A Man for All Seasons

  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1966

Common Sense Media says

Superb movie of More's stand against Henry VIII.
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1966

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Standing up for what you believe in.

Violence

Non-explicit execution scene

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an outstanding study of a man faced with a harrowingly difficult moral choice. The king wishes to divorce his wife, which at the time was not allowed. A man stands his ground but is executed (not graphic) for his steadfast beliefs. There's some drinking.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's the story?

The Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield), is a man of great principle and a devout Catholic in the time of King Henry VIII. The King wants to dissolve his marriage to the queen (a Spanish princess and the widow of his late brother) so that he can marry Anne Boleyn. All around him, courtiers and politicians plot to use this development to their advantage, or at least to hold on to their positions, given the conflict between the Church's position that marriage is indissoluble and the King's that it must be dissolved. For More, the choice is clear, and God comes before the King. But because of More's incorruptible reputation, his support is crucial. Every possible form of persuasion and coercion is attempted, but More will not make any affirmative statement on behalf of the divorce (though he refrains from opposing it explicitly). And More will not lend his allegiance to the new church headed by the King. Finally, having lost his position, his fortune, his reputation (on false charges) and his liberty, More is sentenced to death. He accepts it with grace and faith, forgiving the executioner.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS is an outstanding (and brilliantly filmed) study of a man who is faced with a harrowingly difficult moral choice. The choice remains clear to him, even at great cost not just to himself but to his family. Yet within his clear moral imperative, he does calibrate. His conscience does not require him to work against or even speak out against the divorce; he need only keep silent.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the title means. The same director made "High Noon" -- do you see any similarities? How would you decide what to do, if you were More? What other characters in history can you think of who sustained such a commitment to a moral principle?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 12, 1966
DVD release date:February 2, 1999
Cast:Orson Welles, Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller
Director:Fred Zinnemann
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Drama
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of A Man for All Seasons was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

wonderful

More stands up for what he believes in, even if it means death. A great role model!

Teen, 17 years old Written byBestPicture1996 March 23, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Slow-paced, but great dialogue & ensemble

Scofield is subtle, wise and powerful as Thomas More, a man who goes to the very end to (silently) fight what he believes in. This Best Picture winner takes a hard look at morality and staying true to yourself, and features rock solid supporting acting from John Hurt, Leo McKern, and especially Robert Shaw, whose King Henry VIII is a scene-stealing, dynamic bully.

What other families should know
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families