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Becket PG-13 CC

For the first time in more than 40 years, experience two of the greatest actors of our time in one of the most honored motion pictures in history. Peter O'Toole delivers an electrifying performance as the mischievous Henry II, who surprises England by naming his fellow rogue and trusted valet Thomas Becket (Richard Burton in a career defining role) as Chancellor. But when Henry next appoints him Archbishop Of Canterbury, Becket shocks the world by openly defying the King with his newfound faith and compassion. Will a desperate ruler now destroy a beloved friend to save his splintering kingdom? John Gielgud co-stars in this stunning epic based on the Broadway sensation and brought to the screen by Hal Wallis, the legendary producer of ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS, TRUE GRIT and CASABLANCA.

Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole
2 hours, 29 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Peter Glenville
Starring Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole
Supporting actors John Gielgud, Gino Cervi, Paolo Stoppa, Donald Wolfit, David Weston, Martita Hunt, Pamela Brown, Percy Herbert, Siân Phillips, Inigo Jackson, Felix Aylmer, Niall MacGinnis, Christopher Rhodes, John Phillips, Frank Pettingell, Véronique Vendell, Jennifer Hilary, David Davenport
Studio MPI Media Group
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
"Becket." Now THERE is a marvelous movie... probably one of the finest "biopics" ever written!! It tells the story of the relationship between two men: King Henry II of England, great-grandson to William the Conqueror, and Thomas Becket, a Saxon nobleman, a close friend of King Henry's, and, ultimately, Archbishop of Canterbury.

As our story unfolds, Henry and Becket are inseparable friends. They spend their days feasting at banquets, carousing, wenching, and hunting. Henry (played by Peter O'Toole) appoints Becket (Richard Burton) to the post of Chancellor of England - the equivalent of Prime Minister and Treasurer. Becket is a man completely loyal to the King, and a man with a curious sense of honor. "Honor is a private matter within," he tells Henry early in the film. "It's an idea, and every man has his own version of it."

"Becket" is ultimately a story of "the honor of God" versus "I am your king." In an effort to gain the upper hand in the ongoing controversy between the Church and state, Henry names Becket to the post of Archbishop of Canterbury. In Thomas Becket, the King sees a loyal servant who will place the wishes of his monarch before everything else. Unfortunately, the King's hopes for an easy time of it are soon dashed. After becoming the primate of England, Becket rediscovers his personal sense of honor. To Becket, "the honor of God" becomes worthy of defending against all who would attack the Church... even if the attacker is the King. When one of Henry's noblemen kills a priest, Becket orders him haled before an ecclesiastical court. The inevitable showdown between King and Archbishop is at hand.
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Format: VHS Tape
This 1964 film deals with the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, after his old drinking buddy, King Henry II, famously asked, "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest!?" Its been a matter of great debate whether Henry actually meant to order the murder of his old friend and, to me at least, this film almost makes the case that Henry's words were just the impulsive, possibly drunken words of a rather immature man thrust, by heredity, into a position of power he was not yet ready for.
One might think that the political murder of a priest in a pre-Reniassance England would make for a rather dry, humorless film. Luckily, Becket proves them wrong. Though director Peter Glenville was not a flashy stylist and occasionally does allow the film to become a bit stagey, he was also a wonderful director of actors and manages to get wonderful lead performances from a young Peter O'Toole (as Henry) and even from the normally diffident Richard Burton (as Becket). When the film begins, it feels very much like a comedy. When we first meet Becket and Henry, they are two young, spoiled friends who spend most of their time drinking and wenching. Though, as expected, O'Toole is hilarious as the fun-loving monarch, even Burton manages a few slyly sardonic line readings. Years later, in an interview with David Letterman, O'Toole would admit that both the lead actors were drunk during the majority of the shooting and basically just having a grand old time of it. Their sense of fun in these early scenes is easily translatable to the audience and its hard not to like these two immoral rogues and, perhaps, to even secretly want to find a time machine and go hang out with them.
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Comment 151 of 158 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This is a true historical epic, it has everything the viewer could want. Superb acting, suspense, sexcapades, court intrigue,, fine cinematography, a dysfunctional family, pageantry, betrayal, & murder. King Henry the second{Peter O'Toole}, the Norman grandson of William the conqueror is locked in a "church & state battle with his longtime Saxon friend Thomas Becket{Richard Burton}." The turmoil begins after Henry appoints Thomas against his will to the newly vacant position of Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon, a priest is arrested by lord Gilbert for dishonoring a young girl. Becket protests that the church should judge the priest, rather than the state. Meanwhile, the priest is killed trying to escape. Becket excommunicates lord Gilbert, & the battle is set. The egos are absorbed into the church & state quagmire.

I won't reveal anymore of the story, buy it & you will enjoy this period piece. The soul of this tale is the bond of two friends torn apart by their own manipulations & circumstances beyond their control. For me it is a sin against logic that neither Peter O'Toole & Richard Burton ever won the acadamy award. For their performances in this classic alone, the academy should be ashamed!
5 Comments 38 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
"Becket" has been restored (thankfully) and is sked for DVD issue 01/05/2005. This is great!!! The Film Foundation has been in the process of restoring and re-issuing projects. Rec'd confirmation from them that the DVD is, in fact, coming out.
They also attached this information "The Film Foundation provides substantial annual support for preservation and restoration projects at its member archives * the Academy Film Archive, George Eastman House, Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Film & Television Archive * and affiliated organizations * the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the AFI and the National Film Preservation Foundation. These institutions have mounted ambitious programs of preservation and restoration and serve as a vital link for public access to our nation's film treasures. The Film Foundation's efforts have resulted in saving over 300 endangered films, including Hollywood features, silent films, independent, documentary and experimental films, as well as newsreels and other historical films whose titles may not be widely known but whose importance to our film heritage is no less significant."
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