Category:1960s biographical films
Pages in category "1960s biographical films"
The following 52 pages are in this category, out of 52 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 52 pages are in this category, out of 52 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Bonnie and Clyde (film) – Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 American biographical crime film directed by Arthur Penn and starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the title characters Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. The film features Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman, and Estelle Parsons, with Denver Pyle, Dub Taylor, Gene Wilder, Evans Evans, the screenplay was written by David Newman and Robert Benton. Robert Towne and Beatty provided uncredited contributions to the script, Beatty also produced the film, the soundtrack was composed by Charles Strouse. Bonnie and Clyde is considered a film, and is regarded as one of the first films of the New Hollywood era. For some members of the counterculture, the film was considered to be a rallying cry and its success prompted other filmmakers to be more open in presenting sex and violence in their films. The films ending also became iconic as one of the bloodiest death scenes in cinematic history, the film received Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Cinematography. It was among the first 100 films selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, in the middle of the Great Depression, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker meet when Clyde tries to steal Bonnies mothers car. Bonnie, who is bored by her job as a waitress, is intrigued by Clyde and they pull off some holdups, but their amateur efforts, while exciting, are not very lucrative. The duos crime spree shifts into high gear once they hook up with a gas station attendant, C. W. Moss, then with Clydes older brother Buck and his wife, Blanche. Bonnie and Clyde turn from pulling small-time heists to robbing banks and their exploits also become more violent. When C. W. botches a robbery by parallel parking the getaway car. The gang is pursued by law enforcement, including Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, a raid later catches the outlaws off guard, mortally wounding Buck with a gruesome shot to his head and injuring Blanche. Bonnie, Clyde and C. W. barely escape with their lives, with Blanche sightless and in police custody, Hamer tricks her into revealing C. W. s name, who was up until now still only an unidentified suspect. Hamer locates Bonnie, Clyde and C. W. hiding at the house of C. W. s father Ivan Moss, the elder Moss strikes a bargain with Hamer, in exchange for leniency for the boy, he helps set a trap for the outlaws. When Bonnie and Clyde stop on the side of the road to help Mr. Moss fix a flat tire, Hamer and his posse then come out of hiding, looking pensively at the couples bodies. Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker Michael J. Pollard as C. W and his girlfriend Velma Davis was played by Evans Evans, who was the wife of film director John Frankenheimer. The family gathering scene was filmed in Red Oak, Texas, several local residents gathered to watch the film being shot. When the filmmakers noticed Mabel Cavitt, a school teacher, among the people gathered
2. The Sound of Music (film) – The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise, and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film is an adaptation of the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music, the films screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman, adapted from the stage musicals book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The film was released on March 2,1965 in the United States, although critical response to the film was widely mixed, the film was a major commercial success, becoming the number one box office movie after four weeks, and the highest-grossing film of 1965. By November 1966, The Sound of Music had become the film of all-time—surpassing Gone with the Wind—and held that distinction for five years. The film was just as throughout the world, breaking previous box-office records in twenty-nine countries. The Sound of Music received five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1998, the American Film Institute listed The Sound of Music as the fifty-fifth greatest American movie of all time, and the fourth greatest movie musical. In 2001, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it culturally, historically, Maria is a free-spirited young Austrian woman studying to become a nun at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg in 1938. Her love of music and the mountains, her enthusiasm and imagination. The Captain has been raising his children alone using strict military discipline following the death of his first wife, although the children misbehave at first, Maria responds with kindness and patience, and soon the children come to trust and respect her. While the Captain is away in Vienna, Maria makes play clothes for the children and takes them around Salzburg and the surrounding mountains, and she teaches