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Becket [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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King Henry II argues over church and state with Thomas a Becket in the 12th century after naming him archbishop of Canterbury.
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 --firstname.lastname@example.org --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Without him, I would still have liked the film a lot as it is philosophically and historically very interesting, has a good script and is well acted (even though Peter O'Toole mugs for the camera a bit too much in certain scenes). With Richard Burton in it, it is magnificent.
My only real quibble with this film is that while one understands that Becket goes through a metamorphosis, the underlying reasons are not fully clear and his religious conversion seems to happen quite suddenly. It is unfortunate especially since some scenes (for ex the one with the ludicrous pope) could easily have been cut.
Overall, a great film which I will watch time and again for the sheer pleasure of the amazing acting.
The story of Becket's life as portrayed in the film, based as it is on an adaptation of the French play has many fictionalized parts (historical inaccuracies). The most glaring inaccuracy is that Becket was actually a Norman and not a Saxon as depicted in the film. The film leaves out all the early years of Becket's life, and ends at Henry's penance three years after Becket's murder, concentrating on the personal relationship between Henry II and Becket from the time he was made Chancellor. It is very well acted. The costumes are gorgeous and the sets are memorable (although these too are highly fictionalized). It has undercurrents of Hollywood prejudices about many issues probably not noticed by many.
Highly enjoyable and beautiful film all the same. View it and then go read about St. Thomas and Henry in historically accurate sources if you are interested in their stories and their places in the history of England and in the history of the Church.
The other murder(s). The Princes in the Tower in 1483. We will never know the culprit or who ordered the killings.
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