Becket (1964)

“Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” A film adaptation of Jean Anouilh’s play, Becket or the Honour of God, this medieval spectacle was directed by Peter Glenville and revolves around the love-hate relationship between Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Richard Burton in another unrestrained performance) and King Henry II (Peter O’Toole in another unrestrained performance). John Gielgud portrays King Louis VII. The classic banter between these legendary actors makes it all worthwhile. Very theatrical. (Spoiler Alert: Becket gets gutted at the end of the film.) I’m willing to bet that there was a lot of booze flowing on the set of this one! O’Toole reprised his role as King Henry II four years later alongside Katherine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter, also recommended viewing if you enjoy these type of period pieces.

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