them how to sing. Displeased by his childrens clothes and activities, and Marias impassioned appeal that he get closer to his children, just then he hears singing coming from inside the house and is astonished to see his children singing for the Baroness. Filled with emotion, the Captain joins his children, singing for the first time in years, afterwards, he apologizes to Maria and asks her to stay. He does agree, however, to organize a party at the villa. The night of the party, while guests in formal attire waltz in the ballroom, Maria, when the Captain notices Maria teaching Kurt the traditional Ländler folk dance, he cuts in and partners with Maria in a graceful performance, culminating in a close embrace. Confused about her feelings, Maria blushes and breaks away, later, the Baroness, who noticed the Captains attraction to Maria, hides her jealousy while convincing Maria that she must return to the abbey. Back at the abbey, when Mother Abbess learns that Maria has stayed in seclusion to avoid her feelings for the Captain, after Maria returns to the villa, she learns about the Captains engagement to the Baroness and agrees to stay until they find a replacement governess. The Captains feelings for Maria, however, have not changed, while they are on their honeymoon, Max enters the children in the Salzburg Festival against their fathers wishes. Strongly opposed to the Nazis and the Anschluss, the Captain tells his family they must leave Austria immediately and that night, as the von Trapp family attempt to leave, they are stopped by a group of Brownshirts waiting outside the villa
3. Lawrence of Arabia (film) – Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 epic historical drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt, the film stars Peter OToole in the title role. It is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of cinema, the dramatic score by Maurice Jarre and the Super Panavision 70 cinematography by Freddie Young are also highly acclaimed. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama, the film depicts Lawrences experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I, in particular his attacks on Aqaba and Damascus and his involvement in the Arab National Council. As well as OToole, the film stars Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains and Arthur Kennedy. In 1991, Lawrence of Arabia was deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, the film is presented in two parts, divided by an intermission. The film opens in 1935 when Lawrence is killed in a motorcycle accident, at his memorial service at St Pauls Cathedral, a reporter tries to gain insights into this remarkable, enigmatic man from those who knew him. The story then moves backward to the First World War, where Lawrence is a misfit British Army lieutenant, notable for his insolence and education. Over the objections of General Murray, Mr. Dryden of the Arab Bureau sends him to assess the prospects of Prince Faisal in his revolt against the Turks, on the journey, his Bedouin guide is killed by Sherif Ali for drinking from his well without permission. Lawrence later meets Colonel Brighton, who orders him to quiet, make his assessment. Lawrence ignores Brightons orders when he meets Faisal and his outspokenness piques the princes interest. The town is strongly fortified against an assault but only lightly defended on the landward side. He convinces Faisal to provide fifty men, led by a sceptical Sherif Ali, teenage orphans Daud and Farraj attach themselves to Lawrence as servants. They cross the Nefud Desert, considered even by the Bedouins, travelling day. One of Alis men, Gasim, succumbs to fatigue and falls off his camel unnoticed during the night, when Lawrence discovers him missing, he turns back and rescues Gasim—and Sherif Ali is won over. He gives Lawrence Arab robes to wear, Lawrence persuades Auda abu Tayi, the leader of the powerful local Howeitat tribe, to turn against the Turks. Lawrences scheme is almost derailed when one of Alis men kills one of Audas because of a blood feud, Howeitat retaliation would shatter the fragile alliance, so Lawrence declares that he will execute the murderer himself. He is then stunned to discover that the culprit is Gasim, the man whom he risked his own life to save in the desert
4. Gypsy (1962 film) – Gypsy is a 1962 musical comedy-drama film produced and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. The screenplay by Leonard Spigelgass is based on the book of the 1959 stage musical Gypsy, A Musical Fable by Arthur Laurents, stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics for songs composed by Jule Styne. The film was remade for television in 1993, determined to make her young, blonde, and beautiful daughter June a vaudeville headliner, willful, resourceful, domineering stage mother Rose Hovick will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. Years pass, and the no longer are young enough to pull off the childlike personae their mother insists they continue to project. June rebels and elopes with Jerry, one of the dancers who backs the act, devastated by what she considers an act of betrayal, Rose pours all her