This foments great resentment on the part of Henry's Norman noblemen, who distrust and envy this Saxon upstart, as well as the queen and Henry's mother, who see Becket as an unnatural and unseemly influence upon the royal personage. Peter O’Toole’s first turn as Henry II sees the king immersed in a complicated friendship with the Archbishop of Canterbury (Richard Burton). Earn 125 points on every ticket you buy. Becket is a 1964 British-American film about the historic, tumultuous relationship between Henry II of England and his friend-turned-bishop Thomas Becket. Henry's mother, Empress Matilda, died in 1167, three years before the treaty of Fréteval allowed Becket to return in England.
Passing mention is made in the film of the Constitutions of Clarendon (simply as the "Sixteen Articles"); the struggle between Becket and Henry is boiled down to their conflict over Lord Gilbert's murder of the captive priest. It portrays a fictionalized version of real events that transpired between King Henry II and the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. A badly shaken Henry then undergoes a penance by whipping at the hands of Saxon monks. He does not count on his loyal vassal's devotion to the Church and to God above any loyalties that he may once had to the throne. Becket escapes to France where he encounters the conniving yet sympathetic King Louis (John Gielgud). Dir. The screenplay was written by Edward Anhalt based on Anouilh's play.
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Debauched King Henry II (Peter O'Toole) installs his longtime court facilitator Thomas Becket (Richard Burton) as the Archbishop of Canterbury, assuming that his old friend will be a compliant and loyal lackey in the King's on-going battles with the church. Both lost in years which were considered by many to be Musical Film showdowns in which two high-profile musical films were in contention with one of which winning best picture (Mary Poppins and winner My Fair Lady against Becket, Funny Girl and winner Oliver! While the eldest son, William, had died before the events of the film, the three daughters are neglected. Bare to the waist, the King kneels to receive a flogging from Saxon monks. This exquisitely mounted historical drama earned a dozen Oscar nominations, including a win for Edward Anhalt’s adapted screenplay. O'Toole was originally signed to play Henry II in the production, but broke the contract before rehearsals began to take the lead in David Lean's film of Lawrence of Arabia. Henry asks Becket whether or not he loved him and Becket replied that he loved Henry to the best of his ability. Peter O’Toole’s first turn as Henry II sees the king immersed in a complicated friendship with the Archbishop of Canterbury (Richard Burton). Becket and its spiritual sequel The Lion in Winter were both nominated for Best Picture in their respective years 1964 and 1968. Becket is depicted as Henry's loyal "drinking pal", who aids him in illicit romantic entanglements, but who becomes saintly and responsible after his appointment as Archbishop. , The film was made at Shepperton Studios, England and on location at Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle and Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland. The Academy Film Archive preserved Becket in 2003.. Henry appears to not have any respect for his mother and treats her as something of an annoyance, a rather drastic departure from what is generally held as historical fact.  The film was released on DVD by MPI Home Video in May 2007 and on Blu-ray Disc in November 2008. During one of his drunken rages he asks "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" Becket is a 1964 British-American film about the historic, tumultuous relationship between Henry II of England and his friend-turned-bishop Thomas Becket. As the story opens, King Henry II (Peter O'Toole), who ruled England from 1154 to 1189 has entered Canterbury Cathedral to do penance at the tomb of his former friend, Thomas Becket (Richard Burton).
 It was directed by Peter Glenville and produced by Hal B. Wallis with Joseph H. Hazen as executive producer. One of the main bones of contention is Thomas' excommunication of Lord Gilbert, one of Henry's most loyal stalwarts, for seizing and ordering the killing of a priest who had been accused of sexual indiscretions with a young girl, before the priest can even be handed over for ecclesiastical trial. The barons worsen his mood by pointing out that Becket has become a folk hero among the vanquished Saxons, who are ever restive and resentful of their Norman conquerors.
 Henry appoints Becket Lord Chancellor to have a close confidant in this position whom he can completely control.
It contains many historical inaccuracies, which the author acknowledged. The film grossed $9,164,370 at the box office, earning $3 million in rentals.
The Vatican is a hotbed of intrigue and political jockeying.
The film stars Richard Burton as Thomas Becket and Peter O'Toole as King Henry II, with John Gielgud as King Louis VII, Donald Wolfit as Gilbert Foliot, Paolo Stoppa as Pope Alexander III, Martita Hunt as Empress Matilda, Pamela Brown as Queen Eleanor, Siân Phillips, Felix Aylmer, Gino Cervi, David Weston and Wilfrid Lawson. It is a dramatic film adaptation of the 1959 play Becket or the Honour of God by Jean Anouilh made by Hal Wallis Productions and released by Paramount Pictures. In no way is Becket depicted as a man who desired special legal privileges (defrocking rather than prison) for his clergy, as some believe that he was.
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