89 Days of Oscar Nominees – #33 – Becket (1964)


In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 89 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 1 Dec 2016 and The 89th Annual Oscars on 26 Feb 2017.

Here is my 33rd review of the 89 chosen Films…


“Your body, madam, was a desert that duty forced me to wander in alone. But you have never been a wife to me! ” – Henry II

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Jan 2017)

Brief Synopsis – When King Henry II appoints his best friend Thomas Beckett as the Archbishop of Canterbury, a feud begins between the two as they both wish to be respectful of their positions of power.

My Take on it – This is another film that I knew absolutely nothing about before watching it.

The only Becket I knew was Sam Becket from Quantum Leap and as much as I had hoped there would be a connection, it is as far from being sci-fi as possible.

I’m usually not the biggest fan of British royalty films from days of yore, but this one caught my attention quite quickly by the amazing dialogue that was engaging and also risque for it’s time.

Loved the way the story develops because we get to see the friendship between  the two main characters and how their friendship is put to the test when both reach high levels of power.

This opens the way for us to see how they both struggle with their friendship and integrity when a rivalry arises between them because they both wish to perform their duties properly.

Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole are both superb here and manage the dialogue and quips so well that they actually seem like they are such good friends having conversations throughout.

I have read that many people fault this movie for being so dialogue heavy with very little action, but the truth is that I personally found it much more engaging because it needed to rely on the dialogue.

This film was nominated for 12 Oscars and only won one of them (best screenplay from another medium) which put it in the category of being tied for the most non-winning nominations of 11 along with The Turning Point (1977) and The Color Purple (1985).

Bottom Line – Amazing story that shows how friendship and integrity can be put to the test when one wishes to fulfill one’s duty. Burton and O’Toole are perfect as the two main leads.  Amazing dialogue helps keep this interesting the whole way through.  I’m surprised that this film didn’t win more awards because it is done so well. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – As a practical joke, Peter O’Toole had Richard Burton’s then wife Elizabeth Taylor take the place of a nude actress lying under a blanket in order to surprise her husband. Burton was not amused. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy


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12 thoughts on “89 Days of Oscar Nominees – #33 – Becket (1964)

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  6. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1964 | MovieRob

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