energies into making a success of Louise, despite the young womans obvious lack of singing and dancing skills. Not helping matters is the popularity of sound films, which leads to a decline in the demand for stage entertainment. With bookings scarce, mother and daughter find themselves in Wichita, Kansas, when one of the strippers is arrested for shoplifting, Louise unwillingly becomes her replacement. At first her voice is shaky and her moves tentative at best and she blossoms as an entertainer billed as Gypsy Rose Lee, and eventually reaches a point where she tires of her mothers constant interference in both her life and wildly successful career. Louise confronts Rose and demands she leave her alone, in the DVD release of the film, both numbers – taken from a 16-millimeter print of inferior quality – are included as bonus features. Coincidentally, Russell had just starred in the version of the Leonard Spigelgass play A Majority of One at Warner Bros. Although Russell had starred and sung in the 1953 stage musical Wonderful Town and the 1955 film The Girl Rush and her own gravelly singing voice was artfully blended with that of contralto Lisa Kirk. Kirks ability to mimic Russells voice is showcased in the final number Roses Turn, kirks full vocal version was released on the original soundtrack, although it is not the version used in the finished film. In later years, Russells original tryout vocals were rediscovered on scratchy acetate discs, marni Nixon had dubbed Natalie Woods singing voice in West Side Story the previous year, but Wood did her own singing in Gypsy. While Wood recorded a version of Little Lamb for the soundtrack album. Other songs performed live were Mr. Goldstone, I Love You, Arthur Laurents book West Side Story, though largely craftsmanlike, falls short of his libretto for Gypsy, based on the memoirs of the transatlantic stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. The dialogue and situations in Gypsy have more wit, bite and emotional range, variety noted, There is a wonderfully funny sequence involving three nails-hard strippers which comes when Gypsy has been unreeling about an hour. Rosalind Russells performance as the smalltime brood-hen deserves commendation, go through the motions in a burlesque world that is prettied up in soft-focus and a kind of phony innocence. Any resemblance of the art of strip, and its setting, to reality is, in this film, produced on a budget of $4 million, the film grossed $11,076,923 at the box office, earning $6 million in US theatrical rentals
5. Sunrise at Campobello – Sunrise at Campobello is a 1960 Warner Bros. Based on Dore Scharys Tony Award-winning Broadway play of the same name, the film was produced with the cooperation of the Roosevelt family. Eleanor Roosevelt was present on the set during shooting at the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park. The film begins at the Roosevelt familys summer home on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, Franklin D. Roosevelt is depicted in early scenes as vigorously athletic, enjoying games with his children and sailing his boat. He is suddenly stricken with fever and then paralysis, subsequent scenes focus on the ensuing conflict in the following weeks between the bedridden FDR, his wife Eleanor, his mother Sara, and his close political adviser Louis Howe over FDRs future. A later scene portrays FDR literally dragging himself up the stairs as, through grit and determination, he strives to overcome his physical limitations. Sunrise at Campobello presents events that took place four years, from August 1921 to July 1924. Before and during Franklin D. Roosevelts presidency, the extent of his disability was minimized, sunrise at Campobello depicts the debilitating effects of FDRs paralytic illness to a greater extent than had been previously disclosed by the media. FDRs attending physician, Dr. William Keen, believed it was polio and you have been a rare wife and have borne your heavy burden most bravely, he said, proclaiming her one of my heroines. Greer Garson won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama, the film was also entered into the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival
6. Che! (1969 film) – Che. is a 1969 American biographical drama film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Omar Sharif as Marxist revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. The film tells of Che Guevara, a young Argentine doctor who proves his mettle during the Cuban guerilla war in the late 1950s and he gains the respect of his men and becomes the leader of a patrol. Fidel Castro is impressed by Guevaras tactics and discipline and makes him his chief advisor, when Castro defeats Cuban dictator Batista after two years of fighting, Guevara directs a series of massive reprisals, yet, Guevara dreams of fomenting a worldwide revolution. After Castro backs down during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Guevara accuses Castro of being a Soviet tool and decides to leave Cuba. Guevara lands in Bolivia, where he attempts to begin his dream of a peasant revolution. Each group is afraid were going to favor the other, the