When Henry II appoints Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury, he hopes to lessen Church interference, but soon the friends come into conflict.
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# Veni, Sancte Spiritus
# Et emitte coelitus
# Lucis tuae radium
# Consolator optime
# Dulcis hospes animae
# Dulce refrigerium... #
# ..Adoremus in aeternum
# Sanctissimum Sacramentum
# Alleluia. #
MONKS CHANT DIES IRAE
# ..Tuba mirum spargens sonum
# Per sepulchra regionum
# Coget omnes ante thronum
# Mors stupebit et natura
# Cum resurget creatura... #
Well, Thomas Becket.
Are you satisfied?
Here I am, stripped, kneeling at your tomb,
while those treacherous Saxon monks of yours are getting ready to thrash me.
Me, with my delicate skin.
I bet you'd never have done the same for me.
But I suppose I have to do this penance to make my peace with you.
What a strange end to our story.
How cold it was when we last met on the shores of France.
Funny, it's nearly always been cold,
except at the beginning, when we were friends.
We did have a few...
fine summer evenings with the girls.
Did you love Gwendolen, Archbishop?
Did you hate me the night I took her from you,
shouting, "I am the King!"?
Perhaps that's what you could never forgive me for.
Look at them lurking there, gloating.
I'm ashamed of this whole silly masquerade.
All right, so I've come here to make my peace with their Saxon hero
because I need them now, those Saxon peasants of yours.
Now I will call them my sons, as you wanted me to.
You taught me that, too.
You taught me everything.
Those were the happy times,
do you remember?
At the peep of dawn
and as usual we'd been drinking and wenching in the town.
You were even better at that than I was.
MAN AND WOMAN LAUGH
Huh? Shh! Listen. Uh? Upstairs.
She's up to sommat.
Well, go on up.
WOMAN LAUGHS Ssh!
Agh! Help! Help!
Get off, man! Get on up there!
Quick! Out through the window.
Oh! Ah! Ooh!
Come on, come on.
If I lay me hands on the dirty slut! Where is he?
The swine! ..Don't you dare!
Go on, get in there!
Get the boot, man!
Rub harder, pig,
Oh, no-one does it the way you do, Thomas. Thank you.
I think you actually like the cold.
I made you a nobleman - why do you play at being my valet?
I'm your servant, in the council chamber or here in the bath.
My Norman barons resent it. They feel it's your Saxon way of mocking their nobility.
Nobility lies in the man, my Prince, not in the towel.
Have you any idea how much trouble I took to make you a noble?
I think so. I recall you pointed a finger and said, Thomas Becket, you are noble.
The Queen and your mother became very agitated.
They're always agitated.
No, I'm in trouble from the barons. They hate you, you know.
Of course. One always hates what one wrongs.
When you Normans invaded England, you seized our Saxon land, burned our Saxon homes,
raped our Saxon sisters.
Naturally, you hate Saxons.
Don't include me.
It was my great-grandfather, William, who was called the Conqueror.
I'm an old resident.
I did not mean you. Didn't you?
When I took you into my service, everyone predicted you would put a knife in my back.
And did you believe them?
No. I showed them that you were a man of honour
and a collaborator. That was accurate of you.
How do you combine the two? My Lord?
Honour and collaboration.
I don't try. I love good living and good living is Norman.
I love life and the Saxon's only birthright is to be slaughtered.
One collaborates to live.
And honour? Honour is a concern of the living.
One can't very well be concerned about it once one's dead.
You're too clever for me, Thomas.
I know there's something not quite right about your reasoning.
Honour is a private matter within.
It's an idea and every man has his own version of it.
How gracefully you tell your King to mind his own business.
Time for the Council meeting, my Lord.
Will my Lord dine with me tonight?
On gold plates? Always.
I am your King and I eat off silver.
Your expenses are heavy. I've only my pleasure to pay for.
Tonight you can do me the honour of christening my forks. Forks?
Yes, from Florence. New invention. It's for pronging meat and carrying it to the mouth.
It saves dirtying your fingers. But then you dirty the fork. But it's washable.
So are your fingers. I don't see the point. It hasn't any, practically speaking, but it's refined, subtle,
very un-Norman. You must order me some...
..for my barons.
I have enough forks to go round. Bring the gentlemen with you tonight.
I shall. We won't tell them what they're for.
They'll probably think they're a new kind of dagger.
All right, gentlemen, the Council is opened.
Gentlemen, I've called you here to find out
why a simple request for taxes causes such un-priestly caterwauling.
We must come to an understanding about who rules this kingdom -
the Church... My Lord, I wish to ask...
Just a moment, Archbishop.
..the Church or me.
There are many troublesome issues between us which call for a reckoning.
Amongst other abuses is the claim you make of judging your clergy
accused of civil crimes in your own ecclesiastical courts.
I warn you,
there can be only one justice in this country and that is the King's.
But before we quarrel, here is some happy news.
I have decided to revive the office of Chancellor of England, Keeper of the Lion's Seal,
and entrust it to our loyal servant, Thomas Becket.
Yes, my little Saxon?
My Lord. Well, for once I've taken you by surprise.
My Lord, this is a stupendous honour for which I may not be worthy.
I'm inexperienced in these matters and frivolous by nature.
Rubbish! You know more than all of us put together.
He's read books, you know, it's amazing.
He's drunk and wenched his way through London, but he's thinking all the time, aren't you, Thomas?
He'll checkmate the lot of you. Even you, Archbishop.
I never did anything without your advice.
No-one knew it. Now everyone will, that's all.
There, that's the Great Seal of England.
Don't lose it.
Without the Seal, there's no more England, then we'll all have to pack up and go back to Normandy.
May I crave leave to greet our young and learned friend?
For I noticed him when he was first made archdeacon.
Thank you, Archbishop.
But don't rely too much on Becket to play your game. He's my man.
I'd forgotten you were an archdeacon, Thomas.
So had I, my Prince.
Now, to business.
The law demands that every landowner sends soldiers to give me service, or pay a tax in silver. Is that correct?
I have heard so, my Lord.
We are about to cross the Channel to force Louis of France to return the Norman towns he has taken from us.
I have received neither soldiers nor silver from you gentlemen for this war.
Surely one must distinguish between the individual landowner and God's Church?
The law doesn't distinguish. But this has never been spoken of before. I've never been this poor before.
No, I've made up my mind and I'm passing round the plate.
Just drop in the money.
Oh, my backside's sore. Is that all?
Count your blessings, sire. KING BELCHES
Don't know about you, Thomas, but I'm starving.
Have them bring us something to eat.
A layman who shirks his duty and fails to supply his King with arms
should pay the tax, nobody will question that.
Least of all the clergy.
On the other hand, a priest's duty is to assist his King with his prayers for godliness and peace.
He cannot maintain men at arms without violating the very essence of that sacred function.
Therefore he cannot be held liable for the tax.
Your priests fought well enough in the days of the conquest, when there was booty to be had -
sword in fist, rumps in the saddle, "Death to the Saxon scum! It's God's will, it's God's will!"
Those violent days are over. The priest is back in his sanctuary. It is peacetime now.
But not for long.
Pay up! I don't intend to budge. Come on, Chancellor, say something. Has your new title made you tongue-tied?
May I respectfully draw to my Lord Archbishop's attention one small point?
Respectfully but firmly. You're Chancellor now.
England is a ship. The King is the captain of the ship.
That's neat, I like that. My Lord Chancellor,
in point of fact, there is also a saying,
"The captain is sole master after God."
Nobody's questioning God's authority, Archbishop.
God protects the ship by inspiring the captain,
but he does not set the wages of the crew nor instruct the paymaster in his duties.
