A Man for All Seasons

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

Review: The story of Sir Thomas More, who refused to acknowledge King Henry VIII’s break from the Roman Catholic Church to divorce his first wife and marry Anne Boleyn.
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Actors: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles, Susannah York, Nigel Davenport, John Hurt, Corin Redgrave, Colin Blakely, Cyril Luckham, Jack Gwillim, Thomas Heathcote, Yootha Joyce and Anthony Nicholls
Year: 1966
Genre: Biography, Classics, Drama and History
Conclusion: 5/5
Fantastic performance from Robert Shaw who shows off his talent and makes the role of Henry VIII look so easy. One thing I was surprised about watching this was that it is about Henry VIII but the way the screenwriters wrote this film they kept the main character Henry VIII off screen for most of the film. Also when Henry VIII does eventually make an appearance the viewers don’t actually know what to expect. This is John Hurt’s first major performance and he was paid three thousand pounds sterling. At the end of this film it is Paul Scofield’s acting performance that you come away remembering. It is his best performance and film. Just some of the themes that occur in this are guilt, conscience, justice, corruption, power and of course religion. Film Critic Kim Newman wrote about this film “Prestigious, well turned out piece of British historical drama with enough genuine intrigue and wit to persuade some audiences they aren’t watching a history lesson”. At the Academy Awards in 1967 this won 6 Oscars. They were Best Picture (Fred Zinnemann), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Scofield), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Cinematography, Color and Best Costume Design, Color. At the Golden Globe Awards in 1967 this won 4 Awards. They were for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Actor – Drama (Paul Scofield) and Best Screenplay. At the Bafta Awards in 1968 this won 7 Bafta’s. They were for Best British Actor (Paul Scofield), Best British Art Direction (Colour), Best British Cinematography (Colour), Best British Costume (Colour), Best British Film (Fred Zinnemann), Best British Screenplay and Best Film from any Source (Fred Zinnemann). 

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