Becket (1965)

Film details


Thomas Becket and the king, Henry II, are firm friends and comrades in their enjoyment of life. Their estrangement begins after Henry has impetuously given Becket the Chancellorship. The Saxon clergy and Norman nobility are outraged but Becket takes his appointment seriously. To limit the authority of the Church, Henry also makes Becket Primate whereupon he champions the rights of the church in opposition to the Crown. Following a false charge of embezzlement he finds asylum in France but eventually returns to Canterbury. He is murdered by four barons in the Cathedral on the unwitting injunction of the king. Henry repents and atones, proclaiming Becket to be a saint.

The following statement regarding the story appears after the opening credits: 'in the year 1066 William the Conqueror crossed from France with his Norman army and conquered the Saxons of Britain at the Battle of Hastings. Henry II, his great grandson, continued to rule over the oppressed Saxon peasants, backed by the swords of his Barons and by the power of his imported Norman clergy.'

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