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Richard Burton , Peter O'Toole , Peter Glenville    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 32.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Becket + Man for All Seasons, A (Special Edition) Bilingual + The Lion in Winter (Widescreen)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 42.45

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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.

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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Becket March 30 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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
conquest by the Normans - a conflict between Church & State.
Anyone who loves historical movies will surely love this .
Robert The Bruce
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5.0 out of 5 stars Validation of O'Toole as a star April 8 2014
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Peter O'Toole wears on one.. . . April 2 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
. . . 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 youngster to what I would call a fanatic religionist does not convince. The filming is marvelous - the the colorful settings are marvelous. This was a revisit for me and while Peter O'Toole was tremendous in "Lawrence of Arabia" I finds his screeching gets on my nerves through his later films.
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3.0 out of 5 stars AN OLDY BUT A GOODIE Feb. 26 2014
By caseygirl TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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. This is an old movie and I don't think anything has been done to enhance the picture quality. It would have been outstanding in its day but with the technology we have now it seems a bit blah picture wise. Of course Richard Burton and Peter O Toole are still amazing so that kind of holds it together as a classic movie
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Becket on Blu-Ray April 10 2009
By Meagol
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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4.0 out of 5 stars History, drama and psychology Oct. 1 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.

From the cover: "Once thought lost forever, ... now ... restored ... in ... HD."
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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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