A Man For All Seasons, 1966

Director

Fred Zinnemann

Cast

visit the film locations

Oxford: (rail: Oxford, from London Paddington)

History of Studley Priory

Visit the real Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey in Surrey (tel: 0870.752.7777) (rail: Hampton Court, from London Waterloo)


Trivia

See the real Hampton Court Palace in To Kill A King, The Libertine, with Johnny Depp, and its gardens in The Young Victoria and Terence Malick’s The New World.

A Man For All Seasons location: Studley Priory, Horton Hill, Horton-Cum-Studley, Oxfordshire

A Man For All Seasons location: Sir Thomas More’s cinematic home: Studley Priory, Horton Hill, Horton-Cum-Studley, Oxfordshire

Fred Zinnemann’s adaptation of Robert Bolt’s play isn’t exactly cutting-edge cinema, but it's intelligent and, naturally, well-acted – grabbing six Oscars, including Best Film and Best Direction, as well as Best Actor for Paul Scofield.

Scofield plays Sir Thomas More, confidante of King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw), facing a crisis conscience over the King’s determination to divorce Catherine of Aragon.

Despite what guide books may claim, there was no filming at Hampton Court Palace – the palace of Cardinal Wolsey (Orson Welles), seen in the film, is no more than a set.

When Wolsey fell from grace, the palace passed to Henry VIII. You can visit the real Hampton Court Palace at East Molesey in Surrey (rail: Kingston-upon-Thames).

Thomas More’s house on the Thames at ‘Chelsea’, however, is real. It’s Studley Priory, Horton Hill, Horton-Cum-Studley, about seven miles northeast of Oxford. A one-time Benedictine monastery, more recently a hotel, the priory was sold in 2004 and is now a private home,

The ‘Thames’ is the River Beaulieu, flowing through the estate of Beaulieu Abbey, on the B3504, south of Southampton in Hampshire. The river wall built alongside was reproduced at Studley Priory, allowing characters to leap across counties in a single bound!

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