Theatrical and hypothetical, but utterly grand, with top-notch interpersonal drama realized by two of the great thespian talents of this era. Peter Glenville directs with a sense of awe for the story and his actors, for good or bad. And they revel in their own perceived infallibility, or youthful arrogance, rather. This works ingeniously, particularly for O'Toole and his Henry II. Along with Lawrence of Arabia, this is arguably his best performance. Burton is, as usual, somewhat stiffer, but his performance is well-rounded and powerful, and he ultimately rises to the occasion and frees himself not only from the constraints of the script, but also manages to connect with the camera. Compared with other historical mid-20th century pieces, Becket's status is more obscure, which is a little unfair because it has endured the test of time quite well. The dialogue is delightfully snappy and clever, and the sets are bold and beautiful, even if they arguably don't say much about regular people's lives.