Director: Fred Zinnemann Cast: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles, Susannah York, Nigel Davenport, John Hurt, Corin Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Colin Blakely, Cyril Luckham
Academy Awards: Best Picture; Best Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Scofield); Best Director (Fred Zinnemann); Best Adapted Screenplay (Robert Bolt); Best Cinematography, Colour; Best Costume Design, Colour
Also Nominated For: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Robert Shaw); Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Wendy Hiller)
I First Saw In: 2015
Synopsis: 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.
Did You Know? The trial and execution scenes are based very closely on an eyewitness account, published anonymously in the Paris Newsletter of August 4, 1535.
And now a Word from the Guise:
This extremely well-written story is a battle of egos: on the one end, we have King Henry VIII, who stands atop his pedestal gazing down at his peasants as a god; on the other end, we have Thomas More, who fancies himself to be the Mouth of God, because his piety is better than everyone else’s, duh. But, of course, the religious man is made a martyr. He was tried for high treason for refusing to acknowledge King Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church of England, because like any good Christian, he refused the indemnification of King Henry from his divorce with Catherine of Aragon. He was convicted and subsequently beheaded.
I actually quite like this movie, it just hits close to home, having been on the receiving end of religious oppression. Sanctimonious men will do everything in their power to insure that their beliefs are enacted into law, because when they cannot convince people into believing, they feel they must force them. It is their “divine purpose to God”.
I don’t know about the laws of the UK, but there is a reason why the founding fathers of the US specified that while everyone had the freedom of religion, no laws could be made respecting an establishment of religion. It’s quite unfortunate that so many Americans are willfully ignorant of that part of the First Amendment, and are insistent on (sometimes not so) metaphorically crucifying people who don’t adhere to their dogmatic views.
Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233