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A Man for All Seasons

A Man for All Seasons(1966)

Remind Me

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  • King Henry VIII  

    Thomas. I chose the right man for chancellor!

  • Sir Thomas More  

    I should in fairness add that my taste in music is reputedly deplorable.

  • King Henry VIII  

    Your taste in music is excellent. It exactly coincides with my own!

  • The Duke of Norfolk  

    Oh confound all this. I'm not a scholar, I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!

  • Sir Thomas More  

    And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

  • Thomas Cromwell  

    Now, Sir Thomas, you stand on your silence.

  • Thomas More  

    I do.

  • Cromwell  

    But, gentlemen of the jury, there are many kinds of silence. Consider first the silence of a man who is dead. Let us suppose we go into the room where he is laid out, and we listen: what do we hear? Silence. What does it betoken, this silence? Nothing; this is silence pure and simple. But let us take another case. Suppose I were to take a dagger from my sleeve and make to kill the prisoner with it, and my lordships there, instead of crying out for me to stop, maintained their silence. That would betoken! It would betoken a willingness that I should do it, and under the law, they will be guilty with me. So silence can, according to the circumstances, speak! Let us consider now the circumstances of the prisoner's silence. The oath was put to loyal subjects up and down the country, and they all declared His Grace's title to be just and good. But when it came to the prisoner, he refused! He calls this silence. Yet is there a man in this court -- is there a man in this country! -- who does not know Sir Thomas More's opinion of this title?

  • Crowd  


  • Cromwell  

    Yet how can this be? Because this silence betokened, nay, this silence was, not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!

  • Margaret More  

    Father, that man's bad.

  • Sir Thomas More  

    There's no law against that.

  • William Roper  

    There is. God's law.

  • Sir Thomas More  

    Then God can arrest him.

  • Thomas More  

    This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast. Man's laws, not God's. And if you cut them down--and you're just the man to do it--do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?