-- King Henry II, referring to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas à Becket
Apparently, the aging acting legend Peter O’Toole is up for an Oscar nomination for his role in the 2006 movie Venus. In what looks like an effort to boost his prospects, it has been reported that the 1964 movie Becket is being re-released in US theaters. In that film Peter O’Toole plays King Henry II and Richard Burton plays his sometimes drinking buddy, sometimes principled antagonist, the Archbishop of Canterbury, St. Thomas Becket (also known as Thomas à Becket). It’s kind of a Henry VIII / St. Thomas More kind of deal. It doesn’t end well for old Thomas in either case...
I’ve never seen this film. I’ve considered it many times at the local video store, but I’ve always put it off. Now that it’s going to be in the theaters, it might be a good time to go, because it sounds like one of those movies you really want to see on the big screen. They say this movie shows O’Toole and Burton at the top of their respective games, which makes it worth it to go and see for that reason alone. There is an audio NPR segment on the re-release here.
Speaking of Peter O’Toole and the big wide screen…. My brother still likes to needle me in front of people for getting us both thrown out of a theater for making too much noise when we went to go see Lawrence of Arabia when it first came out. Not surprising really, considering it was over 3 and ½ hours long and I was 4 flippin’ years old. Come on, Jackie, cut me some slack….