I have owned a DVD copy of this wonderful film for at least 20 years and I never tire of watching it. In fact, and without exaggeration, I must have watched it hundreds and hundreds of times. This new Blu-ray re-scan of the film and its provision as a DVD too is a great improvement on the quality of the picture and I was knocked out by just how much it has been improved.
However, no amount of re-scanning could improve upon what I personally consider to be the height of Directorial expertise and superb acting performances from the whole cast. It also achieves something that many films depicting this era; it seems to bring that era to life.
One more however, however, there are two versions in book and film form as to the character of Sir Thomas More; one as a devout Catholic who will not go against the literal command of the bible and one as a Fundamentalist Catholic who was prepared to put men to the rack in order to save their soles, as in the series Wolf Hall (Well worth watching).
As a convinced atheist, the religious goings in the play simply confirm my rejection of the existence of a God but, by ignoring this aspect of his portrayal in this film and Wolf Hall I find no clash with the religious plotting that brought Sir Thomas More to his end.
Quite simply, if you haven't seen this film then for the past 53 years you have been denying yourself the opportunity to experience a true masterpiece.
Quite often, films that are supposed to be excellent prove to be merely OK or worse, but this one really is as good as its reputation suggests.
I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, so I will simply say that it is an excellent film of an excellent play, with excellent acting.
Anyone with an interest in questions of ethics and morality will find this an interesting and absorbing film, which rewards being watched and re-watched, and will also provide much material for discussion and reflection.
Brilliantly cast with legendary actors, wonderfully filmed and directed. But the ultimate accolade must go to the original screenplay written by Robert Bolt. If I was able I would insist that every MP in the UK be forced to watch this film by law at least once a year so that they be reminded of the meaning of integrity and the importance of putting principles before personal advancement or ego.
I waited many years to be able to see this film and it WAS worth the wait. A stellar cast, Rbt.Shaw, Paul Scofield, John Hurt, Wendy Hiller and known faces of Cyril Luckham and Thomas Heathcote, so many. Some were already well-known and others were to go on to other, bigger things. This film even though nearly 2 hours is unable to cover very much of the history of the time and does very well to achieve what it does. I saw John Hurt in what I believe to be his first feature a few years before this (The Wild and The Willing) and he, in my opinion is one of the Worlds Leading Actors, Best Actors. Love the bit when Shaw jumps from the boat and all the lackies follow, a lighter moment in a serious historical film. Wonderful screenplay from Rbt. Bolt and Zinneman Directs with his usual excellence.
Paul Scofield is sublime as Sir Thomas More and is ably supported by excellent performances across the cast, notably Leo McKern as Cromwell.
The film itself centres around the life of Sir Thomas More at the time of the attempts of King Henry VIII to secure a divorce from Catherine of Aragon and More's belief in the importance of following one's conscience, even if that placed him in conflict with his king.
This is a film based on a play. It revolves around the form of words, argument, discussion and some wonderful delivery. Character interaction carries it, not what happens plot-wise; which is very little perhaps compared to most movies. The Charlton Heston version is good too - this one is subtler.
If you have any ambitions to write scripts, books or plays, especially set in times passed, you could do worse than pay attention to this.
Powerful depiction of the events that led to the execution of one of our greatest statesmen. Unwilling to go against his faith and accept the will of Henry 8th Moore was expected for high treason and later canonised by the Vatican. Oscar winning performance by scofield and director Fred Zimmerman.
This is one of my favourite films from this period and it doesn't disappoint. Great picture, great sound and some nice extras. Arrived before time too. Couldn't wait to watch it. Now looking forward to hearing the historical commentary.
Great historical film about the fall from grace of Thomas More during Henry VIIl reign. Great acting with great actors. Only thing stopping it being 5* is that it has made him out to be rather more perfect & and saintly than the reality.