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Becket (1964)

tomatometer

70

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 5,439

My Rating

Movie Info

A high-class costume drama with a substantive historical basis, Becket is the true story of the friendship between King Henry II (Peter O'Toole) and Thomas à Becket (Richard Burton), a royal courtier and confidant whom Henry appoints as Archbishop of Canterbury. As Becket takes his duties with the Church seriously, he finds himself increasingly at odds with the King, who finally orders the death of his once-close companion when he continues to defy the throne. Burton is very good and O'Toole is

PG-13,

Drama, Classics

Jan 26, 2007

Slowhand Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (6) | DVD (6)

Ripe with homoerotic undercurrents -- which O'Toole mines with relish in his great hysterical performance, full of cunning, eloquence and mad outbursts.

March 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Becket may seem like a movie of yesteryear, but its timeliness brims over with rousing, meditative discourses between Henry and the church leaders on the separation of church and state.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Everything that Doctor Strangelove is -- daring and inspired, vibrant and brilliantly staged -- Becket is not.

February 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The picture is being re-released in 30 cities around the country before finally appearing on DVD after years of online foment from fans.The DVD is due in May, but try to catch it in theaters first. It's worth it.

February 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Burton is extraordinary in one of his rare good movie roles and O'Toole is regally madcap and larger than life.

February 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

How could you hope for better casting than Peter O'Toole and his acting rival/drinking buddy Richard Burton playing opposite each other?

February 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Becket is a terrific example of the historical play or novel turned into a cinematic drama crackling with whip-smart dialogue. I imagine actors must go mad with delight when they read a script that has page after page of dialogue this good.

September 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

it finds what's compelling about that history and, more importantly, what's compelling about the people in that history. And, just to be on the safe side, it throws in two of the greatest actors of the day.

December 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

The respectable but boring film is nevertheless worth watching for the robust performances of Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole

August 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The material remains relevant, and the film as a whole is completely engrossing. (It may be nearly 2 1/2 hours long, but it doesn't feel like it.)

April 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Watching Becket is to see a form of stylized, epic moviemaking not practiced today.

April 20, 2007
Salt Lake Tribune

This adaptation of Anouilh's play about the relationship of Henry II and Becket is well acted by O'Toole and Burton, both Oscar-nominated.

April 19, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

O'Toole just keeps turning up the volume, and it's thrilling to watch.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Peter O'Toole plays Henry like Ian McKellan doing a camp cameo.

February 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Peter Glenville's stage-plank direction creaks badly, but the acting still holds you.

February 16, 2007 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

A power play about power plays, Jean Anouilh's now-classic Becket provided the basis for one of the great screen pairings.

February 8, 2007
Groucho Reviews

Most of the dialogue-driven scenes are a series of two-shots; which is great in seeing the sparks fly between two of the leading British actors of their generation, but plodding when it comes to pace.

January 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

Audience Reviews for Becket

In a tale of nepotism gone wrong, Henry II appoints his friend Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Caterbury but isn't prepared for the consequences when Becket takes his commitment to God seriously.
Richard Burton plays Becket with a reserve and subtle conscience, and from the first moment, he makes the character profoundly interesting. He's helped by a good script that makes who Becket is the focus of the first act. Peter O'Toole is hilarious and at his scenery-chewing best, playing the madcap king with the kind of gusto that made him famous, and his third act scenes reveal a humanity - a pathos - that makes his character even more interesting.
Overall, despite the fine art direction, most of Becket is a character study involving the two leads, and the acting master class that is Burton and O'Toole is enough to carry this film admirably.
July 22, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Becket is a fantastic period piece. It's long and some scenes are very drawn out, but it is well worth the watch. It's visually stunning and there isn't a bad performance in the film. Becket is the true story of the friendship of King Henry II and Thomas Becket. They have a strong friendship until Henry makes Becket the Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket loyalty turns from Henry to God and the King doesn't like that too much. It truly is an epic film.
June 7, 2011
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Two best friends, one an amoral king, the other a man of God. This movie has a great story and great actors for the characters. It's kind of long, but I really liked it, and I recommend seeing it.
December 4, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Awesome, the first real bromance picture. As actors Burton and O'Toole did fantastically well. As was expected I think. O'Toole's character a bit more, it's what you get for being animated, I guess.
I will admit it dragged a bit towards the middle, but even for someone who isn't religious, I found it interesting and even funny at times and well worth watching.
October 26, 2010
MeetMeinMontauk
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

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