Boasting one of the most impressive cast lists in cinema history A Man For All Seasons, the 1966 film of the final years of Sir Thomas More (1529-1535) was showered with accolades, winning six Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design.
King Henry VIII wants to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon and marry his mistress Anne Boleyn and only More stands in his way.
Directed by Fred Zinneman the virtuous and intellectual man for all seasons More is superbly played by Paul Scofield in a part that was originally offered to Richard Burton for him to turn it down. Also excellent is Robert Shaw as the corrupt and terrifying Henry VIII, for which Richard Harris and Peter O’Toole were considered and for which Shaw received a well-deserved nomination. Other notable performances are turned in by Leo McKern as the villainous Thomas Cromwell, Orson Welles as the malleable Cardinal Wolsey and John Hurt as the disgusting Richard Rich who sealed More’s fate on the execution block with his perjury to win himself high and profitable office in Wales.
A Man For All Seasons was released last month by Eureka Entertainment in a Dual-format Blu-ray/DVD edition as part of their Masters of Cinema Series. The pack includes a featurette The Life of Saint Thomas More and a book with new writings on the film.