picture will be a character study, and I will only say that it is neither pro nor anti Guevera. The printing of his diary caused only minor changes to the picture, I consider our sources for information impeccable and I cannot tell you who they are. We are doing purely the story Che, the person, not the movement and we want to show what happened with the people who touched his life. Filming started in October in Puerto Rico, the island was chosen because South America was considered too politically unstable. The film received negative reviews at the time of its release. Che. was listed in the 1978 book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time. The 1977 Book of Lists labeled it a cardboard, pseudo-historical drama and noted that Poor Sharif is forced to deliver lines such as The peasant is like a flower, neither can survive or propagate without the other. Film critic Roger Ebert panned the film and the motivations for producing the drama, writing, From the beginning, hollywood was making a movie about Che Guevara. Probably because somebody smelled easy money, having been inspired by the figures on Che posters. The film score was composed, arranged and conducted by Lalo Schifrin, Che. at the Internet Movie Database Che. trailer at Amazon
7. Cleopatra (1963 film) – Cleopatra is a 1963 American epic historical drama film chronicling the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome. It was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and shot in the 70 mm Todd-AO format, with a screenplay adapted by Mankiewicz, Ranald MacDougall, the film stars Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Roddy McDowall, and Martin Landau. It was the most expensive ever made up to that point. Cleopatra later won four Academy Awards, and was nominated for five more, Caesar follows him to Egypt, under the pretext of being named the executor of the will of their father, Ptolemy XII. Much to his dismay, Caesar is given Pompeys head as a gift, as Caesar stays in one of the palaces, a slave named Apollodorus brings him a gift. When the suspicious Caesar unrolls the rug, he finds Cleopatra herself concealed within and he is intrigued with her beauty and warm personality, and she convinces him to restore her throne from her younger brother. Soon after, Cleopatra warns Caesar that her brother has surrounded the palace with his soldiers, counterattacking, he orders the Egyptian fleet burned so he can gain control of the harbor. The fire spreads to the city, destroying the famous Library of Alexandria, Cleopatra angrily confronts Caesar, but he refuses to pull troops away from the fight with Ptolemys forces to quell the fire. In the middle of their spat, Caesar forcefully kisses her, the Romans hold, and the armies of Mithridates arrive on Egyptian soil, causing Ptolemys offensive to collapse. The following day, Caesar is in control of the kingdom. Cleopatra is crowned Queen of Egypt and she begins to develop megalomaniacal dreams of ruling the world with Caesar, who in turn desires to become king of Rome. They marry, and when their son Caesarion is born, Caesar accepts him publicly, which becomes the talk of Rome, after he is made dictator for life, Caesar sends for Cleopatra. She arrives in Rome in a procession and wins the adulation of the Roman people. The Senate grows increasingly discontented amid rumors that Caesar wishes to be made king, on the Ides of March in 44 BC, the Senate is preparing to vote on whether to award Caesar additional powers. They assassinate Caesar and split up the empire, Lepidus receives Africa, Octavian Spain and Gaul, however, the rivalry between Octavian and Antony is becoming apparent. Cleopatra is angered after Caesars will recognizes his adopted son Octavian instead of Caesarion as his official heir, while planning a campaign against Parthia in the east, Antony realizes he needs money and supplies, and cannot get enough from anywhere but Egypt. After refusing several times to leave Egypt, Cleopatra gives in, Antony becomes drunk during a lavish feast. Cleopatra sneaks away, leaving a slave dressed as her, but Antony discovers the trick, the war is decided at the naval Battle of Actium on September 2,31 BC where Octavians fleet, under the command of Agrippa, defeats the Antony-Egyptian fleet
8. The Agony and the Ecstasy (film) – The Agony and the Ecstasy is a 1965 American film directed by Carol Reed, starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II. The film was based on Irving Stones biographical novel of the same name. This film deals with the conflicts of Michelangelo and Pope Julius II during the painting of the Sistine Chapels ceiling and it also features a soundtrack co-written by prolific composers Alex North and Jerry Goldsmith. The film was shot in Todd-AO and Cinemascope versions, the Todd-AO version was used for the DVD release because of its superior picture quality. Michelangelo Buonarroti is a sculptor of the Republic of Florence in the early 16th century. When Pope Julius II commissions him to paint the Sistine Chapel, nonetheless, he is forced into taking the job. During the initial attempt, Michelangelo is discontent with the results and he