A Man for All Seasons script
Synopsis: When the highly respected British statesman Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) refuses to pressure the Pope into annulling the marriage of King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) and his Spanish-born wife, More's clashes with the monarch increase in intensity. A devout Catholic, More stands by his religious principles and moves to leave the royal court. Unfortunately, the King and his loyalists aren't appeased by this, and press forward with grave charges of treason, further testing More's resolve.

SCHOLAR:
But in Utopia that couldn’t be.

NORFOLK:
For why?

SCHOLAR:
For there the Priests are very holy.

COURTIER:
And therefore very few.

MORE smiles, approaching into TWO SHOT with STEWARD. Behind him, a burst of laughter MORE takes the letter. Registers that it has been tampered with and murmurs:

MORE:
Is it anything interesting, Matthew?

STEWARD flickers but recovers.

STEWARD:
Bless you sir, I don’t know!

MORE:
(gravely) Bless you too, Matthew

He opens letter and turns away, reading

15b MEDIUM SHOT The group, laughter petering out. looks up with mild enquiry as MORE rejoins them, but doesn’t sit. The opened letter is in his hand.

MORE:
It’s from the Cardinal.

NORFOLK:
What’s he want?

MORE:
Me.

NORFOLK:
When?

MORE:
Now.

ALICE:
In Hampton Court? You won’t be there by mid-night!

MORE:
The King’s business.

Saying which, he folds the letter and carefully puts it in the fire. MARGARET, watching:

MARGARET:
The Queen’s business.

ALICE:
(growling) Mistress Anne Boleyn’s business.

MORE, straightening from the fire.

MORE:
Well it’s all the Cardinal’s business.

NORFOLK grunts.

NORFOLK:
Very true. (edge of sarcasm) And when the Cardinal calls, you all come running, day or night. What is the man? A butcher’s son!

MORE:
Chancellor of England, too.

MARGARET:
No that’s his office. What is the man?

RICH’s voice is heard interrupting on SOUND.

RICH:
(SOUND) Surely Your Grace, when a man rises so high so swiftly—

RICH, a poorly dressed scholar with a head of golden hair, sensitive features and an expression of habitual strain has half-risen, overeager, from the embrasure where he sits apart.

RICH:
—we must think that he was misplaced in his origins.

NORFOLK stares, then turns away without response. RICH falters vaguely Into the silence:

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Robert Bolt

British left-wing playwright best known for his screenplay for the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia directed by David Lean. more…

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"A Man for All Seasons" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 25 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/a_man_for_all_seasons_1131>.

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