A Man for All Seasons Movie Poster Image

A Man for All Seasons



Superb movie of More's stand against Henry VIII.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1966
  • Running Time: 120 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Standing up for what you believe in.


Non-explicit execution scene

Not applicable
Not applicable
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.

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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?


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/Streaming release date:February 2, 1999
Cast:Orson Welles, Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller
Director:Fred Zinnemann
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Teen, 14 years old Written byethanct86 October 12, 2015

May be a little over the head of younger kids. Great movie for High schoolers.

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage. Legendary incredible performance...if you know what they are talking about. 99% just the script with complicated words. Not intense, but maybe over the heads and boring for younger kids. The message and acting bring out the story for standing up for what is right at all costs (even death). A little violence. The whole story is based around a divorce. Some little language, not much.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008


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

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


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