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Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! Should be used in schools for ethics classes, January 27, 2005
This review is from: A Man for All Seasons (DVD)
I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.

Sir Thomas More

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Tired of Catherine of Aragorn, Henry VIII wants to wed his mistress, Ann Boleyn. What stands in his way? First the Pope, and finally, his old friend Sir Thomas More.

Before this movie, scarcely anyone had heard of Paul Scofield (More). He turns out an Oscar-winning performance as the beleagered More. You'll also recognize Orson Welles very briefly playing Cardinal Wolsey.

The movie's well-acted and a good representation of the climate of the times. I think it would be a very useful tool for teachers of English History and Literature as well.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 2, 2014 5:29:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2014 5:31:27 PM PDT
Sorry but I find this review overly simplistic as well as inaccurate. Henry VIII is not 'tired' of Catherine of Aragon. She has failed in his eyes to deliver him a son and heir after 20 years of marriage. Henry is convinced by biblical scripture that his marriage is cursed by God because Catherine was previously wed to Henry's elder brother Atrhur who died young.

I question its use in the teaching of history, as for all this is an exquisite production that merits it's many awards and critical acclaim, it does ignore the darker side of it's central character. Sir Thomas More may have been created a saint by the Catholic Church, but it must be said that his conduct during his brief tenure as Lord Chancellor could be intrepreted as the actions of a bloodthirsty religious zealot. Under More's authority hundreds of Lutheran reformers were, it must be remembered, executed by being burned alive as heretics.

A Man For All Seasons is a wonderful movie, beautifully directed in a simplistic style with fantasic camerawork - the opening titles are a work of art in their own right in this respect. The acting by all the leading characters is splendid. Has there ever been a better character actor than Leo McKern, his delivery of the line where he repeats Norfolks one liner previously said to More "My dear Norfolk, this isn't Spain...this is England!" has to be one of the best in the history of motion pictures.

For all that this is a stunning movie, one of my all time favourites, it should never be confused with historical fact.
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