A Man for All Seasons


2h 1966
A Man for All Seasons

Brief Synopsis

A devout scholar gets caught in the middle of Henry VIII's plans to break with the Catholic Church.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Historical
Biography
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Dec 1966
Production Company
Highland Films
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures
Country
United Kingdom
Location
Oxford, England, United Kingdom; Southampton, England, United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the play A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt (London, 1 Jul 1960).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Sir Thomas More is named to replace the fallen Cardinal Wolsey as Lord Chancellor of England. More's devotion to the Church and his deeply conscientious nature immediately bring him into conflict with young King Henry VIII. While valuing More's integrity, Henry resents More's lack of cooperation in his efforts to divorce Catherine of Aragon, who has failed to bear him an heir, and marry Anne Boleyn. Though More serves the king faithfully, he is bound by the law of the Church as the law of God. Faced with the pope's refusal to grant him a divorce, Henry makes himself the spiritual as well as political sovereign of England. The bishops of England in convocation give their consent to the act of Parliament making Henry head of the Church in England, whereupon More resigns from the king's service, hoping that he will be left to retire into private life. More voices no opinion regarding the king's actions, but his silence is taken as a personal rebuke. Henry, prodded by his ambitious advisers, particularly Thomas Cromwell, demands that More take an oath recognizing the king as head of both church and state, and when More declines he is imprisoned in the Tower of London. In time Cromwell and his opportunistic aide, Richard Rich, make false accusations against More, and he is called to answer the charge of high treason. Found guilty, he freely avows his belief that the king's actions are repugnant to the law of God. At peace, he goes to his death on the block.

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A Man for All Seasons - Movie Posters

Videos

Movie Clip

Hosted Intro

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Historical
Biography
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Dec 1966
Production Company
Highland Films
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures
Country
United Kingdom
Location
Oxford, England, United Kingdom; Southampton, England, United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the play A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt (London, 1 Jul 1960).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Award Wins

Best Actor

1966
Paul Scofield

Best Cinematography

1966

Best Costume Design

1966
Joan Bridge

Best Costume Design

1966
Elizabeth Haffenden

Best Director

1966
Fred Zinnemann

Best Picture

1966

Best Writing, Screenplay

1967

Award Nominations

Best Supporting Actor

1966
Robert Shaw

Best Supporting Actress

1966
Wendy Hiller

Articles

A Man For All Seasons (1966)


Robert Bolt's play A Man for All Seasons came to the attention of director Fred Zinnemann when producer Mike Frankovich phoned asking if he'd seen the play and if he was interested in directing it. Zinnemann quickly said "yes" to both questions and contacted Bolt who was able to get a screenplay written in only five weeks. A hit play does not guarantee that a film can be made and Zinnemann had trouble convincing Columbia Studios to make A Man for All Seasons [1966]. "As far as Columbia was concerned this was a very modest, and in a box office sense, totally unpromising project. It had many counts against it: 'Nobody wants to see a costume movie'; very little action, let alone violence, no sex, no overt love story and, most importantly, no stars, in fact hardly any actors that the US public had ever heard of. No wonder the budget was tiny and no attention was paid to us by the front office during the shooting - this is of course always a blessing." It was only the first of many blessings for Zinnemann and his crew.

For the lead role of Sir Thomas More, Zinnemann fought for, and got, Paul Scofield, who had played the role on the London stage and on Broadway. Richard Burton had refused to consider the role, Charlton Heston lobbied hard for it, and the producers wanted Laurence Olivier, but Zinnemann knew Scofield could be the only one. He proved it shortly after filming began, as Zinnemann wrote, "For the first few days the crew did their usual work very well, the way they would have done on any job, but on the third day, when Scofield made his speech about the majesty of the law, they were suddenly mesmerized by the magic of those words and they remained that way throughout the rest of the filming. So totally did Paul convey the scope of More's character that for months afterwards I couldn't help but look at him in awe, as a saint rather than an actor."

