Thursday, March 20, 2008

Paul Scofield (1922-2008) - A Man for All Seasons

Cranmer is profoundly saddened to hear of the death of Paul Scofield CH CBE, one of the greatest actors of his age. He will doubtless be remembered for his most famous Oscar-winning screen role – Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt’s ‘A Man for All Seasons’ – the stage version of which premiered in London in 1960 and transferred to Broadway the following year.

But it was his performance as King Lear in Peter Brook’s 1962 stage production which is widely considered his finest and greatest role. The Stratford production transferred to London and went on tour across Europe in succeeding year. It was also heralded in Moscow and New York. Thankfully, it was preserved for posterity in a screen version which, to date, is without parallel.

On stage, screen and radio Paul Scofield played most of the major Shakespearean roles, and throughout his career he was lauded for sonorous voice, his distinguished appearance and tremendous presence. He mysteriously always eschewed a knighthood, only accepting elevation to Companion of Honour in 2001.

He was without the theatrical flamboyance of the Gielgud, Olivier, Richardson generation, and remained an intensely private man. The world is the darker for his passing.Goodnight, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

But while Cranmer does not begrudge the success of Paul Scofield with ‘A Man for All Seasons’, he is bemused to still be awaiting a film version of his own life, which is, by all accounts, every bit as theologically challenging, politically engaging, and spiritually inspiring as that of the traitor More.

Though what to call it…?


Anonymous Anonymous said...


O for God's sake Cranmer, get with it.

You should be more saddened that Foggy has died, so where's your obit for him? Or are some lives worth more than others?

20 March 2008 at 19:27  
Blogger Ttony said...

"Though what to call it...?"

"Loser" "Heretic" "Excellent Translator" "Trimmer" or best of all "A Man For Winter - He Keeps Us Warm".

20 March 2008 at 19:35  
Blogger DiscoveredJoys said...

"Carry on Cranmer"

20 March 2008 at 19:52  
Anonymous Zach said...

I agree with anon 19.27.

Where is your mourning for Foggy?

And your film should be called 'Cranmer - Frying Tonight'

20 March 2008 at 20:13  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
i liked him martin chuzzelwit , but a fine actor always added so much depth .

20 March 2008 at 22:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch him as the ghost of Hamlet's father in the film version. Don't be put off by Mel Gibson as the eponymous Dane - it is excellent

20 March 2008 at 22:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A candidate for Kirklees Metropolitan Council Local elections has filed an application for an injunction to prevent the Local Authority from issuing Postal Votes in the May 1st 2008 Local elections.

The Court has scheduled a "Directions on Application for Injunction" hearing to be held at Bradford Combined Court on March 28th at 10.00am.

The injunction which is being brought under the Human Rights Act 1998: Right to Free and Fair Elections, was filed on the 18th March, later the same day the Election Commissioner Judge Richard Mawrey QC sitting in London upon finding a Conservative Councillor guilty of Postal Vote fraud said that postal voting on demand was “lethal to the democratic process”.

The candidate Alan Girvan said "Whether you vote Labour, Lib-Dem, Conservative or BNP, or if you decide not to vote at all you should have the right to know your vote is your own private affair, I would rather have legitimate votes and lose than win by theft, fraud or deception.

"When the spending limits for a local election is £600 plus 5p for every local government elector it hardly seems fair that you may have to find an additional £3000 just to challenge fraudulent behaviour, in effect paying to apply the law " he added.

“We don’t enjoy the luxury of corporate or Union donors to bankroll this action, but when politicians make and break promises like they have with the EU Treaty and MP's just go on gorging at the public’s expense someone has to take a stand, and hopefully this may be the first small step in getting people to start standing up to and saying "enough. Councillor Auty and Councillor Exley have given me great support, if it ends up being just us fighting this then so be it”.

20 March 2008 at 23:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Burning hand

A tale of intrigue and corruption at the highest levels of state. Which has lessons for us all, as to what should happen to people that promise no more taxes and fail dismally to deliver.

20 March 2008 at 23:50  
Anonymous Jason said...

R U a Christian or summing? U go on about some bloke who has never been on the telly in anything an you have missed out Foggy. So eneeway you like Shakespeare and that's dead boring and you get them jokes like this

What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
Faith, I can cut a caper.
And I can cut the mutton to't.

Have you ever tasted a caper? Somebody said they are in tarter sauce an I nearly barfed my scampi.

Why do you act posh? Are you James Jones?

You wanna get with the sitegist and watch big brother. How safe is that?

21 March 2008 at 00:07  
Anonymous Br. Jonathan said...

Scofield was one of the finest actors on either side of the Atlantic. Thank heaven for the art he has left us. RIP.

21 March 2008 at 01:03  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace, as you say Paul Schofield was a great actor, and played Sir Thomas More so sympathetically.

Requiescat in Pace

But turning to your Grace's other point, did not Bernard Hepton portray you also sympathetically in the BBC's Six Wives of Henry - Destroyer of the Faith.

But that was over 30 years ago.

Eheu fugaces..

21 March 2008 at 12:51  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Ultramontane grumpy old catholic,

The film was, as the title suggests, about Henry VIII and his wives. His Grace was somewhat on the peripheries.

21 March 2008 at 13:10  

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