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Becket [Blu-ray]

Richard Burton , Peter O'Toole , Peter Glenville    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.99
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Becket [Blu-ray] + The Lion in Winter (Widescreen)
Price For Both: CDN$ 52.60

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Product Description

For the first time in more than forty 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 Hall Wallis, the legendary producer of True Grit and Casablanca. Once thought lost forever, BECKET has now been restored to its original majesty with the support of the Film Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including breathtaking new 2.0 stereo and 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtracks and a revealing commentary by Peter O Toole. Available for the first time ever on Blu-Ray Nominated for 12 Academy Awards Career-defining roles for Peter O Toole and Richard Burton Fully restored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences including brand new 2.0 and 5.1 audio 5.1 Dolby Digital / 2.0 PCM Lossless Includes revealing commentary by Peter O Toole "The primary bonus feature is a treat: a feature-length commentary by Peter O'Toole. With only occasional gaps of silence, the still sharp and well-spoken O'Toole recalls the making of the film, how he didn't research the historical King Henry, and his memories of Richard Burton, both personal and professional. There are also two archival interviews with Burton from 1967 and 1977 (26 minutes total), in which he doesn't discuss Becket, but he does say a lot about his life on stage, he recites some lines, and speaks candidly about his drinking problem." --David Horiuchi

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rendering unto Caesar... April 2 2004
Format:VHS Tape
"Becket" explores the question put to Christ two millenia ago of whether man owes his primary loyalty to his monarch or to God. The search for the resolution of that question, and how it was answered, makes "Becket" one of the best historical dramas ever made. Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton are in top form as the young Henry II of England and his partner-in-mayhem Thomas Becket, whose primary interests are wine and women and not necessarily in that order. England in the 12th century was devoutly Roman Catholic, and the Catholic hierarchy enjoyed a level of power and prestige equal to, if not higher than, the king himself. But when the old archbishop dies and Henry needs to appoint a successor in his place, Henry outfoxes everyone by doing an end run around the bishops and naming Becket as the new archbishop. The bishops are upset; they believe Henry intends for Becket to be a puppet figure to be used to further the king's own ends. But to everyone's surprise, Becket takes his job more seriously than Henry ever intended. No one could be more stunned and shocked at this development than Henry himself.
The confrontation between Henry and the clergy is set immediately following the old archbishop's death, when Henry informs the assembled bishops that there will only be one head honcho in England, and that is the king. The bishops are not used to having their power abrogated by anyone outside the church; they answer only to the pope and to God. The king and clergy are on collision course, and Henry, to his chagrin, finds that Becket is solidly on the side of the Church his king has appointed him to represent. There will be no compromise here. The stage is thus set for a fateful confrontation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dual Portraits: Monarch and Martyr Feb. 17 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Peter Glenville's direction of this film in no way diminishes the quality of acting among members of the cast, notably Burton and O'Toole, both of whom were nominated for an Academy Award for best actor in a leading role; however, Glenville allows a somewhat sluggish pace which reduces the dramatic impact of the plot, and especially of the multi-dimensional relationship between Thomas Becket (Burton) and his monarch, Henry II (O'Toole). In fact, Edward Anhalt received an Academy Award for his adaptation of Jean Anouilh's play. I wish Glenville had made better use of his cast as well as of Anhalt's screenplay. That said, Burton and O'Toole are magnificent. They portray youthful best friends who share a commitment to hedonism...and to little else. Later, Henry II selects an obviously reluctant Becket (by then a priest) to serve as Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket's acceptance marks a defining moment which he recognizes but his king does not: Henceforth his highest loyalty will be to Almighty God, not to the occupant of the English throne. Opinions vary as to whether or not the historical Henry specifically ordered Becket's assassination but all agree that he would never have authorized it to be done in Canterbury Cathedral. Nonetheless it was.
This is a visually stunning film, perhaps even moreso than (for example) The Lion in Winter (1968) in which O'Toole also appears as Henry II. Granted, the relationship between Henry and Eleanor in that film is quite different from Henry's relationship with Becket. Also, The Lion in Winter covers only a few days during one Christmas season whereas the timeframe in Becket extends over several decades. However, both films focus on conflicting as well as congenial relationships.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well Thomas, is the Honor of God satisfied now? Oct. 2 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Peter O'Toole, two years after his breakthrough into stardom with " Lawrence of Arabia " teamed up with Richard Burton in what became one of the most powerful and engaging films of all time: Becket.
The title role is played by Burton , Becket the libertine Saxon who loves good things--and good things are Norman, while O'Toole plays Henry the Second, Norman Plantagenet king of England, grandson of William the Conqueror. He's also a libertine, a 'perennial adolescent' but deeply loves the only friend he ever had, the 'man he raised from nothing', Becket , who, unlike Henry, is an intellectual mastermind, loyal to his friend and king but unable to forgive himself for having lost his honor, long ago, when he decided that the good life meant collaborating with the hated Normans.
Whew! (For historical nitpickers Becket was a Norman as well, but never mind, the author needed the contrast and it plays wonderfully)
When The Archbishop of Canterbury dies of old age Henry believes he's hit upon a masterstroke to outfox any rivals to this powerfull post: He'll appoint Becket.