God has more important business.
Our young deacon's ambition has carried him away from the Church,
but he cannot have forgotten that what is important is to reveal to man only through his Church
in the person of our Holy Father in Rome, his bishops and his priests.
Or does the Chancellor think otherwise?
True, there is a priest on board every ship. He gives God's blessings.
But neither God nor the Church ask him to take the wheel from the helmsman.
My Lord the Bishop of London, who I understand is the son of a sailor, surely cannot have forgotten that?
I will not allow personal insinuation to compromise the integrity and honour of the Church.
Please, Bishop, no long words. All that's at stake here is its money.
I need money to fight the French. Will the Church give it to me? Yes or no?
My Lord, your illustrious ancestor
William the Conqueror granted these tax exemptions to the Church.
May he rest in peace. Where he is now he doesn't need money.
I'm still on Earth and I do!
This is not primarily a question of money, Your Highness.
This is a question of principle.
I need troops, Bishop!
I sent for 3,000 Swiss to help me fight the King of France
and no-one has ever paid the Swiss with principles.
My Lord Chancellor!
It is pointless to continue this discussion.
The law has given us the means of coercion. We will use it.
You owe everything to Holy Mother Church! Would you dare plunge a dagger into her bosom?
My Lord and King, who rules by the grace of God,
has given me his Seal with the three lions to protect.
My mother is England now.
My reverent friend, I strongly suggest
that you respect my Chancellor, or else I will call my guards.
Ah, here they are now.
It's only my snack.
Now, gentlemen, if you will excuse me,
at this hour in the morning I need sustenance, or else I tend to feel weak,
and a King must never weaken,
I am sure you will agree.
I'll have it in my chapel,
then I can pray directly afterwards.
Come on, Thomas, keep me company.
He means it's time for the hunt.
Not until we have eaten, my dear Bishop.
Race? Right! Ha!
The King's hunt! Eh? Oh!
Inside, quick! Oh!
Let's get under cover before we're drowned.
We've lost the barons.
Oh, they'll find us. Here, hold this.
Oh, I'm cold, my pretty. Go on, sit on there, there's a good girl. Go on, get on there!
I'm freezing. Get the fire going.
There'll be no wood in this house. In the middle of the forest?
These people are entitled to two measures of dead wood a year. One branch more and they hang.
My edict? Your edict.
Come here, old man. We need firewood. Don't be afraid.
Thomas, come here! Look at this.
She stinks a bit, but we could wash her.
What would you think of it, cleaned up a little?
She's a child. What will it be like when it's a woman?
How old would you say it was? 16? 17?
She can speak, my Lord. How old are you? Eh?
Course it can speak. How old's your daughter, dog?
Odd the number of dumb people I meet when I set foot out of my palace. I rule over a kingdom of mutes.
They're afraid. Quite right, too.
Don't stand there, put the wood on the fire.
Look at it.
The odd thing is, it's so ugly that it makes such pretty daughters.
You're a member of the family - explain that.
Well, 20 before he lost his teeth and took on that ageless look that common people have.
He may have been handsome and had one night of love - one moment when he was a king and shed his fear.
Afterwards, his pauper's life went on eternally the same.
The moment faded
and he forgot it all.
But the seed was sown.
Will she grow ugly too?
If we made her a whore and kept her at the palace, would she stay pretty?
Perhaps. Then we'd be doing her a service, wouldn't we?
No doubt. Oh...!
Look at it! It understands every word.
Stop staring at me, dog!
Get me something to drink.
I have some drink in my saddle.
What's the matter, Thomas? Nothing.
I'm getting you a drink.
Thank you, Thomas.
Our escort. Want some? Ah... What's the matter?
You hurt? It's nothing.
Now, you know you can't stand the sight of blood.
My horse bit me.
That's too funny.
My Lord here makes us all look silly at the jousts with his fancy horsemanship,
he goes to his saddlebags and gets bitten like a groom.
You look quite shaken, little Saxon.
Funny, I can't bear to think of you in pain.
All this just to get me a drink. Wounded in the service of the King.
This deserves a gift. What would you like?
I fancy her.
That's very tiresome of you. I fancy her myself
and where that subject's concerned, friendship goes by the board.
All right, she's yours.
Thank you, my Prince.
But you will return the favour equally one day.
At your pleasure.
Equally, favour for favour.
You give me your word as a gentleman?
Right, she's yours.
Shall we take her with us or shall we have her sent?
No, no, no, the soldiers can bring her.
WINDING OF HORN AND BAYING OF DOGS
Wash your daughter, dog, and kill her fleas.
She's coming to the palace with my Lordship here. He's a Saxon too, so I hope you'll be pleased.
Give him money, Thomas, I'm feeling generous this morning.
Don't worry about your daughter. Nobody will come to take her away.
I'll see to that. And tell your son he should stay hidden in the forest until he can handle a knife better.
Bring us some wine!
Forgive me, not for fighting, my dear Baron - for eating.
SHE SINGS IN WELSH
Go on, it's lovely.
DISTANT RACKET FROM HALL
You seem to spend a great deal of time in their company.
Oh, I can forget about it when I come to you.
I'm happy that I can relieve you.
Now, don't tease me tonight, Gwendolen. I'm off to France again tomorrow and war.
I am my Lord's captive, whatever his purpose and whatever his mood.
I hope so. It is God's will, since he gave the Normans victory over my people.
And that's the only reason you're here?
If the Welsh had won the war, I would have married a man of my own race at my father's castle.
God did not will it so.
I'm sorry I was so late coming to you, but the King is demanding and the barons have to be kept at bay.
You are my Lord, God or no God.
If we had won the war, you could just as easily have taken me from my father's castle.
I would have come with you.
For you had taken my heart before you captured my body.
Have I said something wrong?
Somehow I can never support the idea of being loved. I told you that.
MAN APPROACHES, HUMMING
It helps the digestion.
SHE SINGS IN WELSH
Ah, sweet and melancholy.
Sit, Thomas, witness one of my finer moments.
I behave like a brute, but I'm as soft as swansdown inside.
You know, Thomas, sometimes I think that you and I
are the only civilised men in England.
I eat with a fork
and you've made me into a man of the most delicate sensibilities.
Now, if you really loved me,
you should find me a beautiful, well-bred girl
to give me a little polish.
"Favour for favour". Do you remember?
I am your servant, my Lord.
All that I have is yours,
but you were also gracious enough to say
I am your friend.
Yes, that's what I mean, as one friend to another.
You do care for her, then?
You do care about something?
Or do you?
Go on, tell me,
tell me if you care for her or not.
I said favour for favour
and I asked for your word.
gave it to you.
Right, well, that's settled, then.
May I have a moment's grace?
After all, I'm not a savage.
Did you promise me to him? No.
I promised him anything he asked for.
I never thought it would be you.
If he sends me away tomorrow, will you take me back?
I leave you this. You've almost learned to play it.
You've not found anything in the whole world to care for, have you?
No. We both belong to a conquered race,
but you've forgotten that people robbed of everything can still have one thing left to call their own.
Yes. Where honour should be,
in me there is only a void.
I loved you,
SINGLE LOW NOTE
How careless you are, Thomas. You had forgotten her.
But you told me that you fancied her
and I remembered.
You see, I really am your friend and you're wrong not to love me.
Good night, sire.
Shall I undress, my Lord?
Shall I undress?
She's killed herself.
Help me, Thomas!
I'm the King!
Get rid of her.
I'm sleeping here tonight.
Give this girl a silver piece and let her go.
He won't hurt you.
I don't want to be alone tonight.
I'm here, my Prince.
You'll hate me now.
