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A Man for All Seasons
- favourite film

It says much for the British acting community of the 1960s that A Man for All Seasons should have even been made: the stars all worked for well below their normal rates; Vanessa Redgrave played Anne Boleyn for nothing. But it was a film that needed making, an intelligent translation to the screen of an equally intelligent theatrical production. Doubtless surprising studio executives, the film proved a huge commercial success. There was then as now a huge appetite for costume drama, and the sumptuous costumes duly won an Oscar. Big names like Robert Shaw , an egotistical but intellectual Henry VIII , and Orson Welles effectively underplaying the manipulative Wolsey , were box-office gold. It was though stage performer Paul Scofield winning the plaudits and the 1967 Best Actor Oscar and newcomer John Hurt who caught the eye but more so the ear both with magnificent voices. Robert Bolt adapted his own play for the cinema, the predicament of Thomas More providing a vehicle for explorations of loyalty, ambition, political expediency and conscience: More, unable to put King before Church, is manoeuvred into choosing between faith and survival. But for many of the millions who saw the film it was the Thames, the palaces, the banquets and the gardens brilliantly employed by director Fred Zinnemann (also winning an Oscar) that caught the imagination more than the morality tale did.

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