A Man For All Seasons (1966) According to Pauline Kael, “There’s more than a little of the school pageant in the rhythm of the movie.” Robert Bolt adapted his play to this Academy-Award winning feature film, directed by Fred Zinnemann. Its all star costume drama chronicles the final years of Sir Thomas More [Paul Scofield, recreating his original stage performance], whose devout Roman Catholic faith prevents him from acquiescing to King Henry VIII [Robert Shaw] who demands, as head of the Church of England, to divorce and remarry. John Hurt debuts as Richard Rich, petitioner for court advancement who, when repeatedly denied, gives perjured testimony that condemns More to death by beheading.
“ It isn’t difficult to keep alive, friends – just don’t make trouble – or if you must make trouble, make the sort of trouble that’s expected… If we should bump into one another, recognize me” – THE COMMON MAN
Rich, who would be even richer, gave perjured
Testimony to become Attorney General of Wales.
But for More, a man was defined by his conscience,
Although ‘Utopia” still remained “Nowhere.”
Inland from Amerigo Vespucci’s ship,
Lay the New World like a new moon.
There was no private property,
Just two slaves per household.
It was a grand experiment, a mirage
For refugees fleeing persecution.
With legal precision, More parsed each word
To stay true to himself and keeping alive
In a government so corrupt
The Prince thought He owned God.
Utopia is a polyphony of faiths.
This is our common ground.
[Disposable Poem February 1—5, 2017