flees to Carrara and then into the mountains, where he finds inspiration from nature. Michelangelo returns and is allowed to paint the vault in a variety of newly designed biblical scenes. The work proceeds nonstop, even with mass in session, as months turn to years, Michelangelos work is threatened when he collapses due to fatigue. He is nursed back to health by Contessina de Medici, daughter of his old friend Lorenzo de Medici, after recovering, Michelangelo returns to work after learning he is at risk of being replaced by Raphael. Meanwhile, the Papal States are threatened during the War of the League of Cambrai, preparing for battle and having reached the limits of his patience, the Pope terminates Michelangelos contract. Raphael, impressed with the work in progress, asks Michelangelo to show humility, when the injured and weakened Pope returns, Michelangelo pleads for him to restore the patronage. Though the Pope believes an invasion of Rome is inevitable, he raises the money needed to work on the ceiling. One night, Michelangelo finds the ailing Pope inspecting the portrait of God in The Creation of Adam and he then collapses and becomes bedridden. Though everyone assumes that the Pope will die, Michelangelo goads him into having the will to live, the tide of war turns in favor of the Papal States, as allies pledge to assist the Pope. A mass is held in which the congregation is shown the completed ceiling, after the ceremony, Michelangelo asks to begin carving the Popes tomb. Realizing he has a time to live, the Pope agrees. Together, the men admire the masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel, philip Dunne wrote the screenplay for the film in 1959, around the time the original book by Irving Stone was published
9. Alfred the Great (film) – Alfred the Great is a 1969 epic film which portrays Alfred the Greats struggle to defend the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex from a Danish Viking invasion in the 9th Century. David Hemmings starred in the title role, when the Vikings invade England, Alfred is about to take his priesthood vows. However, his brother, King Æthelred of Wessex, summons him to his aid and Alfred leaves for battle, Æthelred dies shortly after Alfred marries the Mercian princess Aelhswith. Torn between following intellect or passion, Alfred at first refuses to succeed Æthelred and consummate his marriage, realising the weak position of Wessex, Alfred goes into negotiations with Guthrum, leader of the Vikings. Aelhswith on the other hand agrees to become Guthrums hostage and they start to develop feelings for each other, Alfred has difficulty acting like a king, calling for obedience and egalitarianism in the Medieval society of three estates, which the fighting nobility does not appreciate. The cleric Asser warns him that he is too proud and later, the latter is forced to retreat to the fens of Somerset. Rogers bandits, who take Alfred in, are loyal to Alfred than his noblemen. The nobles however, drop their plans and support Alfred in the climactic Battle of Athelney. Roger sees that Alfred will need help and in the midst of battle, he arrives with monks, old men and peasant women, armed with clubs, Alfred defeats Guthrum, knocking him out, but decides to spare his life and forgives Aelhswith. Smith said he wanted a director who had never done a historical and that way I knew we could minimise cliches and the possibility of someone simply repeating, imitating what went before. Clive Donner, then best known for Whats New Pussycat. was hired, Donner said he wanted to make the film because of the inherent youth problem which is so close to our so-called youth revolt, turning the destructiveness of youth into constructiveness. Like so many today, he advocated peace, but at the same time proclaimed violence in order to redo the world. The film was shot in County Galway, Ireland, including such as Castlehackett in Tuam, Kilchreest, Ross Lake. Many resources went into replicating the ninth century, turning parts of County Galway into Wessex and this included a 200-foot-long hill figure of a white horse near Knockma. Members of the Irish military served as extras during the scenes filmed in Counties Galway. Mary J. Murphy discussed the production and reasons for its flopping in the 2008 book, Viking Summer. List of historical drama films Alfred the Great at the Internet Movie Database Alfred the Great at AllMovie Alfred the Great at TCMDB