I'll never be able to trust you.
You have nothing to fear.
You gave me your Seal and while I wear it,
my duty is to my King.
But I'll never know what you're thinking. You see?
We cross the Channel tomorrow.
When we face the French on the field of battle, there will be simple answers to everything.
So long as Becket must improvise his honour from day to day...
..he will serve you faithfully.
But what if one day he should meet his honour in truth...
..face to face?
But where is Becket's honour?
An early good morning to you, gentlemen.
I have just ridden from the town.
I have arranged for its capitulation.
Will there be loot? No, I want these people to collaborate with good grace.
The French Bishop will deliver the keys of the city to the King at 8am in the cathedral.
No fighting? What are we here for?
To secure King Henry's possessions in France.
You have three more towns to recapture.
I'd rather sack the town and slaughter the lot.
Yes, and have a dead city.
No, I want to give the King living cities to increase his wealth.
From dawn this morning, I am the townspeople's dearest friend.
And what of England's pride?
England's pride, my dear Baron, is to succeed.
What a mentality!
Chancellor of England.
Who knows what he is?
He's a Saxon.
Leave us, Sergeant.
My Lord? Leave us.
What are you, a Saxon monk, doing in France? They'll kill you, you know.
I'm prepared to die. How old are you? 18.
Hmm, dying is easy at 18.
Your knife stinks of onions, like every proper little Saxon's knife.
You used to be a Saxon.
Now you belong to the Normans.
Ah, I see, a Saxon knife for a Saxon collaborator.
Did you think that by killing me you could liberate your race?
No, not my race, myself. From what?
The Normans have occupied England for 100 years, since Hastings.
Shame is an old vintage to the Saxon. Your father and grandfather drank it to the dregs.
The cup is empty now.
What's your name?
What is your name?
Well, Brother John, I'm going to save your life.
It has no importance for me, but it's very rare for fate to bring one
face to face with one's own ghost when young.
My Lord? Have this monk returned to England to the custody of the abbot of his monastery.
I want him treated without brutality, but carefully watched.
Yes, my Lord.
GARGLING My Lord?
Good morning, my Lord. Glug, glug!
I had a little too much last night.
It's their major contribution to civilisation. Uh-huh.
Here's another. GASP
I must say, I adore my French possessions. They're certainly worth recapturing.
What's your name, my pretty?
Marie. Very French.
French luxury is very luxurious.
And, for the moment, free. We take possession of the town this morning.
Yes, I heard.
You managed that very well, Thomas.
Well, personally, I shall miss the fighting.
Meanwhile, we have some business to discuss.
I've been studying the dispatches from England. You love work, don't you?
If you love anything.
I love doing what I have to do and doing it well.
You'd be as efficient against me as for me, wouldn't you?
If fate had arranged it that way.
So what in most people is morality, in you it's just an exercise in... What's the word?
Aesthetics. Yes, that's the word.
..look at that.
Isn't that aesthetic too?
Some people go into ecstasies over cathedrals but that's a work of art.
Look at it, round as an apple.
Business, my Lord.
All right, business. Sit down.
Listen carefully, Marie, to the droppings of the greatest brain of our day.
From all the information I've received from London, there are some unpleasant deductions to be made.
The power of the bishops is increasing like the plague. Soon it will rival your own. Talk sense!
Priests are always intriguing. I can crush them any time.
Do it now, or in five years there will be two Kings of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury and you.
In ten years there will be only one.
And it won't be me?
I fear not.
To horse, Thomas, to horse!
War on the clergy! Death to the Archbishop. My Lord! I can't breathe.
What are you doing down there?
Spying for the clergy? Be off with you.
Put on your clothes and go home.
My Lord, am I to come back to the camp tonight?
Yes! No! I don't know! I'm thinking of priests now, not you, go away!
Wait, you can never be sure of getting another one as good.
Yes, come back tonight.
You're adorable! MARIE GIGGLES
You must always tell them that, even when you pay.
That's high politics, too.
and it won't be me.
It won't be you.
What will God say if I attack his Church?
After all, they're his bishops.
We must manage the Church.
One can always come to a sensible little arrangement with God.
Becket, you're a monster.
You flatter me, my Lord. But please, my Lord, dress quickly.
It's inelegant for conquerors to be late.
You're a monster!
You see? They love us dearly, these French.
So they should, we paid them enough.
In that case, you should have found some that didn't dress out of a rag barrel. Look.
The rich are at home, sulking. Supporters of King Louis of France?
No, it just would have cost too much.
That's sounds real. Yes, we have soldiers disguised in the crowd to encourage enthusiasm.
Why must you destroy all my illusions? Because you should have none, my Prince.
What do you see? Reality.
The Bishop is waiting. As if it mattered what I do with a Bishop whose city I've just taken.
It matters. Am I the strongest or am I not?
You are today, but one must never drive one's enemy to despair - it makes him strong.
Gentleness is better politics. It saps virility.
A good occupational force must never crush, it must corrupt.
Make a note of the house. Oh, never mind!
My Lord, the Bishop.
Put your men at rest, Captain. Is this William of Corbeil?
Yes, sire. I hardly recognised you without a tankard covering your face.
How did they pry you away from it?
I had urgent messages from London for you, my Lord.
It seems that God is on our side after all, Thomas.
What is that, my Prince? He has just recalled the Archbishop of Canterbury to his bosom.
That frail old man.
He was the first Norman to take an interest in me.
God rest his soul.
He will, he will.
And he'll be much more use to God than he ever was to me.
An extraordinary idea's creeping into my mind...
a master stroke.
I'm suddenly very intelligent.
Probably comes from making love to that French girl last night.
I'm even profound.
Oh, I'm so profound it's making my head spin.
Are you listening to me, Thomas?
I'm listening, my Prince.
We need a new Archbishop of Canterbury.
I think there is a man we can rely on.
No matter who it is, once the Archbishop's mitre is on his head, he will no longer be on your side.
But if the Archbishop is my man, if Canterbury is for the King,
how could his power possibly get in my way?
My Lord, we know your bishops. Once enthroned at Canterbury, every one of them would grow dizzy with power.
Not this man.
This is someone who doesn't know what dizziness means.
Someone who isn't afraid of God.
I'm sorry to deprive you of the French girls and the other spoils of victory, but...
Are you listening to me, Thomas?
Hmm? You're leaving for England tonight.
On what mission, my Prince?
You are going to deliver a letter to all the bishops of England -
my royal edict nominating you, Thomas Becket, Primate of England...
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Thomas, I'm in deadly earnest.
don't do this.
You've an odd way of taking good news.
I should think you'd be triumphant.
But I...I'm not even a priest. You're a deacon.
You could be ordained priest and consecrated Archbishop the next day.
Have you considered what the Pope would say?
I'll pay his price.
..this frightens me.
I thought you had God in the palm of your hand, Thomas.
I beg of you,
do not do this.
You've never disappointed me, Thomas,
and you're the only man I can trust.
You leave for England tonight.
MEN CHANT: # Te Deum laudamus
# Te Dominum confitemur... #
Thank you for returning to us the keys of our city.
The die is cast, Thomas.
Make the most of it.
And if I know you, I am sure you will.
# ..Et universae potestates
# Sanctus... #
There you are. Thank you, my Lord.
Thank you, my Lord. You're welcome. It will keep you warm.
He'll only sell it for drink. Then THAT will keep him warm. Yes, Your Grace.
I'm not Your Grace, I will not be consecrated Archbishop until tomorrow. I'm sorry, Father.
That is temporarily correct. You don't really intend to give away your winter cloaks.
Everything. Has all the gold plate been sold? Yes, the money is in those purses.
