A Man for All Seasons

Take Paul Scofield as Thomas More, Wendy Hiller as his illiterate wife, Susannah York, as More’s daughter, Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey) as Cromwell, and Orson Wells as Cardinal Wolsey and to this stellar ensemble, add a sparkling screenplay by Robert Bolt, who wrote the original play by the same name, and you have a revealing insight into history, a well-told tale, and a glimpse at the road to martyrdom. On top of all those reasons to watch, add this: Here is a man to emulate, a saint who persisted in the face of pressure from all sides to give in and violate his conscience to spare his life. By emulate, I mean to follow in his footsteps, to stand against the authorities that want to violate your conscience and your values. That Christians should imitate a Hollywood story may sound absurd, but it’s a dramatic tour de force, and even Hollywood recognized that fact when it was released.

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