Orson Welles, as Cardinal Wolsey, wore a reproduction of Wolsey's robes, carried an exact replica of Wolsey's official seal, and even used eye drops to make his eyes red, as Wolsey's were. All his preparations seemed to be only physical, as director Zinnemann wrote, "Reluctant at first to play the part, [Welles] arrived on the set only superficially acquainted with his lines. Fortunately, his personality and his genius were so immense (and Paul Scofield's patience so enormous) that he succeeded in creating the illusion of absolute self-confidence. Welles had a marvelous, endearing sense of humor. We were working on a scene with the Duke of Norfolk coming to collect the Chancellor's chain from Wolsey. During rehearsals the 'dying' Cardinal was lying on his cot, puffing the longest, fattest Monte Cristo cigar. We started shooting. Nigel Davenport (the Duke) entered, played his scene and on leaving said, 'Have you a message for the King?' - 'Yes,' said Orson. 'Tell him the take [the scene just shot] is no good - there was a plane in it!'"

Vanessa Redgrave, who plays Anne Boleyn, was originally set to play More's daughter, Margaret, "but then she arrived one day very upset: she had been offered the lead in a new stage play, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Could she be released? It seemed impossible to say 'No'. Luckily, we found that the marvelous Susannah York was available and she saved the situation. However, the next crisis followed promptly: a very brief scene was to be filmed with Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII at their wedding reception. For Anne we needed an actress who, in forty-five seconds, could convince the audience that she was capable of changing the course of an empire...we couldn't find anyone who seemed right. Finally, in desperation, I turned to Vanessa, who was now playing Miss Brodie at night and filming all over swinging London in Antonioni's Blow Up during the day...She immediately agreed, but insisted on two conditions: no screen credit, and no salary. She and Robert Shaw rehearsed for an hour, and we shot the scene in less than a day."

Luck seemed to be with Zinnemann and his crew in other ways as well. For the scene where the Duke of Norfolk rides through the snowy countryside to visit the dying Wolsey was to be shot in mid-April, when there would be no snow in England. Zinnemann had arranged for two large trucks full of Styrofoam to be brought to the set. As the trucks arrived the night before the scene was to be shot, "lo and behold, snow started to fall. It snowed all night and at dawn the hills looked sparkling white; the Styrofoam trucks stayed where they were. Stranger still, just after we had finished shooting and I had said 'Cut' for the last time, the sun came out and all the snow melted in less than half an hour, as if on cue." Zinnemann's autobiography contains photographs taken on the set that day. At 7 am, the snow was on the ground. By 9:30 it had almost disappeared.

Nature cooperated with Zinnemann in another scene, this one with Robert Shaw. During a scene with Scofield and Shaw in More's garden, Shaw's character becomes angry. Each time he spoke a certain line, a violent gust of wind would blow up and shake the trees. "The sudden wind sprang up each time that particular line was spoken - in long shots, reverse shots, close-ups and we always had a perfect match in the editing. We had exactly the kind of weather we wanted all the way through shooting, but on the last day, just when I had finally said, 'It's a wrap,' rain started and fell for weeks afterwards."

The critics raved when A Man for All Seasons was released on December 12, 1966. Bosley Crowther in the New York Times wrote, "Fred Zinnemann has done a fine job putting upon the screen the solid substance of A Man for All Seasons, Robert Bolt's play about Sir Thomas More, and in doing so he presents us with an awesome view of a sturdy conscience and a steadfast heart. Mr. Scofield is brilliant in his exercise of temperance and restraint, of disciplined wisdom and humor, as he variously confronts his restless King or Cardinal Wolsey, who is played by Orson Welles with subtle, startling glints of poisonous evil that, in this day, are extraordinary for him."

The film that Columbia thought no one would want to see won Best Picture, Best Actor for Scofield, Best Director for Zinnemann, Best Writing Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium for Bolt, Best Color Cinematography for Ted Moore, Best Color Costume Design for Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge, and Robert Shaw and Wendy Hiller were nominated for Best Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role, respectively.

