A Man for All Seasons (1966)

A Man for All Seasons was originally a play that was turned into a motion picture that went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 1966. The film also captured five other awards that night, including the Best Director and Best Actor. For those unfamiliar with the story, A Man for All Seasons is about the last six years of Sir Thomas More’s life (Paul Scofield), the 16th century Lord Chancellor of England. 

Usually, I am not afraid to bash a movie because I didn’t like the story or the characters. My problem with A Man for All Seasons was simply that the film was boring. I felt like the kids in Ferris Bueller’s economics class when Ben Stein talked about “Voodoo” economics. I was bored to my death watching a biographical film about a man who refused to bend the rules for the King of England, Henry VII (Robert Shaw). In the end, it cost More his position and ultimately his life. However, I personally didn’t see where he had gone wrong with his choices. 

If you have studied any western civilization history, Henry VIII married many women (six) in his time of power, pretty much all against the rules of the day. The man knew what he wanted and went to get it, and if anyone stood in his way, like Sir Thomas More, they were easy to dispose of. 

I wish I could sit here and write this glorious review of A Man for All Seasons, but I don’t have much to say. I never got invested in the story or the characters. These were powerful men who acted like teenage girls, talking about each other behind their backs and using pawns to sabotage their friends and allies at the first sign of weakness. 

In all honesty, it appeared to be a shame what happened to Sir Thomas More. His “crimes” were generations ahead of fair trials and proper presentation of the facts. There was nothing wrong with his character, except he didn’t want to budge from his beliefs, those of which were not welcomed by someone drooling at the thought of having more power and a male heir. 

I am willing to bet that this film was shown in a history class or two back in the day since it showcases the reign of terror that Henry VII forced upon his people. I know that A Man for All Seasons reveals that the age-old saying “bad things happen to good people” is often a true statement. 2/10


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