Synopsis by Hal Erickson
T.S. Eliot's readers-theatre verse piece Murder in the Cathedral was never truly designed to be a fully staged play, but try telling that to the many amateur groups who've produced it in the past five decades. This 1952 film adaptation valiantly attempts to open up the piece to full cinematic effect, but the budget and resources are too skimpy, and the semi-professional actors too uneasy before the cameras. The play recounts the love-hate relationship between 12th century British monarch Henry II and Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas a Becket. In a careless moment, Henry moans to his minions that he'd like to be rid of Becket; they take him at his word. Murder in the Cathedral is no better or worse than a junior-college pageant; the story is given fuller, superior treatment in the 1964 costumer Becket.
king, relationship, assassination, British, cathedral, religious-leader