Best Movies by Farr
Becket Poster
Released Runtime Category
1964 150 Drama
Director Language
Peter Glenville English
Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton, John Gielgud


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What's it About

Hoping to secure his power in 12th-century England, profligate Norman King Henry II (O'Toole) nominates his Saxon soulmate and partner-in-decadence Thomas Becket (Burton) to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Unfortunately for Henry, and despite Becket's own warning, his friend assumes the ecclesiastical office, then takes his role as spiritual minister very seriously.

Why we love it

Based on the historical play by Jean Anouilh, Glenville's exquisite costume drama about the rift between a king and his one true mortal friend earned Best Actor nods for both of its electrifying leads. O'Toole practically bursts off the screen, loudly agonizing about his split with Becket, venomously lashing out at his shrewish wife and mother, and cathartically baring his broken heart at a momentous encounter on the beach. Burton, by contrast, is thoughtful and taciturn, nobly donning the robes of an office he intends to legitimize for "God's honor." Lustily acted and grandly realized, "Becket" is a mega-watt production worthy of any king.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"