THEOCRACY VS ROYALTY ON SCREEN: Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole in "Becket" (1964)


THEOCRACY VS ROYALTY ON SCREEN: Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole in "Becket" (1964)
by Darius Kadivar

An English king comes to terms with his affection for his close friend andconfidant, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather thanthe king's. Based on French dramatist Jean Anouilh's classic play.

Becket directed by

PeterGlenville Starring Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton.


Becket The Original Trailer  (1964):



                                   Miscellaneous scenes



Opening scène if film shows Guilt RiddenKing Henry comes to repent at Becket’s tomb
reminiscing abouttheir lost friendship:


The King and Becket start off in life as close Friendsand loyal allies :



Becket and his loyal and loving wife:



Henry Names Becket as Archibishop of Canterbury notsuspecting that he will betray him one day:


Becket is Ordained Archibishop of Canterbury :

Becket discovers Real Faith upon assassination of a priest which weakens his loyalty to the King:

Becket ambition at odds with the King's Will to control him:


ExcommunicationScene From Becket:

Henry attempting a reconciliation with Becket in vain :



Fearing Rivalry of Power The Tormented King decides to plot Becket's Assassination:

The Martyred Bishop becomes a Saint:





Plot :


As thestory opens, King Henry II (Peter O’Toole), who ruled England from 1154 to 1189has entered Canterbury Cathedral to do penance at the tomb of his formerfriend, Thomas Becket (Richard Burton). Bare to the waist, the king kneels toreceive a flogging from Saxon monks. He begins to reminisce, recalling at firstthe carefree, promiscuous adventures with Becket, then his favorite drinkingand wenching companion. A violently emotional drama that probes the changingrelationship between two young men - between two close friends bound togetherby similar pride of flesh and spirit who become deadly enemies as they pursuetheir separate destinies . . . that of king . . . and saint.

More about the film :


The original French play by JeanAnouilh onwhich the film is based was given its first performance in Paris in 1959. Itopened on Broadway with Laurence Olivier as Becket and AnthonyQuinn asKing Henry II in a production directed by Peter Glenville, who later went on todirect the film version. The play opened in London in a production by PeterHall with Eric Porter and ChristopherPlummer. O'Toole was originally signed to play Henry II in theproduction, but broke the contract before rehearsals began to take the lead in David Lean's film of Lawrence ofArabia.

The film was made at SheppertonStudios,England and on location at Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle and Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland.

Peter O'Toole went on to play Henry II once more in TheLion in Winter (1968) with Katharine Hepburn as QueenEleanor of Aquitaine. Siân Phillips, who plays Gwendolen, was Peter O'Toole's wife at the timeof filming.

The film enjoyed great popularity and acclaim.


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ROYALTY ON SCREEN: TheChronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (3D)

ROYALTY ONSCREEN: The Madness of King George (1994)

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ROYALTY ONSCREEN: Madonna's Bio Epic Romance on Edward VIII & Wallis Simpson (Due2011)

ROYALTY ONSCREEN: Colin Firth in "The King's Speech" (2010)

THE KING'sSPEECH: Press Conference with Cast and Crew at BFI 2010 

Related Theocracy On Screen Blogs:

THEOCRACY ON SCREEN: Rex Harrison as the Warrior Pope in "The Agonyand The Ecstasy" (1965)

THEOCRACY ON SCREEN: Anthony Quinn is Pope in "TheShoes of the Fisherman" (1968)

THEOCRACY ONSCREEN: Anthony Quinn is Pope in "The Shoes of the Fisherman" (1968)





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