Producer: William N. Graf, Fred Zinnemann
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Screenplay: Robert Bolt
Cinematography: Ted Moore
Film Editing: Ralph Kemplen
Art Direction: Terence Marsh
Music: Georges Delerue
Cast: Paul Scofield (Sir Thomas More), Wendy Hiller (Alice More), Leo McKern (Thomas Cromwell), Robert Shaw (King Henry VIII), Orson Welles (Cardinal Wolsey), Susannah York (Margaret More).
C-120m. Letterboxed.

by Lorraine LoBianco

SOURCES

A Life in the Movies by Fred Zinnemann

The New York Times

Retakes: Behind the Scens of 500 Classic Movies by John Eastman

The Internet Movie Database

A Man For All Seasons (1966)

A Man For All Seasons (1966)

Robert Bolt's play A Man for All Seasons came to the attention of director Fred Zinnemann when producer Mike Frankovich phoned asking if he'd seen the play and if he was interested in directing it. Zinnemann quickly said "yes" to both questions and contacted Bolt who was able to get a screenplay written in only five weeks. A hit play does not guarantee that a film can be made and Zinnemann had trouble convincing Columbia Studios to make A Man for All Seasons [1966]. "As far as Columbia was concerned this was a very modest, and in a box office sense, totally unpromising project. It had many counts against it: 'Nobody wants to see a costume movie'; very little action, let alone violence, no sex, no overt love story and, most importantly, no stars, in fact hardly any actors that the US public had ever heard of. No wonder the budget was tiny and no attention was paid to us by the front office during the shooting - this is of course always a blessing." It was only the first of many blessings for Zinnemann and his crew. For the lead role of Sir Thomas More, Zinnemann fought for, and got, Paul Scofield, who had played the role on the London stage and on Broadway. Richard Burton had refused to consider the role, Charlton Heston lobbied hard for it, and the producers wanted Laurence Olivier, but Zinnemann knew Scofield could be the only one. He proved it shortly after filming began, as Zinnemann wrote, "For the first few days the crew did their usual work very well, the way they would have done on any job, but on the third day, when Scofield made his speech about the majesty of the law, they were suddenly mesmerized by the magic of those words and they remained that way throughout the rest of the filming. So totally did Paul convey the scope of More's character that for months afterwards I couldn't help but look at him in awe, as a saint rather than an actor." Orson Welles, as Cardinal Wolsey, wore a reproduction of Wolsey's robes, carried an exact replica of Wolsey's official seal, and even used eye drops to make his eyes red, as Wolsey's were. All his preparations seemed to be only physical, as director Zinnemann wrote, "Reluctant at first to play the part, [Welles] arrived on the set only superficially acquainted with his lines. Fortunately, his personality and his genius were so immense (and Paul Scofield's patience so enormous) that he succeeded in creating the illusion of absolute self-confidence. Welles had a marvelous, endearing sense of humor. We were working on a scene with the Duke of Norfolk coming to collect the Chancellor's chain from Wolsey. During rehearsals the 'dying' Cardinal was lying on his cot, puffing the longest, fattest Monte Cristo cigar. We started shooting. Nigel Davenport (the Duke) entered, played his scene and on leaving said, 'Have you a message for the King?' - 'Yes,' said Orson. 'Tell him the take [the scene just shot] is no good - there was a plane in it!'" Vanessa Redgrave, who plays Anne Boleyn, was originally set to play More's daughter, Margaret, "but then she arrived one day very upset: she had been offered the lead in a new stage play, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Could she be released? It seemed impossible to say 'No'. Luckily, we found that the marvelous Susannah York was available and she saved the situation. However, the next crisis followed promptly: a very brief scene was to be filmed with Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII at their wedding reception. For Anne we needed an actress who, in forty-five seconds, could convince the audience that she was capable of changing the course of an empire...we couldn't find anyone who seemed right. Finally, in desperation, I turned to Vanessa, who was now playing Miss Brodie at night and filming all over swinging London in Antonioni's Blow Up during the day...She immediately agreed, but insisted on two conditions: no screen credit, and no salary. She and Robert Shaw rehearsed for an hour, and we shot the scene in less than a day." Luck seemed to be with Zinnemann and his crew in other ways as well. For the scene where the Duke of Norfolk rides through the snowy countryside to visit the dying Wolsey was to be shot in mid-April, when there would be no snow in England. Zinnemann had arranged for two large trucks full of Styrofoam to be brought to the set. As the trucks arrived the night before the scene was to be shot, "lo and behold, snow started to fall. It snowed all night and at dawn the hills looked sparkling white; the Styrofoam trucks stayed where they were. Stranger still, just after we had finished shooting and I had said 'Cut' for the last time, the sun came out and all the snow melted in less than half an hour, as if on cue." Zinnemann's autobiography contains photographs taken on the set that day. At 7 am, the snow was on the ground. By 9:30 it had almost disappeared. Nature cooperated with Zinnemann in another scene, this one with Robert Shaw. During a scene with Scofield and Shaw in More's garden, Shaw's character becomes angry. Each time he spoke a certain line, a violent gust of wind would blow up and shake the trees. "The sudden wind sprang up each time that particular line was spoken - in long shots, reverse shots, close-ups and we always had a perfect match in the editing. We had exactly the kind of weather we wanted all the way through shooting, but on the last day, just when I had finally said, 'It's a wrap,' rain started and fell for weeks afterwards." The critics raved when A Man for All Seasons was released on December 12, 1966. Bosley Crowther in the New York Times wrote, "Fred Zinnemann has done a fine job putting upon the screen the solid substance of A Man for All Seasons, Robert Bolt's play about Sir Thomas More, and in doing so he presents us with an awesome view of a sturdy conscience and a steadfast heart. Mr. Scofield is brilliant in his exercise of temperance and restraint, of disciplined wisdom and humor, as he variously confronts his restless King or Cardinal Wolsey, who is played by Orson Welles with subtle, startling glints of poisonous evil that, in this day, are extraordinary for him." The film that Columbia thought no one would want to see won Best Picture, Best Actor for Scofield, Best Director for Zinnemann, Best Writing Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium for Bolt, Best Color Cinematography for Ted Moore, Best Color Costume Design for Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge, and Robert Shaw and Wendy Hiller were nominated for Best Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role, respectively. Producer: William N. Graf, Fred Zinnemann Director: Fred Zinnemann Screenplay: Robert Bolt Cinematography: Ted Moore Film Editing: Ralph Kemplen Art Direction: Terence Marsh Music: Georges Delerue Cast: Paul Scofield (Sir Thomas More), Wendy Hiller (Alice More), Leo McKern (Thomas Cromwell), Robert Shaw (King Henry VIII), Orson Welles (Cardinal Wolsey), Susannah York (Margaret More). C-120m. Letterboxed. by Lorraine LoBianco SOURCES A Life in the Movies by Fred Zinnemann The New York Times Retakes: Behind the Scens of 500 Classic Movies by John Eastman The Internet Movie Database