Excellent. Bring me the rest of the money.
But Your Grace... I mean Father.
Welcome to Canterbury, my Lord Bishop.
Is anything wrong? May I ask what is happening here?
"Sell all that thou hast and give it to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven."
I doubt if the Lord Jesus meant that to apply to a Chancellor about to be consecrated Archbishop.
Perhaps then it's a touch of vanity. A truly saintly man, I know, would never do all this in one day.
Let us call it the clumsy gesture of a spiritual gatecrasher. Most clever.
An Archbishop who gives all so dramatically to the people will be most popular with them.
Oh, no, Folliot, I'm simply enjoying all this.
I'm beginning to believe he's not a sad God after all.
Forgive me, I fear my inexperienced methods will never meet with your approval.
I know that you cast the only vote against me.
In the end, I gave way to the King's wishes.
I don't blame you. As Bishop of London and senior churchman, you should have been Archbishop.
Now, to have to consecrate me and place the mitre on my head...
I have no choice. I'm only performing my function as Bishop.
I see you still wear the Seal of the King's Chancellor.
Yes. I will continue to wear it, that and the Archbishop's ring.
You do not find this inconsistent?
No. God is best served when the two rest side by side, in harmony.
These excessive acts of humility will not compensate for subservience to the Crown.
We are both aware of the delicacy of my position.
Let us trust that God
will find a solution for it.
And now, since humility seems to be a little hard on the knees...
I trust you will be comfortable under our roof, my Lord Bishop.
I wish there was something I really regretted parting with
so that I might offer it to you.
But forgive me, Lord,
it's like going on a holiday.
I've never enjoyed myself so much in my whole life.
Lord, are you sure you're not laughing at me?
It all seems...
far too easy.
# Magnificat anima mea Dominum
# Et exsultavit spiritus meus
# In Deo salutari meo
# Gloria Patri et Filio... #
It is a Bishop's duty to pass judgment,
to interpret, to consecrate,
to ordain, to offer sacrifice,
to baptise and to confirm.
# ..Et in saecula saeculorum, amen. #
Let us pray, beloved brethren,
that the goodness of Almighty God providing for the wellbeing of his Church
may bestow upon this Bishop elect
the abundance of his grace,
through Christ our Lord.
# Kyrie eleison
# Christe eleison
# Kyrie eleison... #
May these hands be anointed with hallowed oil,
with the chrism that sanctifies.
Even as Samuel anointed David, King and Prophet,
so may these hands be anointed and consecrated.
Take this ring, token of the pledged word.
Yours it is to guard with unshakeable fidelity,
to preserve and guard,
in unblemished honour,
# Veni, Creator Spiritus
# Mentes tuorum visita
# Imple superna... #
Lord, on the head of this Bishop and champion of thine,
I put the helmet of defence and salvation,
that with forehead thus adorned,
head armed with the horns of both Testaments,
he may appear fearsome to the enemies of truth.
# ..Surrexit, ac Paraclito
# In saeculorum saecula
# Amen. #
# Sit nomen Domini benedictum
# Sit nomen Domini benedictum
# Ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum
# Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini
# Qui regit coelum in aeternam
# Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus
# Et Filius
# Et Spiritus Sanctus
# Amen. #
# Sacerdos et pontifex
# Et virtutum opifex
# Pastor bone in populo
# Sic placuisti Domino
# Alleluia. #
His Grace will receive you here.
It isn't every day that a Saxon monk has an audience with an Archbishop. Open your eyes.
You'll kiss his ring and show respect for His Grace or you'll get my foot on your backside.
You're welcome to Canterbury.
Kneel to His Grace. I see our young brother is quite unchanged. Has he been troublesome to his abbot?
Stubborn as a mule, my Lord.
Brother Abbot tried kindness, but in the end had to have recourse to the whip.
Nothing has any effect. Except for a kick in the rump, if Your Grace will pardon the expression.
Stand up straight. Pay attention to your brother. As a rule, the sin of pride stiffens a man's back.
Look me in the face.
Well, what do you have to say for yourself?
Now, brothers, we relieve you for today from your rule of abstinence.
Go to our kitchen before you depart and I hope you do justice to our cuisine.
And this one?
We will keep him here with us.
He's vicious, Your Grace. We are not afraid.
Well, now, wouldn't you rather have a Saxon Archbishop than a Norman one?
I hope I won't regret sending for you.
Why did you?
I'm not sure.
Perhaps in a young, intemperate way, yours is a voice that is good for me to hear.
Then why...? But please, not too often and not too loud, Brother John.
You betrayed your Saxon race, now you betray God.
Perhaps you will succeed in teaching me humility. It's a virtue I've never mastered.
KNOCK AT DOOR Enter.
Your Grace, Bishop Folliot has just arrived from London and wishes to speak to your urgently.
Well, my Lord Bishop, what is it?
But, Your Grace... You may speak freely. Brother John is in our confidence.
What is it? Your Grace, I have a most serious matter to report which requires your immediate intervention.
Proceed. A parish priest in Lord Gilbert's domain who was accused of debauching a young girl
has been seized by His Lordship and dragged before the civil courts.
Is the priest guilty?
That is immaterial. As a consecrated minister of God, he can only be tried by our ecclesiastical courts.
You must demand his release into Church custody immediately.
The principle is a vital one.
Does the King know of this?
He knows, but he turns a deaf ear.
Lord Gilbert is his friend.
I am also a friend of King Henry.
As Chancellor, you are his friend.
But I wear the mitre now.
You also wear the Great Seal of England and I warned you, you could never do so honourably.
It is fortunate that I do.
I will plead our case to the King. I did not come here to ask you to plead a case.
I'm asking you to defend a principle and you'd better do so quickly...
Thank you for your warning.
We appreciate your efforts to chart the course you would naturally have followed had YOU become Archbishop.
At least, Your Grace, I could never have been accused of divided loyalties.
Should I go now?
Can I go? KNOCK AT DOOR
No. See who's outside.
This is Brother Philip, Your Grace.
He's come with a message for the Bishop of London.
I told him he'd just left, but now he insists on seeing you.
Your Grace, I wouldn't have dreamed of disturbing you but...
It is you who are disturbed, Brother Philip. What is it?
I believe my Lord Bishop of London came to you to demand the custody of the accused priest. Yes.
The priest is dead.
He tried to escape but... Lord Gilbert's soldiers caught him
and, in the presence of His Lordship, killed him.
Thank you, Brother Philip.
You may retire.
Leave us now, Brother John.
My Lord Jesus,
I find it difficult to talk to you.
What can I say?
I, who have turned away from you so often with indifference.
I have been a stranger to prayer, undeserving of your friendship
and your love.
I've been without honour
and feel unworthy.
I am a weak and shallow creature, clever only in the second-rate and worldly arts,
seeking my comfort and pleasure.
I gave my love, such as it was, elsewhere,
putting service to my earthly King before my duty to you.
But now they have made me the shepherd of your flock and guardian of your Church.
teach me now how to serve you with all my heart,
to know at last what it really is to love, to adore...
..so that I may worthily administer your kingdom here upon Earth
and find my true honour
in observing your divine will.
..make me worthy.
You are a creature of extremes, aren't you, Brother John?
I didn't know.
I never realised.
Nor did I.
You were very good at admonishing an Archbishop.
Do you think you could talk to a King? Yes.
Then you will memorise what I write.
Henry. What is it, Mother?
Why do you keep gazing out of the window?
Becket won't come, you know. He's much too busy giving money to the poor.
And fitting sandals on beggars.
I never liked him as an adventurer, but now that he puts on the airs of a saint...
He certainly keeps himself in splendid isolation since you made him Archbishop.