Sample dialogue:
Becket: 'Have you considered what the Pope will say?'
Henry: 'I'll pay his price'
Becket: 'My lord, I beg you do not do this!'
Henry: 'Why?'
Becket: 'It frightens me'
Henry: 'I thought you had God in the palm of your hand '
And at this point I wish to apologise for not doing enough justice to this masterpiece of wit, plot--and honor...
To say the acting is superb is an understatement.
Unfortunately since both Burton and O'Toole were 'leads' The Academy split and neither won the Oscar for Best Actor.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Validation of O'Toole as a star
A great encore for Peter O'Toole after 'Lawrence of Arabia' - having Richard Burton as a co-star is a great plus.
Published 6 months ago by Thomas Ward
3.0 out of 5 stars Peter O'Toole wears on one.. . .
. . . at least this one. But Richard Burton's performance is a stellar one, understated, although I found the characterization of his conversion from hell-bent-for-leather... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Maurice A. Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars Becket
This is a superb movie. Great performances by Richard Burton & Peter O'Toole.
A true historical tale of the conflict between the Saxon's of England & their recent... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Robert The Bruce
3.0 out of 5 stars AN OLDY BUT A GOODIE
Good historical portrayal of the story of Sir Thomas Becket and his murder. Found the quality of the dvd left a lot to be desired. Read more
Published 7 months ago by caseygirl
4.0 out of 5 stars History, drama and psychology
How could a story by Jean Anouilh in a film with Richard Burton, John Gielgud and Peter O'Toole not be worth having on one's shelf? A gem. Read more
Published on Oct. 1 2010 by montrealmichael
4.0 out of 5 stars Becket on Blu-Ray
The movie is good, though it will likely bore today's average movie-goer to tears. Smart dialogue, very well acted, no action whatsoever; you watch it for the pleasure of seeing... Read more
Published on April 10 2009 by Meagol
2.0 out of 5 stars Will this EVER be on DVD??
What a wonderful movie buta horrific version on VHS. Some of the scenes are so dark you have to really stretch to even make out basic facial features. Read more
Published on July 2 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Acting
BECKET is a movie about the Saxon Thomas Becket and his friendship with the Norman King Henry II. Seking more influence over the Roman Catholic Church of England Henry appoints... Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2003 by Peter Kenney
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent rendition of Murder in the Cathedral...
I can only speak of the LaserDisc edition, which in itself was good enough to have the Widescreen version of such a masterpiece. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2003 by Patrick Selitrenny
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story of friendship, power, and politics. Awesome.
This is truly one of the greatest movies ever. It is the story of King Henry II of England and his friendship and eventual conflict with his friend, Thomas Becket, whom he has... Read more
Published on July 23 2003 by Roger J. Buffington
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