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Becket


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Becket + Man for All Seasons, A (Special Edition) Bilingual + The Lion in Winter (Widescreen)
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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: Hal B. Wallis, Joseph H. Hazen
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Restored, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Phase 4
  • Release Date: May 15 2007
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007G1WH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,324 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

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.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JLind555 on 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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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 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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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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