He's in retreat. It's part of the ritual.
Anyway, I don't need to be reassured by his presence.
He's my friend.
More's the pity. He has a strange way of showing gratitude.
Your friend! You mean you went to the whorehouses together.
It was he who lured you away from the duties you owe to me.
Madam, in matters of debauchery, it was I who lured him.
And I didn't need anyone to lure me away from the duties I owe you.
I made you four children very conscientiously.
Thank the Lord, my duty is done.
I pray heaven he stays away from you.
When you realise how he has used you, you may appreciate the joys of family life again.
The joys of family life are limited, madam.
To be perfectly frank, you bore me, you and your everlasting backbiting.
Stop this. And this eternal tutting of yours!
God! How long does it take to make a tapestry?! And it's mediocre beyond belief!
One performs according to one's gifts.
CHILDREN SHOUT AND SCREAM
Come on! Ow! Victory!
Shut up, the lot of you!
Which one are you? Henry III.
Not yet, sir. Number two is in the best of health.
A fine way you bring up your children, madam.
Do you see yourself as Regent already?
No wonder I shun your bed - it's not amusing to make love with one's own widow.
if you can spare the time from bullying your children. Messenger?
Is your master ill?
No, Your Highness.
I have a message from His Grace. Message?
These are Becket's words.
"Whereas men at arms of the Lord Gilbert, under his orders and in his presence,
"have seized and killed a priest of the Church,
"I, Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of England,
"do now ask that Your Highness,
"in accordance with the law of the realm,
"apprehend Lord Gilbert and charge him with the crime of murder."
Well, my son.
Now you have heard from your friend.
Get out, both of you!
Take your royal vermin with you!
is there a reply for the Archbishop?
Your Grace. Yes?
The King is here.
Are you certain? He came mounted and alone but...
I'm sure it's he.
Why did you send the messenger?
Canterbury's only five hours from London.
I have just ridden it in four, I'm frozen stiff.
Would you like some wine? No.
Give me a reason, why did you send a messenger?
What answer did you give him?
You've arrived here before he has.
I detect the old, devious Becket here.
What game are you playing, Thomas?
No game, my Prince.
Lord Gilbert murdered a priest,
I want the guilty punished. Guilty of what?!
This priest was a scandal to his parish.
That was never proved. Gilbert should have handed the accused to the Church for process of law.
If guilty, we would have determined his punishment. I am the law!
Gilbert recoursed to me, I gave him leave to arrest this priest!
I cannot allow any of my clergy to be thrown into prison and tried by the civil authorities.
Neither can I stand by and let my priests be murdered. You?
YOU can't allow?!
YOU can't stand by?!
Are you taking yourself seriously as archbishop?!
I am the Archbishop, my Prince.
By MY grace!
Are you demented? You're Chancellor of England, you're mine.
I'm also the Archbishop
and you have introduced me to deeper obligations.
And if I won't charge Gilbert?
I can't force you
but there is always a final judgment beyond the King's justice.
Lord Gilbert will face his fate on the day of judgment as we all will.
I'm sure he'll have a great deal more to answer for than killing a felonious priest.
Lord Gilbert will come to the judgment already down, sire.
I intend to ex-communicate him.
You ARE demented.
Don't you understand that when you attack my nobles, you attack ME
and when you attack ME, you attack England?
There is more to England that the Crown,
you must learn to face that eventually, my Prince.
Damn you! Don't lecture me!
You once told me you didn't know what honour was and I laughed at you
but now to betray me, to challenge my power.
I do not seek power, my Prince.
It is only that I have finally discovered a real honour to defend.
Whose honour is greater than the King's?
The honour of God.
You give the Lions of England back to me...
like a little boy who doesn't want to play any more.
I would have gone to war with all of England's might behind me
and even against England's interest to defend you, Thomas.
I would have given away my life,
laughing before you.
Only I loved you
and you didn't love me, that's the difference.
But thank you for this last gift as you desert me,
now I shall learn to be alone.
..Et Spiritus Sanctum. ALL: Amen.
What do you want, Philip?
Alone without an escort?
The King nevertheless.
Bishop, I wish to confess.
The King has his own confessor.
It is an important court prerogative.
Don't be nervous, Bishop.
I'm not asking for absolution.
I've something far worse than a sin on my conscience.
a crass mistake.
I ordered you to vote for Becket at the election at Canterbury,
I repent on it.
I bowed beneath the Royal Hand.
Very reluctantly I know, I am told this compromise with your conscience made you seriously ill afterwards.
God cured me. Very good of him.
You wear his uniform and have his ear.
He's let me fall ill without lifting a finger
and I must cure myself. I did not know this.
I have the Archbishop on my stomach,
a big, hard lump
I shall have to vomit back.
I think you are a man one can talk to, Bishop.
I believe I misjudged you, friendship blinded me.
Is the King's friendship for Thomas Becket dead, your Highness?
Yes, Bishop it died quite suddenly, a sort of heart failure.
Curious phenomenon, your Highness.
Quite frequent. I hate Becket now.
I hate him
as much as you are jealous of him.
It's like an animal tearing my guts, I can't bear it any more.
I shall have to turn it loose on him
but I am the King
and my office stands in my way.
I need someone to help me.
My only interest is for the Church.
We're alone and the Church is empty.
The Church is never empty.
The little red lamp burns in the chapel signifying God's presence in the tabernacle.
Do you take me for one of your sheep, Holy Pastor?
I like playing games but only with boys of my own age.
The one for whom that little red lamp burns
has seen into your most innermost heart, and mine, a long time ago
of my hatred of Thomas Becket and your envy of him.
He knows all there is to know.
Strange, I'd always taken Your Highness for a perennial adolescent who cared only for his pleasures.
One can be wrong about people, Bishop. I made the same mistake.
Now, if it could be proved that Becket had committed some gross impropriety as Chancellor, say...
what would the Church do?
If that were established, I say "if",
the Bishops could legally dissolve their allegiance to him pending their report to the Pope.
And beyond that? You?
You would go beyond?
The whole way.
In his guilt, if he were found guilty, he would then be charged under Canon law.
And the penalty?
That would be for Your Majesty to decide.
Thomas, you love him don't you?
You still love him, that impostor, that Saxon guttersnipe, that mitred hog.
Hold you tongue, priest!
All I confided to you was my hate, not my love.
For England's sake you'll help me get rid of him but don't EVER insult him to my face.
He will be accused
and you will play your proper part.
According to law.
I would spit...
if I were not in God's house.
as you have been told your presence here is voluntary.
If any of you have second thoughts, you may retire now.
Thank you for attending.
Good day, my Lords.
I did not expect to see you at Canterbury, you still disagree with my decision?
Your Grace, can nothing persuade you to delay?
the King's arrest of Lord Gilbert on the charge of sacrilegious murder.
There will be an arrest, but not Lord Gilbert.
The Sheriff of London is in the sacristy.
He has orders to summon you before the King's Grand Justicer,
the instant you pronounce the excommunication. Curious, on what charge? Embezzlement.
The King finds that there a large sums of money
missing from the Treasury during your administration as Chancellor.
How much? ?40,000 in fine gold.
There was never that much gold in the whole Treasury.
I beg of you, do not do this. It will strike a blow that will split Church and State for a generation.
If I do not strike it now, the Church as we know it will not survive a generation.
God will see that is survives.
No, the kingdom of God must be defended like any other kingdom.
Gentlemen, it is a supreme irony
that the worldly Becket, the profligate and libertine,
should find himself standing here at this moment.
And here he is,
in spite of himself
but the King, for good or ill, chose to pass the burden of the Church onto me and now I MUST carry it.