Wendy Hiller, 1912-2003


Dame Wendy Hiller, one of Britain's most distinguished actresses of screen and stage and whose career highlights include being George Bernard Shaw's favorite leading lady, and an Oscar winner for her performance as a lonely spinster in Separate Tables (1958), died at her home in Beaconsfield, England, on May 14. She was 90.

Wendy Hiller was born on August 15, 1912, in Bramhall, and raised in Manchester, where her father was a cotton-cloth manufacturer. Educated at Winceby House, a girl's school in Sussex, Hiller found herself drawn to the theater, and after completing secondary school, Wendy joined the Manchester Repertory Theater, where she was a bit player and later an assistant stage manager. In 1934, she earned critical acclaim and stardom when Manchester Rep cast her as the lead in the popular drama, Love on the Dole, written by her future husband, Ronald Gow. The play was such a hit, that Hiller would repeat her role in London and triumphed on Broadway.

Back on the London stage, she was playing the lead in George Bernard Shaw's St. Joan, when she caught the eye of the playwright himself. He cast her as the beloved cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion (contemporary audiences will no doubt be aware of the musical version - My Fair Lady) on stage in 1936 and in Anthony Asquith's screen adaptation two years later co-starring Leslie Howard. The film was a smash, and Hiller earned an Academy Award nomination for her striking and original Eliza. Shaw would cast her again as an heiress turned Salvation Army worker in the classic Major Barbara for both stage and the 1941 film version.

