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Becket (1964) - Plot Summary Poster

(1964)

Plot Summary

  • 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
  • King Henry II and Thomas Becket are lifelong friends despite the differences in their rank and their background. For the Norman King, his Saxon subject is also a confidant, giving him advice and offering loyalty he finds rarely among the Barons who serve him. The King is in constant conflict with the Church who refuse to contribute to the financing of his war to recover lost territory in France and jealously guard the tax-free status given to them by previous monarchs. The King sees an opportunity to change the status quo and appoints Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury when the post becomes vacant. He does not count on his loyal vassal's devotion to the Church and to God above any loyalties that he may once had to the throne. The clash of these two powerful personalities inevitably leads to destruction.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • King Henry II of England has trouble with the Church. When the Archbishop of Canterbury dies, he has a brilliant idea. Rather than appoint another pious cleric loyal to Rome and the Church, he will appoint his old drinking and wenching buddy, Thomas Becket, technically a deacon of the church, to the post. Unfortunately, Becket takes the job seriously and provides abler opposition to Henry than his predecessors were able to do. This leads to the famous "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?"

    - Written by Reid Gagle

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