I've rolled up my sleeves and taken the Church on my back.
will ever make me set it down again.
if you will forgive me.
MONKS: # Quantus tremor est futurus
# Quando judex est venturus
# Cuncta stricte discussurus
# Tuba mirum spargens sonum
# Per sepulchra regionum
# Coget omnes ante thronum
# Lacrimosa dies illa
# Qua resurget ex favilla
# Judicandus homo reus
# Huic ergo parce, Deus
# Pie Jesu Domine
# Dona eis requiem
# Amen. #
Lord Gilbert, Baron of England by the grace of His Majesty, King Henry the Second,
seized upon the person of a priest of the Holy Church
and unlawfully did hold him in custody.
Furthermore, in the presence of Lord Gilbert and by his command,
his men seized upon this priest when he tried to escape and put him to death.
This is the sin of murder and sacrilege.
In that, Lord Gilbert has rendered no act of contrition or repentance
and is at the moment at liberty in the land,
we do here and now separate him from the precious body and blood of Christ
and from the society of all Christians.
We exclude him from our Holy Mother Church
and all her sacraments in Heaven or on Earth.
We declare him excommunicate and anathema.
We cast him into the outer darkness, we judge him damned
with the Devil and his fallen angels and all the reprobates
to eternal fire and everlasting pain.
ALL: So be it.
# Miserere mei, Deus
# Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam
# Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
# Dele iniquitatem meam
# Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea
# Et peccato meo munda me
# Quoniam iniquitatem Meam ego cognosco
# Et peccatum meum contra me Est semper... #
As the Lord Sheriff of London
I am commanded to summon you, Thomas Becket, to the King's Court
on the charges herein set forth, stamped with the King's seal.
I, Robert de Beaumont, Duke of Leicester,
Grand Justicer of the Realm,
do now summon Thomas Becket to this court of law
for the third and last time. Thomas Becket step forward.
He's doomed, isn't he?
Yes. At last.
I forbid you to gloat.
At seeing your enemy perish, why not?
Becket is my enemy but, in the human balance, traitor that he is and naked as his mother made him
he's worth a hundred of you, Madam,
with your crown and your jewels and your august uncle the Emperor into the bargain!
I am forced to fight him now and crush him
but at least he gave me with open hands everything that is at all good in me
and you have never given me anything but your carping mediocrity
and your everlasting obsession with your puny little person and what you thought was due to it!
That's why I forbid you to SMILE while Becket is being destroyed!
I gave you my youth, gave you your children.
I don't like my children!
And as for your youth?!
That withered flower pressed between the pages of a hymn book since you were twelve years old
with its watery blood and stale insipid scent, you can bid farewell to that without a tear.
Your body was an empty desert, Madam,
which duty forced me to wander in alone
but you have never been a wife to me
and Becket was my friend.
Red blooded, generous and full of strength.
Oh, my Thomas.
I have given you nothing I suppose?
But after that I never saw you except in a passageway on your way to a ball in your crown and ermine mantel,
ten minutes before official ceremonies when you were forced to TOLERATE my presence! NO!
No-one on this earth has ever loved me except Becket!
Call him back then, absolve him if he loves you, give him back his power but do something.
I'm learning to be alone.
By the authority granted me, I, Robert de Beaumont, servant of the Crown,
do now before this council charge Thomas Becket with the crimes of...
I charge you, Thomas Becket. Robert de Beaumont, hear me
for the sake of your soul which is in the gravest danger.
All in this assembly know how faithfully I have served my Lord, the King.
It was he that willed that I be Archbishop and it was for love of him alone that I accepted.
I am innocent of any wrongdoing
in my administration of the King's Treasury as Chancellor or at any other time.
I therefore refuse to plea to these trumped up charges.
I will be judged by the Pope alone
to whom before you all I now appeal and place myself AND my Church under his protection.
As Head of the Church of England
and as your spiritual father,
I forbid you to pass judgment on me.
I command you and all who would charge me to hold your peace
on pain of endangering your immortal souls.
Well, played, Thomas.
Do you think you can carry this off indefinitely?! You fool!
We are all God's fools, my Lord.
You are a liar, you are a traitor.
Sheath your sword before you impale your soul upon it.
It's funny, it's too funny.
He's made mincemeat of them.
I'm surrounded by fools!
Becket is the only intelligent man in my kingdom and he's against me!
Your Highness, it was impossible.
Shut up! Get to your feet.
Did you hear him? He appeals to the Pope,
if he gains the Pope's ear, Bishop, we may find the entire kingdom under papal interdict.
I could be excommunicated myself.
But Your Highness, I do not think that... I want no more thinking!
Becket must not cross the Channel.
King Louis of France would be the first to help him get to the Pope.
The Archbishop must not leave England, see to it.
From now on, Bishop...
it is total war.
My French knight takes your English bishop.
Your Majesty's adroit.
Too snug. Why do all tailors want to strangle one's armpits?
Your Majesty, the English Ambassadors Extraordinary insist that I convey their compliments.
They've already done that. I'll see them when I'm ready, that's my job.
They wish respectfully, sire, to call your attention to the fact that they have waited for three days.
Let them wait, that's their job. Ambassadors are paid to pace about in anterooms,
especially in these times of uneasy peace.
But the have an urgent communication from Henry of England, sire.
The King and his ambassadors can drown in what they impertinently call their English Channel.
But, Your Majesty, the extradition of a criminal is a courtesy due from one crowned head to another.
My dear man, crowned heads are free to play the little game of courtesy but nations owe one another none.
show them in, show them in.
No, you may stay.
The ambassadors can share our attention with our tailor.
It will demonstrate to the English their exact social status at our court.
May I be permitted to present to Your Majesty
the two Envoys Extraordinary from His Highness, Henry of England?
His Grace the Bishop of London and Robert de Beaumont, Duke of Leicester.
Welcome, my Lords.
Fresh from England,
how is our good King Henry?
He was well, Your Majesty, when we left him, two weeks ago.
Two weeks to cross the Channel?
Gentlemen. We have been waiting upon Your Majesty for three days.
Why was I not informed?
Gireaux! Your Majesty?
You see what I have to contend with but perhaps I can make it up to you.
Would you permit me to furnish you with some French garments made by our craftsman?
It will only take two weeks. We thank Your Majesty but we have urgent business in Rome.
Well, is there anything else I can do for you?
I wish to deliver a message from Henry, King of England, to his friend Louis, King of the French.
We are all ears. He wishes you to know...
Just one moment.
Yes, do continue. He wishes you to know that Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury,
has been found guilty of treason
and has forthwith fled his kingdom.
He therefore entreats you not to allow this criminal
to reside within your territories nor to permit any of your vessels to give counsel or support to him.
He solemnly declares that your enemies would receive none from him, nor from his subjects.
Henry, King of England, Duke of Normandy.
Gentlemen, we have listened most attentively to your sovereign's gracious request
and we shall shortly be drafting a formal reply to it.
In the meantime however we can only express our astonishment.
No news has reached us of the Archbishop of Canterbury's presence in our domains.
Sire, we have word that he is in your domains.
He has taken refuge in the Abbey of Saint Martin.
My Lord Bishop, we flatter ourselves there is some order in our kingdom.
If he were there we should most certainly have been informed.
Bring in Thomas Becket.
Rise, Thomas Becket, and greet us as the Primate of England,
a bow would have been enough
and if I know my etiquette you were entitled to a slight nod of the head from me.
I might also be required to kiss the ring if it's visible and an official one
but I am under the impression that it isn't. No, sire.
I'm only an exile. That too is an important title in France.
I'm told you are a dangerous one.
