Paul Scofield (Sir Thomas More), Wendy Miller
(Alice More), Leo McKern (Thomas Cromwell), Robert Shaw (Henry VIII), Orson Welles (Cardinal Wolsey), Susannah York (Margaret More), Nigel Davenport (Duke of Norfolk), John Hurt
The story of Thomas More, an English nobleman who stood in the
way of King Henry VIII becoming head of the Church of England so he could progress with divorce from Catherine of Aragon and remarriage to Anne Boleyn.
Robert Bolt adapted the screenplay from his own play, and
though the story feels like it would be better suited to stage, the prestigious direction, meticulous production design and powerful performances ensure that the film has a more cinematic status,
acknowledged by the Academy Awards who named it the Best Picture of 1966.
Paul Scofield delivers a masterclass of a performance as Sir
Thomas More, an understated man of distinguished principles who was prepared to pay for them with his life, while Robert Shaw tries to steal the show as King Henry VIII.
It's unlikely to garner any fans from modern audiences, but
it's a near- perfect film for its age.