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Becket

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Released 1964

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Movie Summary

Director:
Peter Glenville
Released:
1964
Rating:
PG-13

Becket, the Academy Award winning 1962 historical drama, chronicles the relationship between King Henry II (Peter O'Toole) and his confidant, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Richard Burton). Set in twelfth century England, the two men spend youthful days carousing and forging a profound friendship. Later, when the Church of England is unwilling to back the king's war against France, Henry hopes to use his friendship to his political advantage. The king appoints his ally Thomas Becket to the lofty position of Archbishop of Canterbury. From there, the king hopes Becket will be able to use his power to maneuver the church in a way that is more favorable to the king's liking. While Henry expects his friend to maintain his loyalties to the crown, Becket's ultimate devotion to the church and to God creates a rift between the two companions. The Archbishop's dedication turns from the throne to championing the causes of the church. Becket's public antics outrage the king so much that the long-time friendship may not survive.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    While major stars thrust together on screen often end up undercutting each other, one of the pleasures of Becket is how easily and generously these two commanding actors play off e...

  • 80

    Washington Post Desson Thomson

    It is a snapshot of a great actor in his prime and a chance for us to see one of yesteryear's great films in all its kingly luster.

  • 63

    Boston Globe

    The one thing going for Becket is actually two things: Burton and O'Toole.

SUBMIT REVIEW
    Felix Aylmer

    Felix Aylmer

    Archbishop of Canterbury

    Martita Hunt

    Martita Hunt

    Empress Matilda

    Siân Phillips

    Siân Phillips

    Gwendolen

    John Gielgud

    John Gielgud

    King Louis VII of France

    Richard Burton

    Richard Burton

    Thomas Becket

    Peter O'Toole

    Peter O'Toole

    King Henry II

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Classics