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Movie Review: Becket

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Movie Review


Color / 2 hrs. 30 min.

Rated PG-13 for violence and one short scene with sexual suggestion/no nudity.

DVD is playable in all Regions.

DVD Features:
Language: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English
Scene Selection
Dolby Digital
Bonus Material:
- Commentary with Peter O'Toole
- Theatrical Trailer
- Still Gallery
- Interviews with Editor Anne V. Coates and Composer Laurence Rosenthal
- Archival Interview with Richard Burton
- TV Spot


Richard Burton as Becket, Peter O'Toole as King Henry II,.  With John Gielgud, Donald Wolfit, Martita Hunt, Pamela Brown.  Directed by Peter Glenville.  Screenplay by Edward Anhalt.

Based on the play "Becket" by Jean Anouilh

1964 E&M Enterprising and MPI Home Video.  All Rights Reserved. __________

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Turn  your life over to God like Thomas Becket did:

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Nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, (Both Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole were Nominated)


"Stunning film...superbly acted and magnificently photographed...."

-Leonard Maltin

Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole star in this sweeping historic drama that relates the story of an unlikely pair -- Henry II, the Norman King of England and Thomas Becket, the Saxon peasant whom Henry has elevated to the position of Chancellor of England.  The loving friendship between the two seems to know no bounds, with Becket serving his King faithfully as confidant, advisor, and companion hell-raiser.

Moved Toward An Uncompromising Devotion to God

But when Henry appoints his friend Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Church of England, the account takes an ironic turn.  A political move designed to indirectly render the church under the King's control, Becket's new station affects him in such a way that he finds himself moved toward an uncompromising devotion to God, a rival with whom Henry cannot compete.  Henry's obsession with the changed Becket leads to a tense and emotionally charged battle of wills between the two, resulting in ultimate tragedy.

Filmed on location in England, Becket is a dramatic masterpiece, critically praised for its stunning cinematography and riveting performances.  In addition to winning an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, the film was nominated for twelve other, including Best Picture, Best Actor (both Burton and O'Toole), and Best Director (Peter Glenville). 

(-From the Video's Back Cover) _____________________________

Our Comments:

Parental Discretion Advised.

Parents should preview first to determine if suitable for watching by their entire family.

This an excellent movie, of the inspiring true story of Thomas Becket, the amoral and immoral womanizing, drunken carousing friend of Henry II, who became Archbishop of Canterbury, totally dedicated himself to God, and was martyred because of it.  

Archbishop of Canterbury

The Medieval Church was exempt from both paying taxes, and the trial of its members by Civil Authority, and King Henry wanted to change this, _____________________________

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Image: Front Cover of the Video, "Becket." Image: Front Cover of the Video, "Becket." Packaging and design 1996 MPI Home Video.

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   so he appointed his good friend Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury (they had to ordain him as a priest first...the day before).  

Becket...dedicates himself wholly to Christ, to living for God as a simple Monk 

 Becket feels that it is God who has ultimately placed him in this position and dedicates himself wholly to Christ, to living for God as a simple Monk (this movie has lots of Monks in it!).  One of Becket's first acts is to sell many of the Archbishop of Canterbury's costly robes and use the money to give food and warm blankets to the poor.  And of course he now feels that he has to oppose King Henry when the King is wrong. 

...the Pope...ordered that King Henry II be flogged... 

Henry had Becket killed while officiating at the altar in Canterbury Cathedral, and the Pope at the time ordered that King Henry II be flogged, something pretty much unheard of for a King, before or since.

We removed a slice of the Video's Cover (above) which has included a drawing of a naked woman (it is only an outline, and there is no such scene in the movie...but we didn't want it on our web site).  Two and one-half hours long, much of the first hour of the movie is devoted to "bawdiness"...there are scenes of a woman in a bed with a man (the women are well-covered and nothing happens) on three separate occasions (...we got the point the first time).  Some might prefer to just skip the first hour and watch what would then be an excellent one and one-half hour movie.

-The Prayer Foundation _____________________________

 Copyright 2007 S.G.P. All rights reserved.  

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