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My review of A Man for All Seasons

April 28, 2014
Right after watching Hamlet, I watched A Man for All Seasons, the 1966 Best Picture Oscar winner. The film is the story of Sir Thomas More, a man whose beliefs and convictions were so strong that he gave up his title, his family, and eventually, his head. Paul Scofield won an Oscar for Best Actor for portraying Sir Thomas More. I believe that this Oscar was well-deserved. Scofield showed restraint when necessary, solemnity when it was required, anguish when it was merited, and a fire in the belly at the end when the situation called for it. I could believe Scofield was as principled as his character was supposed to be. It was an admirable performance. Another whose work should have been recognized was Robert Shaw in a brief, boisterous, highly entertaining appearance as Henry VIII. He wants the Pope to approve his divorce because Catherine of Aragon is unable to produce his heir. In addition to that, he wants Sir Thomas to agree with it. Herein lies the story, and it is wonderfully written and acted. You may think “Costume dramas are boring.” This one is not. Though there is no “action” to speak of, the intrigue and performances prevent it from being dull. In addition to Scofield and Shaw, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern (#2!), Susannah York (Superman’s mom!), John Hurt (He of the Alien-bursted belly), and Orson Welles lend great support. Vanessa Redgrave also makes a brief appearance as Anne Boleyn. This one just may be worthy of the Best Picture Oscar of 1966. I’m still partial to El Dorado, but that’s me. Next up, young Mister Twist wants some more, please, as I watch Oliver!, the Best Picture winner from 1968.

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