The ensuing years could very well have been Hiller's time for screen stardom, yet despite her blazing acting ability, regal presence and distinctive voice, her film forays were too few, as she concentrated on the stage and spending time with her husband Gow and two children. Still, when she did make a film appearance, it was often memorable: a materialist turned romantic in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's glorious, I Know Where I'm Going! (1945); a lonely hotelkeeper in Delbert Mann's Separate Tables (1958), which earned her an Academy Award as best supporting actress; an obsessive mother in Jack Cardiff's Sons and Lovers (1960); a unfaltering wife to Sir Thomas More in Fred Zinneman's brilliant A Man for All Seasons (1966); and as a compassionate nurse who cares for the deformed David Merrick in David Lynch's The Elephant Man (1980).

Ill health became an issue for Hiller in her later years, but she made one elegant return to the camera when she was cast as a former society beauty who is interviewed 50 years after her fame in Moira Armstrong's The Countess Alice (1992). In a performance that was touching, but never maudlin, Wendy Hiller proved that few could match her for presence, integrity and dignity. Her contribution to her craft did not go unnoticed, as she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1975. She is survived by her son, Anthony, and daughter, Ann.

by Michael T. Toole

Wendy Hiller, 1912-2003

Dame Wendy Hiller, one of Britain's most distinguished actresses of screen and stage and whose career highlights include being George Bernard Shaw's favorite leading lady, and an Oscar winner for her performance as a lonely spinster in Separate Tables (1958), died at her home in Beaconsfield, England, on May 14. She was 90. Wendy Hiller was born on August 15, 1912, in Bramhall, and raised in Manchester, where her father was a cotton-cloth manufacturer. Educated at Winceby House, a girl's school in Sussex, Hiller found herself drawn to the theater, and after completing secondary school, Wendy joined the Manchester Repertory Theater, where she was a bit player and later an assistant stage manager. In 1934, she earned critical acclaim and stardom when Manchester Rep cast her as the lead in the popular drama, Love on the Dole, written by her future husband, Ronald Gow. The play was such a hit, that Hiller would repeat her role in London and triumphed on Broadway. Back on the London stage, she was playing the lead in George Bernard Shaw's St. Joan, when she caught the eye of the playwright himself. He cast her as the beloved cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion (contemporary audiences will no doubt be aware of the musical version - My Fair Lady) on stage in 1936 and in Anthony Asquith's screen adaptation two years later co-starring Leslie Howard. The film was a smash, and Hiller earned an Academy Award nomination for her striking and original Eliza. Shaw would cast her again as an heiress turned Salvation Army worker in the classic Major Barbara for both stage and the 1941 film version. The ensuing years could very well have been Hiller's time for screen stardom, yet despite her blazing acting ability, regal presence and distinctive voice, her film forays were too few, as she concentrated on the stage and spending time with her husband Gow and two children. Still, when she did make a film appearance, it was often memorable: a materialist turned romantic in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's glorious, I Know Where I'm Going! (1945); a lonely hotelkeeper in Delbert Mann's Separate Tables (1958), which earned her an Academy Award as best supporting actress; an obsessive mother in Jack Cardiff's Sons and Lovers (1960); a unfaltering wife to Sir Thomas More in Fred Zinneman's brilliant A Man for All Seasons (1966); and as a compassionate nurse who cares for the deformed David Merrick in David Lynch's The Elephant Man (1980). Ill health became an issue for Hiller in her later years, but she made one elegant return to the camera when she was cast as a former society beauty who is interviewed 50 years after her fame in Moira Armstrong's The Countess Alice (1992). In a performance that was touching, but never maudlin, Wendy Hiller proved that few could match her for presence, integrity and dignity. Her contribution to her craft did not go unnoticed, as she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1975. She is survived by her son, Anthony, and daughter, Ann. by Michael T. Toole

TCM Remembers - Leo McKern


TCM REMEMBERS LEO MCKERN, 1920-2002

The recent death of Leo McKern, 82, marked the passing of one of Britain's finest and most respected character actors. He was suffering from ill health in recent years and was moved to a nursing home a few weeks before his death on July 23 2002 in Bath, England. An actor of commanding presence with a deep-throated voice, the portly, bulbous-nosed McKern had a long, distinguished career spanning more than half a century, earning numerous plaudits along the way in all major mediums: theatre, film and television.

