wolsey and Cromwell I'd seen, and I was not disappointed. High level performances from a string of top actors bring the story to life, and provide the viewer with a number of moral questions to ponder over. Moore's carefully structured arguments and rhetorical tactics almost convince you he can get away with it, but Robert Shaw's wily, volatile Henry inevitably wins in the end. Paul Scofield is a master of subtlety and deep reserves of strength when needed. Even when he is immobile, it is impossible to take your eyes off him .John Hurt plays a wonderful cameo role as the desperately ambitious clerk, Richard Rich. Wendy Hillier and Susannah York.are totally convincing as Moore's wife and daughter.
A master class in acting.
.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fortuna on 25 Nov 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS has Sir Thomas More (PAUL SCOFIELD) pitted against Henry VIII (ROBERT SHAW) as he struggles with his conscience and religious convictions rather than give in to those who want him to support the King's desire to annul his barren marriage and wed another.

He's up against all sorts of devious schemers, two of the most infamous extremely well played by LEO McKERN and JOHN HURT. ROBERT SHAW gives an over-the-top, typically flamboyant performance as Henry VIII that sometimes borders on the ludicrous. Oscars, including one for Scofield as Best Actor and other awards that included Best Picture and Best Director (FRED ZINNEMANN).
Yet, for this performance, he received much acclaim.

But PAUL SCOFIELD carries the film with his intelligent, piercing eyes and wit as he spars verbally with every member of his household, including WENDY HILLER as his stubborn wife who wants him to spare himself the indignity of being sent to the Tower. He maintains his poise and quiet determination at all times.

The costumes, the sets, the exteriors--all are brilliantly captured to give the film an authentic feeling of time and atmosphere. The screenplay by Robert Bolt is a pleasure to watch and listen to as it unfolds a period of history right before our eyes. This is the sort of film only the British can do in the royal manner--and it justifiably won several well deserved
As a Compelling drama and dare I say, a history lesson, you can't afford to miss it.
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