A Man for All Seasons

Fred Zinnemann’s 1966 historical drama is admittedly not standard children’s fare, but could certainly provide a substantial experience for young viewers, as a sort of educational counterweight to the pure fantasy or entertainment of some children’s media. The facts surrounding Sir Thomas More and his opposition to Henry VIII’s divorce may sound like the stuff of high school history texts, but are—or become, in screenwriter Robert Bolt’s hands—one of the most engaging and important stories to come out of political western Europe. More is portrayed a rare moral hero, who struggles with complicated questions, but ultimately (dangerously, foolishly, or admirably) acts in consistence with his conscience. Though More’s circumstances are specifically adult in nature, the principles at work in the film—integrity, loyalty, faith—are broad and ultimately teachable. Difficulties for young viewers, like pace, political titles and terminology, or complex ethical situations, are ideal opportunities for discussion and instruction: parents should prepare for and even encourage questions, from “What is a Chancellor?” to “What is most important in life?”

Stacey Snider

Film Info

Title: A Man for All Seasons (1966)
Country of Origin: UK
Running Time: 120 min
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Sound Mix: Mono
Color: Technicolor
Certification: Argentina: 13 / Finland: K-12 / Spain: 13 / UK: U / US: Approved (original rating) / USA: G (re-rating) (1971) / West Germany: 12
Releasing Company: Columbia Pictures [us] (USA), LK-Tel Vídeo [br] (Brazil) (video)
Producer: William N. Graff, Fred Zinneman
Director: Fred Zinneman
Writer: Robert Bolt (play and screenplay)
Cinematographer: Ted Moore
Designer: John Box
Editor: Ralph Kemplen
Composer: Georges Delerue
Genre: Drama