Renowned English actor Paul Scofield spent a big part of his acting career working as a stage actor and is regarded as one of the greatest Shakespearean performers. On screen, he made his debut in 1955 with the historical romantic drama film ‘That Lady’ in which he played the role of King Philip II of Spain opposite Olivia de Havilland. For his performance, he was awarded the ‘BAFTA’ for Most Promising Newcomer to Film. Three years later, in 1958, he portrayed Captain Tony Fraser in the war drama film ‘Carve Her Name with Pride’.
In the 1964 war film ‘The Train’, Paul Scofield played the role of the art obsessed German officer Col. von Waldheim who wants to move stolen French art treasures by train to Germany. In 1966, he played Sir Thomas More in Fred Zinnemann’s film adaptation of Robert Bolt’s play ‘A Man for All Seasons’. Earlier, Paul Scofield had played the same character in the Broadway production of the play and won the 1962 ‘Tony Award’ for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play. His film performance, too, won him accolades at the ‘Academy Awards, USA’ (Best Actor in a Leading Role), ‘BAFTA Awards’ (Best British Actor) and ‘Golden Globes, USA’ (Best Actor – Drama). Additionally, he also claimed the Best Actor award at the ‘Moscow International Film Festival, ‘New York Film Critics Circle Awards’, ‘National Board of Review, USA Award’ and ‘Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards’. The role is considered to be one of his best performances.
A few years later, in 1970, Paul Scofield portrayed the title role in the Peter Brook's film adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy ‘King Lear’ and won the ‘Bodil Award’ for Best Actor. Once again, he had already given an impressive performance on stage in the same role. In between these two films, Paul Scofield won a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie) for his performance in the 1969 television movie ‘Male of the Species’. In 1970, he was also seen in the role of The Accountant in the drama film ‘Bartleby’ and Sergei Diaghilev in the biographical drama film ‘Nijinsky: Unfinished Project’. In 1973, he played the role of Sergei Zharkov in the Michael Winner directed spy film ‘Scorpio’ and Tobias in Tony Richardson directed drama film ‘A Delicate Balance’.
In 1980, he narrated a television movie ‘The Curse of King Tut's Tomb’ and in 1983 lent his voice to the movie ‘Ill Fares the Land’. The same year, Paul Scofield once again turned narrator for an episode of television series documentary ‘Arena’. This was followed by performances in films ‘Summer Lightning’ (1984), ‘1919’ (1985), ‘When the Whales Came’ (1989) and ‘Henry V’ (1989). On television, he acted in television movies ‘If Winter Comes’ (1981), ‘A Kind of Alaska’ (1984), ‘Anna Karenina’ (1985), ‘Only Yesterday’ (1986), ‘Mister Corbett's Ghost’ (1987) and ‘The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank’ (1988).
In 1990, Paul Scofield played the role of The Ghost in Franco Zeffirelli directed drama film ‘Hamlet’ and in 1994 was seen in the role of Mark Van Doren in Robert Redford directed historical mystery drama film ‘Quiz Show’. His work in the latter film won him the best supporting actor nominations at ‘Academy Award’, ‘BAFTA Award’, ‘Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award’, ‘National Society of Film Critics Award’ and ‘New York Film Critics Circle Award’. His performance as Old Martin Chuzzlewit/Anthony Chuzzlewit in the 1994 historical drama miniseries ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’ also won a BAFTA nomination for best actor. For his performance as the Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth in Nicholas Hytner's 1996 film ‘The Crucible’, he once again picked up a ‘BAFTA’ for best supporting actor. The film also won him nominations in the same category at the ‘Golden Globe Awards’, ‘Satellite Awards’ and ‘Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards’.
Paul Scofield’s other work in the 1990s include lending his voice in ‘Genesis: The Creation and the Flood’ (1994 TV movie), ‘Animal Farm’ (1999 TV movie) and ‘Rashi: A Light After the Dark Ages’ (1999 film). Additionally, he narrated the documentaries ‘London’ (1994), ‘Robinson in Space’ (1997) and ‘The Disabled Century’ (1999). He also acted in film ‘Utz’ (1992) and TV movie ‘The Little Riders’ (1996).
The Train is a war thriller film which takes us to the time of the Second World War. It revolves around Paul Labiche, a member of the French resistance, who tries to stop Franz Waldheim, a German Colonel, from moving stolen art pieces to Germany by train.
This biographical history drama film tells the story of Sir Thomas More, who supported King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church.
Based on 1950s’ scandal about rigged TV quiz show ’21,’ the film follows Congressional investigator Richard Goodwin as he probes the scam. The former champion Herbert Stempel claimed that the show was fraud when the network’s new contestant, member of renowned literary family, Charles Van Doren became a national celebrity with his consistent wins on ’21.’ But Goodwin uncovered the network’s deception.
The historical drama based on Shakespeare’s play about the British monarch features young Henry who sets out in 1415 to conquer France. But Henry falters with self-doubt, and the sinking morale of his troops doesn’t help either. However, a resolute Henry emboldens his army with impassioned words and leads them into the battle of Agincourt, conquering France and winning Princess Katherine as his Queen.
The Crucible is a historical drama film, which tells the story of John Proctor, a married man, who decides to break off his affair with his young lover, Abigail Williams. She leads other local girls in an occult rite to wish death upon Elizabeth, Proctor’s wife, but when the ritual is discovered, the girls try to frame Elizabeth for witchcraft.
Based on the Shakespearean tragedy, it follows Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, who returns home after his father King Hamlet’s death. He finds that his mother, Gertrude, has married his uncle Claudius, the new king. When King’s ghost appears and reveals that he was murdered by Claudius, Prince seethes to take revenge, but is also aware of the tragedy it may ensue.
An uneasy yet peaceful relationship is preserved by the well-to-do couple Agnes and Tobias as they share house with Agnes’s alcoholic sister Claire. Then their 36-year-old daughter Julia returns home after her 4th divorce, and their friends Harry and Edna turn up unexpectedly with an intention to stay on. The presence of new arrivals prompts each one to discover their inner selves.
This historical adventure romantic drama film revolves around the life of widowed Princess Ana de Mendoza who becomes the object of rivalry between three men. They include her cousin Don Inigo, King Phillip II of Spain, and lastly, Antonio Perez, his secretary of state.
Paul Scofield Awards
|A Man for All Seasons||Best Actor in a Leading Role||1967|
|A Man for All Seasons||Best Actor - Drama||1967|
|Male of the Species||Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role||1969|
|The Crucible||Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role||1997|
|A Man for All Seasons||Best British Actor||1968|
|That Lady||Most Promising Newcomer to Film||1956|