I'm afraid so, sire. How delightful, shall we discuss it in private?
We enjoy danger, Becket.
It keeps us alive.
Do you value candour? I do, sire. Then let me tell you that were you a French bishop
I might have clapped you in prison. For the moment, we are pleased to grant you our royal protection.
I humbly thank you, Your Majesty, but I have to say
that I cannot buy your favour with any act hostile to my country.
You do us an injustice, that was understood.
I believe that in the past however, you have been no stranger to the art of political manoeuvre.
That is true, sire. Well, speaking frankly, you suit our purpose in our chess game.
England is splitting into the Henry camp and the Becket camp and that suits us admirably.
We ask nothing further of you
but, there is always a but as I'm sure you are aware...
I am aware. ..I am responsible only for France's interest, Becket.
Unfortunately I cannot afford to shoulder those of Heaven as well.
At the moment it suits me to shelter any fugitive from Henry's court.
His recent impertinence in claiming and capturing
some of our frontier towns must be well known to you, Thomas,
since you more than distinguished yourself in several of these engagements.
In a month or so however, my dealings with Henry may require
a different tactic, I might even be obliged to ask you to leave France.
I hope to have a solution to such a dilemma. Oh?
I intend to go on to Rome to put my case before the Holy Father,
if you will give me safe conduct.
You shall have it, of course, you're the ideal guest.
Might I be permitted to give you a word of advice?
I would appreciate it. The Pope is a most holy man but, like so many lofty personages,
he is surrounded by men of a somewhat inferior standard.
They need money
and King Henry might be willing to provide it.
Keep your eyes open.
Permit me to show you my aviary.
That man Becket smacks of too much sincerity,
a practice that is most disconcerting.
Fiddlesticks, sincerity is a form of strategy just like any other.
In a pinch I have been known to use it myself.
The trouble is, if your opponent starts being sincere
at the same time you do then the game becomes horribly confusing.
I assure you, Your Holiness, it's a simple matter.
No, no, no, Zambelli, I don't agree.
It is impossible. If we take the money from King Henry I cannot possibly receive Becket.
Receive the money from the King, Holy Father, and receive the Archbishop too.
The one will neutralise the other.
You know what they say Becket is going to ask me?
No, Holy Father.
Zambelli, don't play the fox with me.
It was you who told me.
Beg your pardon, Holy Father.
I had forgotten or rather as your Holiness was asking me the question,
I though you had forgotten and so I took a chance and...
Zambelli, if you start out-manoeuvring yourself to no purpose, we'll be here all night.
Well, bring him in.
His Holiness will receive you now.
I'm sorry to be importunate, Your Holiness, but time is running out
and my cause concerns the very life of the Church in England.
I know, I know,
and your cause is worthy but nevertheless, Becket,
the Church must seek to exist peacefully within the framework of the State.
I sought that with desperation, Your Holiness.
Precisely, Becket, you are new to God's service
and perhaps for that reason
you were somewhat hot-headed and intemperate in your methods.
You have proved your moral worth
but you have also split the Church in England into two parties and that is regrettable.
Holy Father, I fear this may be true
and it has given me much agony.
If I'm guilty, if my judgment was wrong then I am most sincerely repentant.
Unfortunately that doesn't solve the problem.
relieve me of the title of Archbishop, let me be an ordinary priest.
Right, done. Zambelli!
Why do you request this?
Then your Holiness can make a free and open decision.
The protection of my position as Head of the English Church
may prove an embarrassment I would like to relieve you of.
No. That would mean our total surrender to the State.
You will maintain your status as Archbishop
but you will, for the present, maintain it in a monastic retreat.
Where do you wish us to send you?
To the Abbey of Saint Martin in France.
I ask only that my former servant, Brother John, be allowed to accompany me.
God grant you peace, Thomas Becket.
The man is obviously an abyss of ambition.
How long a retreat?
A very long retreat.
I wouldn't count on it,
wait till he tastes the food at the monastery.
RATTLING CARRIAGE WHEELS
You look concerned, Your Grace.
Is something wrong? No, Brother John.
You are unhappy here?
No, perhaps I'm too happy.
Can I help?
No, only God can help.
Lord...what do you really want me to do?
To remain here a poor monk in simplicity of spirit,
is it a path to bring me nearer to you?
Or is it too easy a way, perhaps even...
The path to holiness in this monastery is too effortless.
I think it would be too easy to...
buy you like this,
It has pleased you to make me Archbishop
and to set me like a solitary pawn, face-to-face with the King on the chessboard.
I think you mean me to defend your honour peacefully if I can with argument and with compromise...
and if I cannot,
then with the full challenge of my office
and the soaring force of what I know...to be right.
So, I shall take up the mitre again
and the golden cope and the great silver cross...
and I shall go back
and fight with the weapons it has pleased you to give me.
All the rest.
Look, Thomas, your king awaits you.
I'm glad you weren't born on this side of the Channel, Thomas, you'd have been a thorn in my side too.
How did you bewitch me into doing this for you?
I convinced you that if the King and I reconciled, he will be placed in your debt.
Why does he hate you so?
He's never forgiven me for preferring God to him.
You know it's a strange thing but Becket's safety has become quite dear to me.
You look older, Thomas.
So do you, my Prince.
You cold? I'm frozen stiff.
Chilblains are killing me. You love it of course, you're in your element aren't you? Just that monk's habit.
I always told you one must fight the cold with the cold's weapons.
Strip yourself naked every morning and...
BOTH: ..splash yourself with cold water.
I used to when you were there to make me.
I never wash now, I stink.
How is your son? He must have come of age.
He's an idiot and sly like his mother.
Thomas, don't you ever marry.
You took that matter out of my hands when you had me ordained.
If we start on that we're sure to quarrel! Talk about something else.
Has Your Majesty done much hunting lately?
Yes, every day. It doesn't amuse me any more.
Becket, I'm bored.
My Prince, I wish I could help you.
What are you waiting for?
For the honour of God and the honour of the King to become one.
That may take long.
Yes...that may take long.
I am the King, Thomas,
and so long as we are on this earth, you owe me the first move.
I am prepared to forget a lot of things but not the fact that I am King.
You yourself taught me that. Never forget it, my Prince.
You have a different task to do, you have to steer the ship.
And you, what do you have to do?
To resist you with all my might when you steer against the law of God.
What do you expect of me then?
Are you hoping I'll weaken? No.
I'm afraid we must only do...
what it has been given to us to do, right to the end.
Look suppose we come down to earth and use words that make sense to a boor like myself,
otherwise we'll never get anywhere
and there'll be two frozen statues trying to make their peace in a frozen eternity.
My Lord, I was doing my best to make you understand.
I'm an idiot then! Talk to me like an idiot!
Will you lift the excommunication you pronounced on Lord Gilbert?
No, because it's the only weapon I have left to defend what was given into my care.
Will you agree to the ten proposals which the bishops accepted in your absence,
particularly to the surrender of priests
who seek the protection of the Church to escape my courts of justice?
No, my role is to defend my sheep and they ARE my sheep.
But I shall agree to the nine other articles
in the spirit of peace and because I know you must remain King in all and of all,
save the honour of God.
I will give way on this one point
in memory of our past friendship.
You may return to England. Thank you, my Prince.
I meant to go back in any case and give myself up to your power
but in all things that concern this earth,
I owe you obedience.
We've finished now and I'm cold.
I feel cold too...
You NEVER loved me, did you, Thomas?
In so far as I was capable of love,
yes, I did.
Did you start to love God?
YOU MULE! Answer a simple question!
I started to love...
the honour of God.
I should never have seen you,
it hurts too much. My Prince.
No! No pity, it's dirty.
