AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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A Man for All Seasons
Director: Fred Zinnemann (Dir)
Release Date:   1966
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 12 Dec 1966
Duration (in mins):   120
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Cast:   Paul Scofield (Sir Thomas More)  
    Wendy Hiller (Alice More)  
    Leo McKern (Thomas Cromwell)  
    Robert Shaw (King Henry VIII)  
    Orson Welles (Cardinal Wolsey)  
    Susannah York (Margaret More)  
    Nigel Davenport (Duke of Norfolk)  
    John Hurt (Richard Rich)  
    Corin Redgrave (William Roper)  
    Colin Blakely (Matthew)  
    Cyril Luckham (Archbishop Cranmer)  
    Jack Gwillim (Chief Justice)  
    Thomas Heathcote (Boatman)  
    Yootha Joyce (Averil Machin)  
    Anthony Nicholls (King's representative)  
    John Nettleton (Jailer)  
    Eira Heath (Matthew's wife)  
    Molly Urquhart (Maid)  
    Paul Hardwick (Courtier)  
    Michael Latimer (Norfolk's aide)  
    Philip Brack (Captain of guard)  
    Martin Boddey (Governor of Tower)  
    Eric Mason (Executioner)  
    Matt Zimmerman (Messenger)  
    Vanessa Redgrave (Anne Boleyn)  

Summary: Sir Thomas More is named to replace the fallen Cardinal Wolsey as Lord Chancellor of England. More's devotion to the Church and his deeply conscientious nature immediately bring him into conflict with young King Henry VIII. While valuing More's integrity, Henry resents More's lack of cooperation in his efforts to divorce Catherine of Aragon, who has failed to bear him an heir, and marry Anne Boleyn. Though More serves the king faithfully, he is bound by the law of the Church as the law of God. Faced with the pope's refusal to grant him a divorce, Henry makes himself the spiritual as well as political sovereign of England. The bishops of England in convocation give their consent to the act of Parliament making Henry head of the Church in England, whereupon More resigns from the king's service, hoping that he will be left to retire into private life. More voices no opinion regarding the king's actions, but his silence is taken as a personal rebuke. Henry, prodded by his ambitious advisers, particularly Thomas Cromwell, demands that More take an oath recognizing the king as head of both church and state, and when More declines he is imprisoned in the Tower of London. In time Cromwell and his opportunistic aide, Richard Rich, make false accusations against More, and he is called to answer the charge of high treason. Found guilty, he freely avows his belief that the king's actions are repugnant to the law of God. At peace, he goes to his death on the block. 

Production Company: Highland Films  
Production Text: A Fred Zinnemann Production
Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures  
Director: Fred Zinnemann (Dir)
  Patrick Carey (2nd unit dir)
  Peter Bolton (Asst dir)
  Al Burgess (Asst dir)
  Bill Graf Jr. (1st, 2d & 3d asst dir)
Producer: Fred Zinnemann (Prod)
  William N. Graf (Exec prod)
Writer: Robert Bolt (Scr)
Photography: Ted Moore (Dir of photog)
  Robert Kindred (Cam op)
Art Direction: John Box (Prod des)
  Terence Marsh (Art dir)
  Roy Walker (Asst art dir)
Film Editor: Ralph Kemplen (Film ed)
  Marcel Durham (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Josie MacAvin (Set dresser)
Costumes: Elizabeth Haffenden (Col cost des)
  Joan Bridge (Col cost des)
  Jackie Cummins (Ward)
Music: Georges Delerue (Mus comp & cond)
Sound: Buster Ambler (Sd)
  Bob Jones (Sd)
  Harry Miller (Dub ed)
Make Up: George Frost (Makeup)
  Eric Allwright (Makeup)
  Gordon Bond (Hairstyles)
  Helen Bevan (Hairdresser)
Production Misc: William Kirby (Prod supv)
  Constance Mills (Cont)
  Patrick McLoughlin (Tech adv)
  Peter Dukelow (Constr mgr)
  Robert Lennard (Casting)
Country: United Kingdom

Source Text: Based on the play A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt (London, 1 Jul 1960).
Authors: Robert Bolt

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Highland Films 31/12/1966 dd/mm/yyyy LP34162

Physical Properties: Sd: Westrex Recording System
  col: Technicolor

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Historical
 
Subjects (Major): Ambition
  Anne Boleyn
  Capital punishment
  Catherine of Aragon, Queen, Consort of Henry VIII, 1485-1536
  Catholic Church
  Church and state
  Church of England
  Conscience
  Thomas Cromwell
  Divorce
  Great Britain--History--16th century
  Henry VIII, King of England, 1491-1547
  Marriage
  Alice More
  Thomas More
  Nobility
  Popes
  Perjury
  Philosophers
  Richard Rich
  Margaret Roper
  William Roper
  Royalty
  Tower of London (London, England)
  Treason
  Thomas Wolsey

Note: Location scenes filmed near Oxford and Southampton, England. Opened in London in Mar 1967. 

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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