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A Man For All Seasons

Dramatic depiction of the conflict between Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More. Winner of six Oscars�, including Best Picture (1966) and Best Actor (Paul Scofield).
Fred Zinnemann
Paul ScofieldWendy HillerLeo McKern
English [CC]
Audio Languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Robert ShawOrson WellesSusannah YorkNigel DavenportJohn HurtCorin Redgrave
Fred Zinnemann
Columbia Pictures
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1553 global ratings

  1. 79% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

TeeBeeReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 August 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
The HD version on Blu-ray is such an improvement on my old DVD copy.
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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.
18 people found this helpful
RMPilkingtonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 March 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the Truly Great Films of All Time
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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.
15 people found this helpful
Briony HolyoakeReviewed in the United Kingdom on 07 June 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Paul Schofield.....Thomas More......
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The acting is depicted “as it was”.......seems so authentic to the times. Robert Shaw as Henry V111, his personal conflicts evident by the ranges of temperament.
The fearful apprehension of the King’s power and that temperament of what “might come next“.
The position Cardinal Wolsey put Thomas More in by naming him as his successor (if he did) knowing full well More could not reconcile the King’s wishes for divorce by rationalising his marriage as not “legal”.
Paul Schofield depicts the person of Thomas More, the writing is carefully thought out.
Raises discussion about the Pope, Christian belief, and a massive turning point in British history, all brought about by one man, a King, who was so worried about accession, needing a son, and the accession of female off spring.
2 people found this helpful
alan hReviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 January 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
The greatest film in the English speaking language
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The collective genius of this film is only matched by individuals performances. A sum more than it's parts without detracting from any brilliance of each part is a rare bird indeed. A bird that soars with ease over the wide filmscape below. It swoops, dives, glides and on occasion delivers surprise attacks that leave you spellbound with the magnitude of it's words and gestures. You need to pick a side but just can't. Anybody pointing to and upholding More's moral stance and substance clearly do not know the real man. Therefore, as you enter this world you need to leave the baggage of his many evil misdemeanors in real life, 'at the door' otherwise the play/film doesn't work. Nonetheless, his stance is admirable if not damn foolish as it ultimately destroys the lives of his immediate family. Selfishness and ego or moral bastion and sacrifice? History is the judge, just as you will be after being transported to another universe by this dazzling pinnacle of story telling.
One person found this helpful
MR STEPHEN D OWENReviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
A very fine film adaptation of the play by Robert Bolt
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Paul Scofield excels in the main title role of Sir Thomas More. The Lord Chancellor of Henry VIII who was executed for failing to acknowledge the King becoming supreme head of the Church of England and marrying his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Scofield played More in the stage play of A Man For All Seasons and was equally good in the film role. A very fine supporting cast included Robert Shaw and Nigel Davenport. A classic film of the 1960s that captures the atmosphere of Tudor England. Sir Thomas More in reality was not the pious martyr Bolt portrayed him as. Yet the film is extremely well acted and a classic of British cinema.
birchdenReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 October 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Yes it IS that good
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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.

Highly recommended.
5 people found this helpful
Marilyn Carol MayhewReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 May 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Struggle of Wills, ambitions and power. Brilliantly enacted
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Brilliantly acted. well cast. Especially King Henry and Sir Thomas Moore.

First was this in the 1960s. Was as good today as was then. Thomas' convictions were so strong much to the chagrin of Alice and Meg and even Cromwell. I don't think anyone comprehended his, nor King Henry's strength of feelings. Henry would feel it a betrayal and a Treasonous Act not to confirm to his wishes. Thomas felt equally strongly that Henrys 's sanctified marriage vows to Catherine could not, under God's and Catholic law, be put asunder for a younger woman, who may or may not enhance the dynasty with a son.

As where would that lead society?

As for Richie Riche, marvellously played by John Hurt, I leave you to decide....
One person found this helpful
GainsboroughReviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 July 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Winner of 6 Academy Awards involving a tense battle of wills in the reign of Henry VIII
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Stunning performances from seasoned actors with a plot focused on the struggle between Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More regarding the King's proposal for a divorce in order for him to marry Anne Boleyn. What unfolds is a battle of wills packed with palace intrigue and political brinkmanship involving the fate of one man, church and country.
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