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  • Becket [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC]
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Becket [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC]


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Becket [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC] + A Man For All Seasons (Collector's Edition) [1966] [DVD] [2007] + Anne of the Thousand Days [DVD][1969]
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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: Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Restored, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 15 May 2007
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007G1WH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,066 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Review

Special Features: Peter O'Toole commentary A Tapestry Of Music: Laurence Rosenthal on his score for Becket Interview with editor Anne V. Coates Lobby card gallery --johnr@metrodomegroup.com

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Knut Sandem on 20 April 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for this release for years, and I just can't wait to watch "Becket" again, in all its widescreen splendor. This film simply has it all: Great human drama, complex characters interpreted by superb actors; impressive cinematography, evocative music, and an exciting plot. I think "Becket" is indeed one of the best films ever made, notwithstanding that its screenplay sticks very closely to Jean Anouilh's original stage play. I highly recommend this film to everyone who prefers films about human beings rather than nonsensical special effects.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Gregory S. Buzwell VINE VOICE on 27 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As the years roll by it's all too easy to forget just how good an actor Richard Burton actually was. In a sense his off-screen presence overshadows the work he did in-front of the camera and that's a shame - at his best, and 'Becket' shows him at the height of his powers, Richard Burton was a superb actor.

The film focuses on that well-known medieval spat between Church and state. Frustrated at every turn by the Church's refusal to help fund his wars against France and by its insistance that criminal offences committed by the clergy should be tried by the church, and not by the state, King Henry II (Peter O'Toole) takes the opportunity presented by the timely death of the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint in his place his good friend Thomas Becket. Sadly, for the King, his youthful companion, so recently a willing participant in the traditional medieval kingly pursuits of drinking, hunting, eating to excess and ardently pursuing the attractive female portion of the peasantry, suddenly begins to take his duties to the Church far too seriously.

The historical Becket, played by the charismatic and charming Burton, does rather well out of this. Historically Becket is often regarded as a rather pompous and self-important individual, more interested in his own reputation than in the health of the Church, but here he comes across as a noble, troubled and intelligent man. The King, admirably played by Peter O'Toole, is charming and dashing, but quick to temper and prone to violent outbursts. The scenes between the two great actors are electric: two forces of nature clashing and sparking against each other, both perfectly capable of seeing the other's point of view and yet neither willing to budge an inch.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bedinog on 15 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD
Version is 142min restoration anamorphic w/screen R2 (not Blu Ray)

This masterpiece of filmed theatre had long been out of the catalogue but the restoration to absolute pristine condition, even better than the original cinema prints, apparently, makes this well worth waiting for. This is not a mere two hander although Burton (Thomas Becket) and O'Toole (Henry II of England) inevitably dominate because of the story. Director Peter Glenville did a wonderful job keeping the raft of scene stealers, including Gielgud and Woolfit as well as the principals, in check, eliciting fine, at times career best performances. I'm not sure Burton was ever better, and O'Toole's is a fascinating, if neurotic interpretation of the same character he was to play as an older, more mature man in 'Lion in Winter.'
With Geoffrey Unsworth's magnificent cinematography, and Anne V Coates' perceptive editing, we have a visual feast. Mention should also be made of Laurence Rosenthal's wonderful score, some of it skilfully adapted Gregorian Chant as well as his original music, and too rarely available on LP or CD.

Criticism has been made of the quite serious historical inaccuracies in this film but this is the responsibility of playwright Jean Anouilh, whose research was apparently non-existent. He set the Henry/Becket conflict against a non-existent barrier of racial (Saxon/Norman) difference, for Becket was of Norman extraction. However,it doesn't seriously undermine the principal themes of loyalty, love and honour with which the play and film, are concerned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP on 24 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all Roman history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
King Henry (O'Toole), tired of endless negotiations with the church, appoints his old whoring and drinking friend, Thomas Becket to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury (Burton) - a Saxon, to the clergy's horror! To the Kings chagrin, this awakens Becket's unsuspected religious fervor and moral doubt. Both men will shortly become enemies.

"Becket" is a Grand spectacle, it has a powerhouse cast (Gielgud features in a smaller role) and flies from massive location to massive location with intricate design presented in stunning photography. Yet its merits are those of a small film: the story of the autumn years of a dear friendship and its transformation to bitter resentment. Both actors carry this film and make it credible as an epic, but in what is mostly a character piece, they really shine and give memorable performances.

The screenplay is admirably written (unsurprisingly since it is based on the play) and watching these huge actors utter them with humour, sorrow or bile is pure joy. Another interesting aspect is that it chronicles the younger days of the same king featured in the superb "Lion in Winter", with Peter O'Toole reprising the same character, yet older and more embittered. As such, "Becket" and "The Lion in Winter" form an unofficial duo that ranks among the highest achievements in cinema,
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