Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – A Man For All Seasons (1966)

Starring Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern & Orson Welles

Rating 6/10

Ah remember the good old days when the monarchy had spunk? When a King could order a severed head on a whim and his subjects grovelled like loyal puppies keen for a feed? Ah yes, how times have changed.

A Man For All Seasons is not about King Henry the VIII (Robert Shaw). Not really. It’s about a man of principals, a man of faith, Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield). The King is a mad man on a mission to grab as much power as he can. He has cast himself as God, religion-maker, rule changer. With an ‘off-with-their-heads’ attitude, the King demands that the English embrace a new church, simply so he can divorce  Queen Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn (Vanessa Redgrave).

More is a strict Catholic kinda man, loyal to the Pope and not to the King. He knows that this will cause him strife but he’s determined to stick to his principles, at least in his own mind. Spies, power struggles and the word ‘traitor’ is flung about willy-nilly and many heads find themselves rolling around on the gritty floor.

For those who cannot handle historical films, this may be well worth a look. Instead of being bogged down in details, this film takes you on a journey through the mucky world of 16th Century England. Unlike today where politicians are happy to air their dirty laundry in our faces, in Henry VIII’s world, opinions were suppressed. For good reason too. Henry wasn’t out to be King of the year but to simply do whatever he wanted. In the end… well you’ll have to watch it, but in the end the King pays the price for heresy and selfishness. Long live the King! Or not.

A Man For All Seasons Trivia:

  • Budget – $3,900,000
  • Styrofoam was ordered to create the snowy scenes but as they arrived the real stuff came sprinkling down.
  • Vanessa Redgrave wouldn’t accept payment for her role.
  • Imagine if the film had Laurence Olivier as Sir Thomas and Alec Guinness as Wolsey… as the producers wanted. But Director Fred Zinnemann got his way and his men.
  • This film is based on a play by Robert Bolt starring Paul Scofield and Leo McKern.
  • The filming took a mere 12 weeks.
  • Thomas was the first name of 5 of the main people the play was based on. Bolt only kept 2 the same.
Out of history and into the foul streets of Philly with our next Best Picture winner, In The Heat of The Night starring the incredible Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger and Warren Oates.

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3 comments on “Best Picture – A Man For All Seasons (1966)

  1. Pingback: Academy Monday – Watch: ‘A Man for All the Seasons’ (Fred Zinnemann, 1966) | Seminal Cinema Outfit

  2. danyulengelke
    August 5, 2014

    Great review!

    We’re linking to your article for Academy Monday at SeminalCinemaOutfit.com

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Pingback: 1966 Oscar Winners | Guide to be a winner

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