Becket (1964)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  11 March 1964 (USA)
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An English king comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the king's.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
King Louis of France / King Louis VII of France
the Cardinal / Cardinal Zambelli
Paolo Stoppa ...
the Pope / Pope Alexander III
David Weston ...
Brother John
Martita Hunt ...
Pamela Brown ...
Gwendolen (as Sian Phillips)
Inigo Jackson ...
Robert de Beaumont
Felix Aylmer ...
Niall MacGinnis ...
Christopher Rhodes ...


As the story opens, King Henry II, who ruled England from 1154 to 1189 has entered Canterbury Cathedral to do penance at the tomb of his former friend, Thomas Becket. Bare to the waist, the king kneels to receive a flogging from Saxon monks. He begins to reminisce, recalling at first the carefree, promiscuous adventures with Becket, then his favorite drinking and wenching companion. A violently emotional drama that probes the changing relationship between two young men - between two close friends bound together by similar pride of flesh and spirit who become deadly enemies as they pursue their separate destinies . . . that of king . . . and saint. Written by alfiehitchie

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The screen explodes with rage and passion and greatness! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

11 March 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Бекет  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The assassination of Thomas Becket was far more vicious and brutal than the film was able to depict. According to Edward Grim, a man who was himself wounded in the attack stated: The wicked knight leapt suddenly upon him, cutting off the top of the crown which the unction of sacred chrism had dedicated to God. Next he received a second blow on the head, but still he stood firm and immovable. At the third blow he fell on his knees and elbows, offering himself a living sacrifice, and saying in a low voice, 'For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death.' But the third knight inflicted a terrible wound as he lay prostrate. By this stroke, the crown of his head was separated from the head in such a way that the blood white with the brain, and the brain no less red from the blood, dyed the floor of the cathedral. The same clerk who had entered with the knights placed his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr, and, horrible to relate, scattered the brains and blood about the pavements, crying to the others, 'Let us away, knights; this fellow will arise no more. See more »


Henry's court is depicted as being in England. In fact, Henry II's primary residence and capital was Chinon, nearly 300 kilometers southwest of Paris. England was only one land in Henry's empire, which included most of modern-day France. See more »


[first lines]
King Henry II: Well, Thomas Becket. Are you satisfied? Here I am, stripped, kneeling at your tomb, while those treacherous Saxon monks of yours are getting ready to thrash me. Me - with my delicate skin. I bet you'd never have done the same for me. But - I suppose I have to do this penance and make my peace with you. Hmm. What a strange end to our story. How cold it was when we last met - on the shores of France. Funny, it's nearly always been cold - except at the beginning, when we were friends....
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Featured in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Lingua Supremis
16 October 2000 | by (Land O'Lakes, FL) – See all my reviews

Ah, words. To paraphrase Henry Higgins, they are the pillars of society. Language is the means by which emotions are expressed, wars and love affairs are started and ended, and friendships are struck -- and melted down. "Becket" is a movie in love with words, their eloquence and, in some cases, majesty. It's a movie about friendship and loyalty, God and country, and the dynamics that occur when one tries to mix them together. I cannot think of movie so in love with words in recent memory; the only one that comes close (perhaps even superseding it) is "A Man for All Seasons." This is the proverbial film to sink your mental teeth into. It is cerebral, challenging, controversial, and tragic. If you've ever had a friend grow more and more distant no matter how hard you tried to keep things right -- this is for you.

And that is all I have to say about that...

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This or 'A Man for All Seasons' jdlugosinski
Becket. martyr or fool paladin0110
They don't make 'em like this any more david__T
Becket was a Norman??????? bobcan653
Another great Christian movie. moovyfellow
Becket on DVD alan-stageberg
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