Born Reginald McKern on March 16, 1920 in Sydney, Australia; he served with the Australian Army during World War II and worked in regional theatre in his native Sydney before immigrating to England in 1946. It was a slow start, but after a three-year apprenticeship of painting scenery, stage-managing and acting, McKern eventually joined the celebrated Old Vic theatrical company in 1949 and proved one of the more versatile actors in the troupe tackling diverse roles in comedy, the classics and serious contemporary parts.

His film debut came in Murder in the Cathedral (1952) but it took a few years before he made his mark in cinema. Some of his best film work included roles as Peter Sellers' comic henchman in the classic satire The Mouse That Roared (1959); a bungling train robber in the charming Disney film The Horse Without a Head (1963); a nefarious professor who kills off his colleagues for amusement in the brilliant black comedy A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964); Clang, a cartoonish villain in the Beatles' pop film Help! (1965); Cromwell, the persecutor of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1966) and as Thomas Ryan in the David Lean drama, Ryan's Daughter (1970).

Yet despite all the accolades McKern earned in theatre and films, it was television where he foundinternational fame as the wily, irascible barrister Horace P. Rumpole in John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey in 1975. Infusing the character with beguiling skill and energy, McKern made the acerbic, wine swilling, Tennyson-quoting Rumpole a much loved figure that was adored by critics, audiences and even its creator Mortimer. Perhaps Mortimer offered the most fitting tribute when he once referred to McKern - "His acting exists where I always hope my writing will be: about two feet above the ground, a little larger than life, but always taking off from reality." Enough said.

By Michael T. Toole KATY JURADO, 1924 - 2002

Katy Jurado, an Oscar nominee and major actress in Westerns, died July 5th at the age of 78. She was born in Guadalajara, Mexico on January 16th 1924 as Maria Cristina Estella Marcela Jurado Garcia, daughter of a cattle rancher and an opera singer. Jurado started to appear in Mexican films in 1943. After 15 films in her native country, director Budd Boetticher saw Jurado attending a bullfight (Jurado wrote about the subject for Mexican newspapers) and cast her in his Bullfighter and the Lady (1952), her Hollywood debut. For much of her career Jurado alternated between the two film industries. In the US, she was memorable for the sensual energy she brought to roles in High Noon (1952), One-Eyed Jacks (1961) which was directed by Marlon Brando, Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) and John Huston's Under the Volcano (1984). She was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for Broken Lance (1954). Jurado's Mexican films were in a broader range of genres and included Luis Bunuel's El Bruto (1952), Ismael Rodriguez's We the Poor and Miguel Littin's The Widow Montiel (1979). She won three Ariel Awards (Mexican equivalent to the Oscars) and one special award. She was married to Ernest Borgnine from the end of 1959 to summer 1963. One of her final films was The Hi-Lo Country (1998), a contemporary Western directed by Stephen Frears and co-starring Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup and Penelope Cruz.

by Lang Thompson

DOLORES GRAY, 1924 - 2002

Broadway and nightclub star Dolores Gray died June 26th at the age of 78. Her movie career was brief but consisted of high-profile MGM musicals which guaranteed her a place in film history. Gray was born in Chicago on June 7th, 1924 (and where, according to a common story, she was accidentally shot by a gangster as a child and had a bullet in her lung her entire life). As a teenager she began singing in California until Rudy Vallee featured her on his radio show. Gray moved to Broadway in 1944 and then to the London stage in 1947, solidifying her reputation as a singer/actress while constantly giving the gossip columnists plenty to write about. She had two small singing roles in Lady for a Night (1941) and Mr. Skeffington (1944) but didn't really light up the big screen until It's Always Fair Weather (1955) even though Gray reportedly didn't much care for the role. Her rendition of "Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks," which has her gunning down a slew of male dancers on-stage and kicking them through trap doors, is a genuine showstopper. Three more unforgettable musical roles quickly followed: Kismet (1955), The Opposite Sex (1956, which Gray turned down Funny Face to do) and Designing Women (1957). That was it for Gray's film career. She kept busy with TV appearances (mostly singing though she did one 1988 episode of the cult show Dr. Who) and a busy recording and nightclub schedule. In 1987, she appeared in a British production of Follies at Stephen Sondheim's request.

