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The tape version, if one exists, may be 114 minutes but the film, on original release, ran the same 140 minutes in the USA as it did in England. It is an experimental transposition of the Eliot play to the screen and, as such, and Eliot a poet, the film deals more with sound and meaning than it does film movement, i.e., static shots with voice overs. It is the story of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, and his struggles against temptation and personal vanity prior to his murder in the great Cathedral. —Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not that bad
This is a film of a play and resembles Greek classical theater in its format. Some of the dialogue from the chorus is a bit wishy-washy and goes on too long. There are a few silly moments that don't work. Most of Beckets dialogue was interesting. Too be honest I'd have too see it again to get what it was about, though the historical narrative just about exists and is interesting. However, filmically, it leaves a lot to be desired. It's like a minimalist cross between Ingmar Bergman and Carl Dreyer. Static shots are held too long. Inserts of ponds and waves on the sea shore could have been done without. This sounds like I'm painting an unflattering picture, but it wasn't really that bad. Put it like this: If you love Carl Dreyer then you'll love this film.
- Feb 25, 2020
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