Monday, 14 December 2009

"But... For Wales...?"

I do like You Tube. I was chatting with Leutgeb the other day and she reminded me of the quip by St. Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (it's in the film: I don't know if St. Thomas actually did say it!) where he says to Sir Richard Rich: "Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?? "

I thought I'd see if I could find the clip, and, sure enough, here it is... among several other witty lines. They don't make films like this any more!

4 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

One of my favorite movies.

As much as I loved this version of the film, there was also another version I've seen once or twice -- and I can't seem to find it -- it's a movie, but the have an "everyman" type playing all the small bit parts, like the axeman, the waterman, jailer (I think) etc. It was quite effective.

Perhaps someone can help me to identify this other version of the movie?

GonzoQueen said...

Charlton Heston did a made-for-TV remake with Vanessa Redgrave playing Dame Alice (Talk about a marriage made in hell!)

GonzoQueen said...

While most of the witty lines in the film were condensed versions of things that More and Roper actually wrote, the "but for Wales" line was invented by Playwrite Robert Bolt. It's the best line in the whole play, but what's really amazing is the spin Paul Scofield put on that line. As John Hurt mentioned in the BBC Arena Documentary on Scofield (available at youtube.com) any other actor would have played it strictly for laughs, but Scofield said the line with great sorrow, bringing More's wit and his compassion to our attention simultaneously. That one line illuminated what was great about More (and Scofield too).

nazareth priest said...

I love that line! Priceless!
And it fits rather well with the recent vote in our Senate regarding the public funding of abortion in the proposed health care legislation with the one Nebraska senator (Nelson) who turned the tide for approval.
It's looking more and more like England during Henry VIII over here "across the pond". Pray for us!

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