Becket | 1964 | Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole

Becket | 1964 | Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole

Two of the finest actors of their generation, Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole, square off in this splendid production of Jean Anouilh’s 1959 play. The lifelong friendship of Henry II and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, is tested and ends in tragedy as Becket grows more confident and thoughtful in his position.

Jean Anouilh, on whose play the fascinating historical drama Becket was based, learned only after completing work that his title character was actually a Norman, not a Saxon, as portrayed in the play. Shrugged Anouilh, "I changed nothing.

Academy Award Nominations: 12, including Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor: Richard Burton; Best Actor: Peter O’Toole.

cast
Richard Burton as Becket / Thomas Becket
Peter O’Toole as his King / King Henry II
John Gielgud as King Louis of France / King Louis VII of France
Gino Cervi as the Cardinal / Cardinal Zambelli
Paolo Stoppa as the Pope / Pope Alexander III
Donald Wolfit as Bishop Folliot
David Weston as Brother John
Martita Hunt as Empress Matilda
Pamela Brown as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine
Percy Herbert as Baron
Siân Phillips as Gwendolen
Felix Aylmer as Archbishop of Canterbury
Niall MacGinnis as Baron
Christopher Rhodes as Baron
John Phillips as Bishop of Winchester
Magda Konopka as Girl on Balcony
Inigo Jackson as Robert de Beaumont
Frank Pettingell as Bishop of York
Véronique Vendell as French prostitute (as Veronique Vendell)
Jennifer Hilary as Peasant’s Daughter
David Davenport as
Hamilton Dyce as Bishop of Chichester
Peter Jeffrey as Baron
Michael Miller as Baron
Peter Prowse as Baron
Jack Taylor as

crew
Art Direction: Maurice Carter
Production Design: John Bryan
Director Of Photography: Geoffrey Unsworth
Translator: Lucienne Hill
Director: Peter Glenville
Editor: Anne V. Coates
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Executive Producer: Joseph H. Hazen
Original Music Composer: Laurence Rosenthal
Writer: Jean Anouilh
Screenplay: Edward Anhalt

UK, USA | 148 minutes | 1964

advertisement

theviewersguide

The Viewer's Guide to Film intends to be a comprehensive guide to the very best of cinema from the earliest silent era, through to the golden age of Hollywood and on to today's biggest blockbusters.

Each entry on the site includes a capsule review/plot overview, along with cast and crew credits, images and trailers where available.