10. Anne of the Thousand Days – Anne of the Thousand Days is a 1969 British costume drama made by Hal Wallis Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Charles Jarrott and produced by Hal B, the film tells the story of Anne Boleyn. The film stars Richard Burton as King Henry VIII and Geneviève Bujold as Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth Taylor makes a brief, uncredited appearance. Irene Papas plays Catherine of Aragon, Geneviève Bujolds portrayal of Anne, her first in an English-speaking film, was, however, very highly praised, even by Time magazine, which otherwise skewered the movie. The play Anne of the Thousand Days, the basis, was first enacted on Broadway in the Shubert Theatre on 8 December 1948. Potter, with Rex Harrison and Joyce Redman as Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn respectively, running 288 performances, Harrison won a Tony Award for his performance. Cinematically, Anne of the Thousand Days took twenty years to reach the screen because its themes – adultery, illegitimacy, the film was made on such locations as Penshurst Place and Hever Castle, and at Pinewood and Shepperton Studios. Hever Castle was one of the settings for the film. The stunning formal Tudor gardens provided the setting for the film. Starting in 1527, Henry has a problem, he reveals his dissatisfaction with his wife and he is currently enjoying a discreet affair with Mary Boleyn, a daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn who is one of his courtiers, but the King is bored with her too. At a court ball, he notices Marys 18-year-old sister Anne and she is engaged to the son of the Earl of Northumberland and they have received their parents permission to marry. The King, however, is enraptured with Annes beauty and orders his Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, when news of this decision is carried to Anne, she reacts furiously. She blames the Cardinal and the King for ruining her happiness, when Henry makes a rather clumsy attempt to seduce her, Anne bluntly informs him how she finds him, Ive heard what your courtiers say and Ive seen what you are. Youre spoiled and vengeful and bloody and your poetry is sour and your music is worse. You make love as you eat with a deal of noise. Henry brings her back to Court with him, whilst she continues to resist his advances out of a mixture of repugnance for Henry, however, she becomes intoxicated with the power that the Kings love gives her. Power is as exciting as love, she tells her brother George Boleyn, using this power, she continually undermines Cardinal Wolsey, who at first sees Anne as just a passing love interest for the King. When Henry again presses Anne to become his mistress, she repeats that she never give birth to a child who is illegitimate
11. Becket (1964 film) – Becket is a 1964 Anglo-American dramatic film adaptation of the play Becket or the Honour of God by Jean Anouilh made by Hal Wallis Productions and released by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Peter Glenville and produced by Hal B, Wallis with Joseph H. Hazen as executive producer. The screenplay was written by Edward Anhalt based on Anouilhs play, the music score was by Laurence Rosenthal, the cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth and the editing by Anne V. Coates. Restored prints of Becket were re-released in 30 cinemas in the US in early 2007, the film was released on DVD by MPI Home Video in May 2007 and on Blu-ray Disc in November 2008. The new film prints carry a Dolby Digital soundtrack, although the soundtrack of the original film, Becket won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and was nominated for eleven other awards, including for Best Picture, Best Director and twice for Best Actor. The original French play on which the film is based was given its first performance in Paris in 1959. It opened on Broadway with Laurence Olivier as Becket and Anthony Quinn as King Henry II in a directed by Peter Glenville. The play opened in London in a production by Peter Hall with Eric Porter and Christopher Plummer, OToole was originally signed to play Henry II in the production, but broke the contract before rehearsals began to take the lead in David Leans film of Lawrence of Arabia. The film was made at Shepperton Studios, England and on location at Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Peter OToole went on to play King Henry II once more in The Lion in Winter with Katharine Hepburn as Queen Eleanor. Siân Phillips, who plays Gwendolen, was Peter OTooles wife at the time of filming, during the late 12th century, about 100 years after the Norman conquest, the Normans have removed the native ruling class, replacing it with a new monarchy, aristocracy and clerical hierarchy. Thomas Becket is a Saxon protégé and facilitator to the carousing King Henry, Henry appoints Becket Lord Chancellor to have a close confidant in this position whom he can completely control. Instead, Becket becomes a thorn in his side in a jurisdictional dispute. Henry finds his duties as king and his arranged marriage to be oppressive. Henry is more interested in escaping his duties through drunken forays onto the hunting grounds and he is increasingly dependent on Becket, a Saxon commoner, who arranges these debaucheries when he is not busy running Henrys court. Henry finds himself in conflict with the elderly Archbishop of Canterbury. During one of his campaigns in coastal France, he receives word that the old archbishop has gone to Gods bosom, in a burst of inspiration, Henry exercises his prerogative to pick the next Archbishop and informs an astonished Becket that he is the royal choice. Shortly thereafter, Becket sides with the Church, throwing Henry into a fury, gilbert then refused to acknowledge his transgressions and seek absolution. The King has a secret meeting with the Bishop of London in his cathedral