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The story takes place in 16th century England. But men like Sir Thomas More, who love life yet have the moral fiber to lay down their lives for their principles, are found in every century. Concentrating on the last seven years of English chancellor's life, the struggle between More and his King, Henry VIII, hinges on Henry's determination to break with Rome so he can divorce his current wife and wed again, and good Catholic More's inability to go along with such heresy. More resigns as chancellor, hoping to be able to live out his life as a private citizen. But Henry will settle for nothing less than that the much respected More give public approval to his headstrong course. Written by
Robert Bolt 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." See more »
During the trial of More, after the guards at the back of the room turn around to face the roused crowd (1:57:22), they are facing forward again when the Chief Justice speaks, and facing the rear immediately after, with no time in which to turn. See more »
[first spoken lines are over 6 minutes into the film]
...there's the country every second bastard born is fathered by a priest.
[clears throat to get More's attention]
Why, in Utopia, that couldn't be.
Well, there the priests are very holy.
Therefore, very few.
Sir Thomas More:
Is it anything interesting, Matthew?
Bless you, sir, I don't know.
[...] See more »
Beautifully written and scripted by Robert Bolt, beautifully acted by Paul Scofield and others, beautifully costumed to match the age and filmed in beautiful surroundings. This movie deserves all the accolades it received in the year it was made. But beyond that, it will last as one of filmdom's finest for the ethical and moral issues it raises.
We are raised as children to understand there are three things for which we should be prepared to sacrifice our lives: Family, Nation and Religious Belief. What we are NOT told is: When weighed against each other, which takes precedence? This movie examines precisely that issue.
King Henry VIII pleads with Thomas More to grant the annulment of his marriage because his wife is barren. If it is not granted, and there is no heir, Henry fears civil war upon his death with tens or hundreds of thousands of deaths. An appeal to patriotism.
When More refuses he is sentenced to death, but given a final opportunity to sign the annulment and be granted a remission. His wife (Catholic priests could marry at that time) visits him in prison and pleads that he sign, fearing that her life and the life of her daughter will also become forfeit upon More's death. An appeal to save the life of his family.
More's decision was to give his life for his religious convictions. One comes out of the movie with much to digest as to which of the 3 choices each of us would make in similar circumstances.
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