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Becket [Blu-ray]

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Becket [Blu-ray]
  • +
  • The Lion in Winter (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
  • +
  • A Man for All Seasons [DVD]
Total price: CDN$ 66.60
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Gino Cervi, Paolo Stoppa
  • Directors: Peter Glenville
  • Writers: Edward Anhalt, Jean Anouilh, Lucienne Hill
  • Producers: Peter O'Toole, Hal B. Wallis, Joseph H. Hazen
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Phase 4
  • Release Date: Nov. 25 2008
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B001D5F2LI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,048 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Condition: New, Format: Blu-ray, Anamorphic; Color; Dolby; NTSC; Widescreen

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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 two great actors at work. It may not be quite as good as The Lion in Winter (Widescreen) but it's definitely worth watching.

The Blu-ray version is a rather stingy production. The video transfer is below the quality of a present day DVD release. There is noticeable flicker, and powder-like texture in some scenes. The Bonus features are almost non-existent, and although I haven't seen the DVD version of this, I expect that there is virtually no difference between the two.
Based on that, I would have suggested you opt for the cheaper DVD, but it turns out that they're both priced the same. If you're trying to get your kids to watch it (good luck with that) then you'll likely have to trick them with the "hey, look I got one of them cool Blu-ray movies" acts; not sure it will hold their attention for 2 and a half hours, but a bit of history will stick to them, and maybe it will pique their interest enough to pick up a book, or at least Wikipedia this Becket dude.

UPDATE: the price of the DVD has decreased on this website, making my comment/argument in the paragraph above a double negatory (huh?).
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A great encore for Peter O'Toole after 'Lawrence of Arabia' - having Richard Burton as a co-star is a great plus.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9d240f60) out of 5 stars 46 reviews
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c1f4b4c) out of 5 stars Blu-ray is a dud Feb. 26 2009
By R. Becker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a review of the blu-ray only. Becket is a fine film, no doubt about that, but the blu-ray has suffered from some terrible processing decisions. Just about everything is outlined with a halo because of Edge Enhancement and grain is missing, faces are smooth and picture seems slightly out of focus because of the excessive use of Digital Noise Reduction. Shame. Probably would have been beautiful if they'd left the grain intact and refrained from using EE.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d1b9ffc) out of 5 stars Very Good Movie Better on Blu-Ray Oct. 11 2009
By Michael Burton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I don't think this is a great movie, but it's a very good one.

With the elaborate costumes and sets, the movie really benefits from the hi-def treatment -- with only a couple exceptions, the Blu-ray looks far superior to the DVD. (The exceptions are places where enhanced clarity makes film tricks like matte paintings more obvious. I still prefer the hi-def image without reservation.)

I tend to imagine Peter O'Toole as too big a star to give his attention to DVD commentary tracks, but he does a commentary track here and is fully engaged, interesting and informative.

The Blu-ray supplements are missing two archival interviews with Richard Burton that appear on the DVD. (The interviews are interesting, but there is no mention of Becket in either of them.)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c93d2ac) out of 5 stars Blu-ray review, list of special features: transformation from self-centered libertine to man of God Sept. 25 2013
By John Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Based on a play of the same name, and a sort of prequel to The Lion in Winter, "Becket" is a real gem. The basic plot: a young Henry II, in a political power play against the bishops of England, forces them to elect his lapdog Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury. Slowly but surely, Becket develops genuine faith, and can no longer blindly support the king. This film comes very close to matching the quality of "Lion;" you can just feel the contempt O'Toole displays toward his wife and children, and the pain he experiences at Becket's so-called betrayal. Burton is equally good at playing the selfish rogue whose conscience gnaws at him, until he can resist it no longer.

A/V quality is not quite on the level of, say, Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version) [Blu-ray] or Cleopatra (50th Anniversary 2-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray] (which O'Toole and Burton also give strong performances in, respectively), but still very good. I commend everyone involved with this excellent 16x9 widescreen transfer.

Favorite quote (O'Toole as Henry II): "How gracefully you tell your king to mind his own business." I strongly recommend buying both this and The Lion in Winter, as they make a marvelous pair. There are several special features, but I've not had the time to watch them yet. They are as follows:

Commentary with Peter O'Toole
Theatrical Trailer
Still Gallery
Interviews with Editor Anne V. Coates and Composer Laurence Rosenthal
TV Spot
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c7bb5ac) out of 5 stars A great film,with a good blu-ray transfer. March 19 2012
By George Thanos Assimakis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Like all old films, first released on DVD a few years ago and now re-released on blu-ray, the key question is, how good is the high definition transfer? In this case, the transfer is good, with excellent colours, good sharpness but a somewhat grainy image, possibly due to the film's age. The sound is good for its time.

The film, based on the murder of Thomas Beckett in Canterbury cathedral, is very well presented, well acted and well directed. It is moving, touching, but completely lacking in any serious romance, as one would expect from such a political and religious tale. It is the story of two close friends, whose friendship goes sour, when Beckett does not obey his King in every wish of his. An excellent film, definitely worth acquiring.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c91ba80) out of 5 stars Becket on Blu-ray -- A Masterpiece Sept. 26 2009
By Bruce G. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
We waited years for this film to appear on DVD and when MPI finally released it on standard DVD I was delighted to see and hear it so well restored considering the film's apparently bumpy history. Then it seemed, before one could take a breath, out it came on Blu-ray. Since this is probably my favorite of all films, at least in this genre, I immediately ordered it. The beautiful rendering of sight and sound of this film brought tears to my eyes. I had difficulty believing that this forty-five year old movie could have been brought to this level of excellence. MPI must be given great credit for caring so much for this film.

The cast for this film is essentially a who's who of British acting excellence, many, of course, whom are no longer with us. Peter O'Toole's achievement in "Lawrence of Arabia" notwithstanding, his performance in "Becket" is, for me, his tour de force -- the epitome of screen acting. I think the most moving moment in the entire film is the final scene when he is looking down at the image of Becket on his sarcophagus, following his final lines: "Is the honor of God washed clean enough? Are you satisfied now, Thomas?" His face then, within a few seconds, conveys a series of expressions that I have difficulty describing -- from gladness (that Becket has now been finally canonized a saint) to grief (that the man he admired and loved is gone). But it was done with such subtlety! How O'Toole could have accomplished such a thing with a camera grinding a few feet away from him is something I can't fathom. But it is terribly moving.

Only a few years ago we couldn't have dreamt of having something like this disc sitting on a shelf ready to bring this and other classic films to life again whenever we wish it. If MGM still has the rights to "The Lion in Winter" it would be wonderful to see a similar restoration of that classic.