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A Man for All Seasons

Movie Information

In Brief: A Man for All Seasons — the Oscar-festooned film from 1966 — is solid, sober filmmaking that tells the story of Thomas More, who lost his head for refusing to compromise his religious views. Impressively made and superlatively cast.
Genre: Historical Drama
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Starring: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles
Rated: NR

Fred Zinnemann’s A Man for All Seasons (1966) was lauded with Oscars — Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design — and its credentials are, to put it simply, impeccable. It is, after all, nearly overflowing with famous Brit thespians (and Orson Welles, who always seemed like a Brit by way of Wisconsin). It has an important historical story to tell — Thomas More (Paul Scofield) refusing to bend his religious principles to the will of Henry VIII (Robert Shaw). In other words, A Man for All Seasons is so respectable that it might make you long for a Bowery Boys movie — and that, I think, is my problem with the movie (that and the typically ponderous Fred Zinnemann direction). It’s just too respectable for the likes of me. I have nothing to say against the movie. It’s a good picture. I just can’t get excited about it and never have been able to. My guess is that there’s a good chance you may find it more to your liking than I do.

The Hendersonville Film Society will show A Man for All Seasons Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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