Super Serious Royalty Vibes
Composer Georges Delerue definitely gave the score to A Man for All Seasons a majestic, royal vibe—we know we're dealing with the lofty realm of nobility and intrigue… and not some Seth Rogen/James Franco bromance.
For instance, in the very opening scene, we hear royal fanfare and then see Cardinal Wolsey writing his letter to More. As his messenger journeys down the Thames, the music sets a serious atmosphere, with harpsichords and brass adding a touch of foreboding. (Harpsichords always sound kind of Dracula's Castle-y to us.)
If this scene didn't have a score, we might just be thinking, "Oh, look at those ducks floating around. Nice. We like ducks." We wouldn't realize that serious things were afoot—kings trying to secure divorces, sire heirs, etc. You can check out the scene here on TCM's website—but beware, you'll never think of waterfowl the same way again.
Delerue, a Frenchman, was a prolific film composer in his day (apparently, he wrote the scores for over 351 productions, from films to documentaries to TV movies). He won an Academy Award for his score to A Little Romance in 1980.