by Lang Thompson

TCM Remembers - Leo McKern

TCM REMEMBERS LEO MCKERN, 1920-2002 The recent death of Leo McKern, 82, marked the passing of one of Britain's finest and most respected character actors. He was suffering from ill health in recent years and was moved to a nursing home a few weeks before his death on July 23 2002 in Bath, England. An actor of commanding presence with a deep-throated voice, the portly, bulbous-nosed McKern had a long, distinguished career spanning more than half a century, earning numerous plaudits along the way in all major mediums: theatre, film and television. Born Reginald McKern on March 16, 1920 in Sydney, Australia; he served with the Australian Army during World War II and worked in regional theatre in his native Sydney before immigrating to England in 1946. It was a slow start, but after a three-year apprenticeship of painting scenery, stage-managing and acting, McKern eventually joined the celebrated Old Vic theatrical company in 1949 and proved one of the more versatile actors in the troupe tackling diverse roles in comedy, the classics and serious contemporary parts. His film debut came in Murder in the Cathedral (1952) but it took a few years before he made his mark in cinema. Some of his best film work included roles as Peter Sellers' comic henchman in the classic satire The Mouse That Roared (1959); a bungling train robber in the charming Disney film The Horse Without a Head (1963); a nefarious professor who kills off his colleagues for amusement in the brilliant black comedy A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964); Clang, a cartoonish villain in the Beatles' pop film Help! (1965); Cromwell, the persecutor of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1966) and as Thomas Ryan in the David Lean drama, Ryan's Daughter (1970). Yet despite all the accolades McKern earned in theatre and films, it was television where he foundinternational fame as the wily, irascible barrister Horace P. Rumpole in John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey in 1975. Infusing the character with beguiling skill and energy, McKern made the acerbic, wine swilling, Tennyson-quoting Rumpole a much loved figure that was adored by critics, audiences and even its creator Mortimer. Perhaps Mortimer offered the most fitting tribute when he once referred to McKern - "His acting exists where I always hope my writing will be: about two feet above the ground, a little larger than life, but always taking off from reality." Enough said. By Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Thomas. I chose the right man for chancellor!
- King Henry VIII
I should in fairness add that my taste in music is reputedly deplorable.
- Sir Thomas More
Your taste in music is excellent. It exactly coincides with my own!
- King Henry VIII
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!
- The Duke of Norfolk
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?
- Sir Thomas More
Now, Sir Thomas, you stand on your silence.
- Thomas Cromwell
I do.
- Thomas More
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?
- Cromwell
No!
- Crowd
Yet how can this be? Because this silence betokened, nay, this silence was, not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!
- Cromwell
Father, that man's bad.
- Margaret More
There's no law against that.
- Sir Thomas More
There is. God's law.
- William Roper
Then God can arrest him.
- Sir 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?
- Thomas More

Trivia

Orson Welles used an exact duplicate of Cardinal Wolsey's official seal, as well as authentic sheepskin parchment and a quill pen.

Notes

Location scenes filmed near Oxford and Southampton, England. Opened in London in March 1967.

Miscellaneous Notes

Vote One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1966 New York Times Film Critics.

Voted Best Director of the Year by the 1966 Director's Guild of America.

Voted Best English-Language Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Scofield), and Best Supporting Actor (Shaw) of the Year by the 1966 National Board of Review.

Voted Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Scofield), and Best Screenplay of the Year by the 1966 New York Film Critics Association.

Released in United States 1978

Released in United States Winter December 12, 1966

Re-released in United States on Video February 13, 1996

Released in United States 1978 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Special Programs - "Salute to Oscar" - Filmex Marathon) April 13 - May 7, 1978.)

Released in United States Winter December 12, 1966

Re-released in United States on Video February 13, 1996