Thomas More (Paul Scofield) is at odds with Henry VIII (Robert shaw) over the king's wish to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, so that he may marry Anne Boleyn. More understands that from the standpoint of the Roman Catholic church, the king would be heretical. More, the appointed Lord Chancellor, is so highly regarded that his outspoken unwillingness to break with Rome makes Henry VIII look unreasonable and the king is furious. As the king's wrath grows, he tries to discredit More by attempts at legal trickery, but the attempts fail. More feels the heat being turned up and determines it best to resign his post to retire to private life. Unfortunately, because More's resignation speaks so loudly of the king's intended impropriety, the king will still settle for no less than More's approval of the divorce. More, however, refuses to relent. Henry now has legislation passed that establishes himself as having supreme power in English religious affairs, breaking with Rome and, thereby, establishing the Church of England. He then has legislation passed establishing it as treasonous for any member of the king's court to refuse to sign off on it. More's refusal to sign off dooms him to be beheaded, but he will be remembered as a deeply principled "man for all seasons."

Film Info

3 min 19 sec Duration
  • Posted: September 24, 2009
  • Director: Fred Zinnemann
  • Writer: Robert Bolt
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • Release: December 12, 1966
  • Cast: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern

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