This is the last time I shall come begging to you.
Go back to England.
Farewell, my Prince.
I sail tomorrow.
I know that I shall... never see you again.
How dare you say that to me when I've given you my Royal word! Do you take me for a traitor?!
Come here you.
You look to me, sir, not your mother.
SIT, you witless baboon!
What is the meaning of this?
Henry, what are you going? I know very well what I'm doing, Madam.
Before you fill your bellies, we have something to announce.
Reviving an ancient custom, we have decided to have our successor crowned in our lifetime.
We do this to protect the kingdom from future pretenders to the throne.
Henry, this... Shut up! Stop dribbling while I raise you to glory.
To my successor...
Henry the Third.
ALL: Henry the Third.
When will the coronation take place?
As soon as we arrive in England.
Where, may I ask?
You may well ask.
At York. Not at Canterbury?
My good mother, gentlemen, is hinting with her customary delicacy
that there is a double purpose to this mummery.
We are going to show our freshly reinstated Archbishop that we can still do without him.
The coronation of the English King is the most jealously guarded privilege of Canterbury.
I'd give anything to see Becket's face when he learns he's lost it and that York has got it.
Ah, we'll fix him.
Get out of there, you young cretin, you're not crowned yet.
What a look.
Filial devotion is a beautiful thing.
You'd like to be the real king wouldn't you, you little pig?
With that number three after your name and Papa good and stiff in his tomb.
You're going to have to wait a bit
because Papa is well,
Papa is very well indeed.
My son, do you know I've always been against any reconciliation with that wretch, Becket.
You know I understand your hatred for him but do not let it
lead you into an action which you may bitterly regret.
This boy is not clever, ambitious men will use him against you long before you cease to reign.
I'm still very much alive, Madam, and in control.
Henry, for all our sakes think of England and not of your disappointed love for this man.
Love?! A moment ago it was hate! And what gives you the right, Madam, to meddle in my loves and hates?
You have an obsession about him which is unhealthy and unnatural
and now that he no longer gives you comfort?
God, if Thomas Becket were a faithless woman you'd behave no differently.
Sweet Jesus, you'd tear him out of your heart.
Oh, if I were a man.
Thank God, Madam, he gave you breasts -
an asset from which I derived not the slightest benefit.
I was let out to be suckled by a peasant girl.
That, no doubt, is why it is so difficult to see the king beneath your crown.
So you have something to add, my Lady?
Well, go on, add it, add it, get it out of you once and for all in one great whine!
Let's hear the poison you've accumulated!
I pity you.
I tolerated your mistresses, Sir, but don't expect me to tolerate everything! Becket!
Always Becket! I am a woman, I am your wife, I am a queen.
I'll complain to my father, I'll complain to my uncle, the Emperor,
I'll complain to all the kings of Europe, I'll complain to God.
If I were you, Madam, I'd start with God.
Go to your chapel and see if he's at home.
Get out, the pair of you! I wretch with boredom at the sight of you.
To the Devil, my whole family if he'll have you?!
And, as for you, young Henry the Third, here's my Royal foot up your Royal buttocks!
Ah, that's better.
Let us drink, gentlemen.
Let us drink till we roll under the table in vomit and oblivion.
My faithful hounds,
it's warm beside you like beasts in a stable.
with the least glimmer inside
to spoil the fun.
And to think before I met Becket I was like you,
a well-oiled machine of belching, whoring and punching heads.
What did you put in mine, Thomas,
that stopped the machine?
Tell me, do you ever think?
Never, sire, a gentleman has better things to do.
Go on, drink up.
What's the news from England?
Has Becket landed?
He has landed, sire.
Was no-one there to receive him?
Lord Gilbert for example?
Oh, he was there, damned and excommunicate as he still is
but there were seven bishops there charging his soldiers not to cause bloodshed
and give the lie to the safe conduct you gave Becket.
Yeah...I gave him safe conduct.
The peasants escorted him from village to village.
They cheered him all the way to Canterbury.
Not a single gentleman, not a single Norman showed his face.
Only Saxons? ALL: Yeah.
Swarms of them.
Becket left England a fugitive, an exile.
He's returned there to find an affection that people have always saved for their king.
A man who ate my bread.
A man I raised from nothing.
A man I loved.
Yes...I loved him.
I loved him
and I still do.
Enough! Oh, God!
I can do nothing.
I am as useless as a woman.
So long as he's alive
I'm the King...
and yet I shake.
Will no-one rid me of this meddlesome priest?
A priest who mocks me.
Are all around me cowards...
Are there no men left in England?
It's my heart...
It's too fond...
Make haste. It's difficult with all these little laces, wants a woman's hands.
A man's hands are better today. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.
Do all the laces, every one of them,
I must look my best today.
God will give us time.
There, that's done
but I'd just as soon cleaned out our pigsty at home.
It's not half so much hard work.
Were you fond of your pig?
Yes, I was.
At my father's house we had some pigs too when I was a child.
Did you now?
It's possible, my son.
Are you afraid? Oh, no,
not if I have time to fight.
What I want is the chance to strike a few blows first
so I shan't have done nothing but receive them all my life.
If I can kill one Norman first, just one,
that'll seem fair and right enough to me.
Are you so set on killing one? Yes, I am.
I don't mind if I am just a grain of sand in a machine
because I know by putting more and more grains of sand in a machine,
one day it'll come grinding to a stop.
And on that day,
what then? Well, we'll have a fine new, well-oiled machine in place of the old one
and this time we'll put the Normans into it instead.
That's what justice means, doesn't it?
Now give me my silver cross.
I must hold it.
Oh, it's heavy.
A good swipe with this and they'd feel it.
Lucky little Saxon.
For you that would settle all accounts in this...
black world wouldn't it?
I am ready...
..adorned for your festivities.
Come, let us go to the altar.
HE RINGS BELL
Your Grace, there are armed men at the doors. I've bolted the doors but...
It's time for vespers. Does one bolt the doors during vespers, I've never heard of it.
But, Your Grace.
Open them. Everything must be as it should be for divine service.
THUDDING KNOCKING AT DOOR
# Deus in adjutorium meum intende... #
THUDS CONTINUE # Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina... #
It is here now,
the supreme folly, this is its hour.
# ..Sicut erat in principio
# Et nunc et semper
# Et in saecula saeculorum, amen
# Alleluia. #
One does not carry arms into God's house.
What do you want?
# Dixit Dominus Domino meo
# Sede a dextris meis
# Donec ponam inimicos tuos... #
We will continue with the service.
# ..Scabellum pedum tuorum... #
how heavy thy honour is to bear.
Yes, yes, it was all agreed, I forgive you.
They certainly wanted their money's worth.
Is there a large crowd outside?
There's nothing more certain to win them over
than the sight of the King doing penance and humbling himself under the lash.
The honour of God, gentlemen, is a very good thing
and, all things considered, one gains by having it on one's side.
Thomas Becket, our friend,
always used to say so.
Tonight in Council,
we will determine what punishment his murderers should receive.
Sire, they are unknown.
Justice will seek them out, you may be sure.
It is a time, my dear barons, for all of us to do penance.
RISING HUM OF CHATTER
People of Canterbury
and citizens of England.
As I have submitted myself to the lash
so have I petitioned the Pope
and this day
I have received his answer.
former Archbishop of Canterbury
and martyr to the cause of God and his Church
be honoured and prayed to in this kingdom
as a saint.
Is the honour of God washed clean enough?
Are you satisfied now, Thomas?
Powerful historical drama. When Henry II appoints his drinking and wenching companion Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury, he hopes to lessen Church interference. But Becket takes the job seriously and soon the friends come into conflict.