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A Man For All Seasons (1966)

Sony

Cast: Paul Scofield, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles, Susannah York.

Rating: G.

Run time: 120 mins

Genre: Drama.

Verdict: Brilliant (see rating system)

Winner of six Oscars including "Best Picture" of 1966, this is a classic story about personal belief holding firm despite the threat of execution during the reign of King Henry Vlll.

Paul Scofield was deservedly awarded the "Best Actor" Oscar for his flawless portrayal of Sir Thomas More, the Roman Catholic chancellor who defied Henry (Robert Shaw) when he sought the Catholic church's approval to a divorce from Queen Catherine of Aragon.

After 20 years of marriage, none of Henry's male sons by Catherine had survived. Desperate for an heir, Henry decided to marry a young court attendant, Anne Boleyn. More couldn't stop the king, but he wouldn't endorse the divorce or remarriage and his silence proved a more eloquent protest and embarrassment to Henry than any public speech since educated society took notice of the well-respected More.

Henry eventually threw More into the Tower of London and appointed himself head of the new Church of England. But he wasn't finished with More - and he had terrible plans for Anne Boleyn when he tired of her.

Fine performances and a superb supporting cast bring the intrigue and danger of Henry's 16th-century court brilliantly to life. Director Fred Zinnemann and screenwriter Robert Bolt both won Oscars for their work.

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