Peter Glenville (1964)

A Certificate


Our Score
This beautifully photographed drama is distinguished by a couple of charismatic performances from Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. Edward Anhalt's Oscar-winning script from Jean Anouilh's stage play tells of the friendship at the 12th-century English court between O'Toole's Henry II and Burton's Thomas Becket. Henry's appointment of his childhood friend as Archbishop of Canterbury is the catalyst for the movie's battle of wills - and a battle of acting greats as these top-class thespians take the screen by storm. The motivational insights of the power struggle between the two are more modern than medieval, but they make for a wholly engrossing portrayal of the past.


King Henry II needs to appoint an Archbishop of Canterbury when the current incumbent dies. To temper the influence of the Vatican, he selects his lifelong friend Thomas Becket for the position, only to end up engaged in a fierce battle of wills as the priest proves more loyal to the Church than to the throne. Historical drama, starring Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud and Donald Wolfit.

Cast & Crew

Thomas Becket Richard Burton
King Henry II Peter O'Toole
King Louis VII of France John Gielgud
Bishop Folliot Donald Wolfit
Queen Matilda Martita Hunt
Queen Eleanor Pamela Brown
Pope Alexander III Paolo Stoppa
Cardinal Zambelli Gino Cervi
Brother John David Weston
Archbishop of Canterbury Felix Aylmer
Henry II's baron Percy Herbert
Henry II's baron Niall MacGinnis
Henry II's baron Christopher Rhodes
Henry II's baron Peter Jeffrey
Henry II's baron Michael Miller (1)
Henry II's baron Peter Prowse
Robert de Beaumont, Duke of Leicester Inigo Jackson
Gwendolen Sian Phillips
French girl Veronique Vendell
Peasant's daughter Jennifer Hilary
Brother Philip Geoffrey Bayldon
Pope's secretary Graham Stark
French tailor Victor Spinetti
Clement Edward Woodward
Director Peter Glenville
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Paramount Film Service LtdAvailable on: video and DVD