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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 even better: both men were nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, while Edward Anhalt's screenplay, based on the stageplay by Jean Anouilh, won for Best Adapted Screenplay. The basic theme of separation of church and state still reverberates today, while the top-notch production values ensure Becket's place as one of Britain's better historical epics. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi
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Peter O'Toole went on to play Henry II again in The Lion in Winter (1968). (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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