A Man For All Seasons

A Man For All Seasons

classified U

Cinema Rediscovered 2016

Film

Please note: This was screened in July 2016

Director
Fred Zinnemann
Cast
Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles
Details
117 mins, 1966, UK

It's Sir Thomas More versus Henry VIII in Fred Zinnemann and Robert Bolt’s sumptuous, multi-Oscar®-winning slice of Tudor history.

Wolf Hall recently rediscovered a world of 16th-century royal lust, the failure of Tudor obstetrics and its resulting political fallout. 50 years earlier, Robert Bolt’s play reworked the same slice of history but cast the devoutly Catholic Sir Thomas More as the tragic hero who opposes Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

Transporting it to the big screen, Zinnemann and Bolt jettisoned the confines of theatre, injecting this drama with urgency and cinematic verve. The film immortalised Paul Scofield’s career-defining performance but he is perfectly matched by Wendy Hiller as More’s illiterate wife, Alice, and Robert Shaw as a gilded, swaggering Henry. But perhaps most memorable is John Hurt as the desperate Richard Rich – a man who sells his soul ‘for Wales’.

Presented on DCP restored by Sony Pictures in 4K from the Original Picture Negative. With thanks to Park Circus.

With an introduction by Professor Ian Christie.