This re-release of the 1953 recording of Eliot’s poetic drama is a real treasure. Robert Donat plays the pious Archbishop Thomas Becket as he struggles with his instinctive knowledge that King Henry II’s loose tongue will make Thomas a martyr. Donat’s Thomas is sensitive and resigned, without being annoyingly sanctimonious. Also of note are the excellent performances of Thomas’s tempters and of the Chorus. A knowledge of the history is essential to understanding the story as Eliot’s playwriting is a bit demanding for the casual listener...This should not, however, detract from enjoying the smooth, clean production and performance.
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