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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ripe with homoerotic undercurrents -- which O'Toole mines with relish in his great hysterical performance, full of cunning, eloquence and mad outbursts."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"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."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"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."
‑ Christopher Lloyd, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
"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.)"
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"O'Toole just keeps turning up the volume, and it's thrilling to watch."
‑ Mike Russell, Oregonian
"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."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Burton is extraordinary in one of his rare good movie roles and O'Toole is regally madcap and larger than life."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"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."
‑ David Thomas,
"Watching Becket is to see a form of stylized, epic moviemaking not practiced today."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"Peter O'Toole plays Henry like Ian McKellan doing a camp cameo."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Everything that Doctor Strangelove is -- daring and inspired, vibrant and brilliantly staged -- Becket is not."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"How could you hope for better casting than Peter O'Toole and his acting rival/drinking buddy Richard Burton playing opposite each other?"
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The respectable but boring film is nevertheless worth watching for the robust performances of Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole"
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"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."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Peter Glenville's stage-plank direction creaks badly, but the acting still holds you."
‑ David Elliott, San Diego Union-Tribune
More reviews for Becket on Rotten Tomatoes