A Man for all Seasons is based on the true story of Sir Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when he rejected the Roman Catholic Church in order to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn (IMDB).
Title: A Man for All Seasons
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Date of Release: 1966
Awards: Six Oscars in 1967, four Golden Globes, and multiple others
Paul Scofield as Thomas More
Robert Shaw as Henry VIII
Orson Welles as Cardinal Wolsey
Read to enhance the movie-watching experience.
The movie takes place in 16th century England and focuses on the last seven years of Sir Thomas More’s life.
Director Fred Zinnemann pointedly spotlights the River Thames for its consistent presence in English History. In the movie, the river is the go-between Henry VIII’s Castle and Sir Thomas More’s residence.
Zinneman struggled with how to portray an ideological disagreement in a moving picture. This is a big challenge for any director. He relied on accomplished and talented actors to achieve success. He chose not to indulge in pyrotechnics (action, special effects, visual fireworks, etc.).
A good knowledge of this period in English History helps to understand the lengthy discourses in the movie. If one is not familiar with King Henry VIII in 1500’s England, quick research beforehand is highly recommended. Good Source: Wikipedia
Sir Thomas More is considered to be the greatest Englishman of the era--a man who would not compromise his principles under any circumstances. It was remarked that men (or women) like Sir Thomas More only come around once in a century. Another example is Mahatma Gandhi.