Saturday, 19 July 2014

Old favourite

Finding this terrible heat and humidity too much to do anything useful I have just sat through the whole of one of my favourite films.

The wonderful "Beckett", made in 1964 and starring Richard Burton in the title role with Peter O'Toole as the weak, petulant but ultimately vicious Henry 11.

Back in the day I was under the spell of the Burton voice and added to that the beautiful blue eyes of O'toole, which had it not been an excellent film with 1st rate acting would still have coaxed the price of a good seat from my shabby purse.

The original un-edited film lasted for about three hours, today's trunkated for tv version was still a hefty 2hours and 20 minutes.

How faithful the dialogue is to the Anouilh play I don't know, but the witty barbed comments of the two lead characters illustrate beautifully just how intelligent Beckett was and how devious Henry.

Not historically faithful it is still an intriguing picture of these two Titans of Norman England.

Despite the occasional whiff of 1960's England the film stands the test of time well and for anyone who missed it, well worth the cost of a DVD. (I'm sure there must be  one)

If this oppressive weather ever relents i shall return to sanity (and a shed-load of work)

Retreats back under stone.


  1. I am gazing mindlessly at the golf . . . . in the evenings it is a boxed set of NCIS - long may the summer last!
    Freda from Dalamory

  2. Each to their own form of visual placebo Freda.
    Summer is great. It's just the horrible heat and humidity which seems to be an inevitable part of it that I find so wearing.
    We actually did our choir stint this morning in mufti, too hot for robes.

  3. Everyone seems to be wilting from the heat but here high on the cliff there is always a breeze....often a gale. My boxed set habit has now taken me to House. I'll get off medical drama one day.....

  4. Unfortunately Aylesbury is right in the middle of the country (well, the South part of it anyway), and somehow the heat seems to hang without benefit of breeze.
    Have just done ten minutes pulling up about 1000th of my weeds and have come in soaked smelly and completely horrible.
    Sometimes I'm glad there's no-one else around.
    As far as medical dramas go I'm still addicted to Holby but am losing interest in Casualty (after about 20 years). so, long live medical dramas I say.

  5. The heat and humidity are very hard work this summer, Ray, so I'm glad you found such a good distraction. It's a long time since I saw Becket, but I have a feeling it stuck pretty closely to the Anouilh dialogue.

    Talking of robes and heat, I know plenty of clergy who wore shorts under their cassocks in hot weather. I never went as far as that but I can remember one scorching day in 2003 when I officiated at a wedding in full clobber and had to change every stitch I was wearing in the vestry afterwards before going on to the reception!

  6. Some day someone (qualified to do so) should write a book on "Clothes wot I wore under me priestly robes". I've heard so many stories!
    To add to my misery swimming in pools of my own making, I sat through a training course yesterday am in a tiny room with no windows, just two fans to redistribute the hot stale air around a dozen of us.
    Tonight is choir rehearsal night so more of the same airless stuff, but in a bigger (much bigger) space.
    Roll on September.