Author Topic: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?  (Read 2445 times)

Offline Kaesekopf

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"A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« on: August 27, 2015, 03:47:23 PM »
How accurate is the movie "A Man for All Seasons" (1966) to history?  Does it treat St Thomas More properly?  Was there a lot of embellishment? 

I know we probably don't know the exact way things went, but is it at least a fair and good representation of how the good saint actually acted, lived, and thought? 
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Offline Bernadette

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2015, 04:01:15 PM »
I found this article for you. It seems to cover the question pretty well.

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~histweb/scothist/brown_k/film/closed/reviews/man_for_all.html
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Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2015, 04:03:04 PM »
Wie dein Sonntag, so dein Sterbetag.

I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side.  ~Treebeard, LOTR

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Offline Bernadette

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2015, 04:07:26 PM »
I found this article for you. It seems to cover the question pretty well.

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~histweb/scothist/brown_k/film/closed/reviews/man_for_all.html

Thanks!

:toth: That "librarian" title is sounding pretty good right about now! :lol:
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Online The Harlequin King

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2015, 04:08:38 PM »
It's an entertaining movie, but I don't think the historical Saint Thomas More would agree with the Bolt play's emphasis on conscience. For instance, the play's More says, "What matters is not that it's true, but that I believe it; or no, not that I believe it, but that I believe it."

That wouldn't be a position held by the historical More, who was responsible for putting six heretics to death during his term as chancellor. So obviously, merely sincerely believing a thing wasn't paramount in More's mind.

(That being said, with regard to the six heretics, I think it's important to note that they weren't private citizens burned just for being Protestant. They were priests, lawyers, or printers who all actively preached Protestantism or smuggled Protestant books into the country.)
 

Online The Harlequin King

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2015, 04:13:46 PM »
Also, a small quibble: by this time, Henry VIII would no longer have been the hale and hearty athlete of his younger years. It would've been more accurate to show "fat Henry", but from a filmmaker's point of view, I can understand why they wanted to show the younger version.
 
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Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2015, 04:42:47 PM »
HK - I assumed the "conscience" bits were a bit over-exaggerated, if not fabrications. 

Also good to know about Henry. 

Thanks!
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Offline Miriam_M

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2015, 05:02:36 PM »
Also, a small quibble: by this time, Henry VIII would no longer have been the hale and hearty athlete of his younger years. It would've been more accurate to show "fat Henry", but from a filmmaker's point of view, I can understand why they wanted to show the younger version.

Also, I doubt Robert Shaw would have been willing to gain so much weight, if he could have.
 

Offline maryslittlegarden

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2015, 05:40:12 PM »
Also, a small quibble: by this time, Henry VIII would no longer have been the hale and hearty athlete of his younger years. It would've been more accurate to show "fat Henry", but from a filmmaker's point of view, I can understand why they wanted to show the younger version.

That was one of the things (out of a few) that I had an issue with for the HBO series. 
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Offline Jacob

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2015, 08:24:44 PM »
I found this article for you. It seems to cover the question pretty well.

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~histweb/scothist/brown_k/film/closed/reviews/man_for_all.html

That article has a few flaws of its own.

Quote from: The article
Fred Zinnemann studied film in Paris in 1927-28, and emigrated to America in 1929.  Notably his early films were mostly documentaries, however he broke away from this in the 1950s, and the adaptation of Bolt’s play was his first real success.  Bolt himself wrote the screenplay for Zinnemann’s film, and was greatly involved in the final production of the picture.

Zinnemann's first real success?  I guess films like The Nun's Story don't count as successes in the author's mind.

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Offline Larry

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2015, 12:19:34 PM »
Zinneman also did a few other pictures called From Here to Eternity, Oklahoma! and High Noon. I think that article can be disregarded.
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Offline Greg

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Re: "A Man for All Seasons" - accuracy?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2015, 12:49:01 PM »
Also, a small quibble: by this time, Henry VIII would no longer have been the hale and hearty athlete of his younger years. It would've been more accurate to show "fat Henry", but from a filmmaker's point of view, I can understand why they wanted to show the younger version.

Also, I doubt Robert Shaw would have been willing to gain so much weight, if he could have.

But if he had, then they may have not needed a bigger boat.
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