Becket (1964)

Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole team up in a retelling of the turbulent relationship between King Henry II (a Norman) of England and Thomas Becket (an Anglosaxon), Archbishop of Canterbury.

When King Henry encounters conflict between church and state, he establishes Thomas Becket as his puppet Archbishop. After taking on the role, Becket becomes wholly devoted to the Church and even experiences a spiritual transformation. Becket becomes antagonized by Henry as Henry wants to tax the church and prosecute priests for civil crimes when they are committed. In the end, Henry has Becket murdered in a grisly attack inside the cathedral at Canterbury.

After reading up on the historical account, the film seems to overdramatize the closeness of the relationship between the two icons in order to create a more compelling story. The film is done in British dramatic manner of which O'Toole and Burton became icons. It's a worthy film.


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