A man for all seasons11:31 AM
Don’t let the bawdy miniseries The Tudors fool you.
If you are anything like me all the knowledge you have about Henry VIII’s reign comes from the show The Tudors and the movie Elizabeth (perhaps a little from Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper” too).
Of course a better source would be some actual history studying, but may I suggest the movie A man for all seasons?
The movie focuses not so much on Henry VIII’s divorce and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn but to Thomas More’s refusal to publicly accept it. (Thomas More was the king's advisor. He was canonised in 1935 - which unfortunately isn’t mentioned in the movie.)
Paul Scofield’s portrayal of Thomas More is extremely compelling – it’s no wonder he received an Oscar, a Bafta and a Golden Globe for his performance.
The Duke of Norfolk: Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!
Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?
What struck me as the most impressive was More’s balance between trying to preserve his life and his uncompromising morals.
Despite being such a serious character, expect him to deliver some funny lines such as when he says: “Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?”
A true hero and a saint, Thomas More is the example of a man who is not afraid to stand alone.
PS: If you are wondering where the title comes from (clue: NOT from Jonhy English’s soundtrack) check this: Robert Bolt (the play and movie writer) borrowed the title from Robert Whittinton, a contemporary of Thomas More, who in 1520 wrote of him: "More is a man of an angel's wit and singular learning; I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity: a man for all seasons."
Have you seen A man for all seasons or another movie about The Tudors?