|Murder in the Cathedral|
|Directed by||George Hoellering|
|Produced by||George Hoellering|
|Based on||Murder in the Cathedral|
by T. S. Eliot
|Starring||Father John Groser|
|Music by||László Lajtha|
|Edited by||Anne Allnatt|
|Distributed by||Film Traders Ltd|
Murder in the Cathedral is a 1951 British drama film directed and produced by George Hoellering and co-written by Hoellering and T. S. Eliot based on Eliot's 1935 verse drama of the same name and starring Father John Groser.
Murder in the Cathedral premiered at the 12th Venice International Film Festival in 1951 before being theatrically released by Film Traders Ltd in the United Kingdom in March 1952 and in the United States by Classic Pictures on 25 March 1952.
Whatever literary merits T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral may have and whatever strange dramatic virtues it may possess in performance on a stage, it is obvious that this stylized verse drama is not felicitous material for the screen. ...
There are flashes of stark pictorial beauty in some of the somber scenes of prelates and noblemen and worshippers gathered in the Archbishop's Hall of Canterbury Cathedral, where the entire action of the play takes place. And some nods toward cinema dynamics are more or less effectively made in not too imaginative cutting for dramatic emphasis and flow.
But, for the most part, Mr. Eliot's cold recounting of Becket's defiance of the King and his murder by helmeted assassins for insisting upon the Church's authority is conveyed in lengthy orations by individuals and choral groups, photographed in static poses and solemnly massed attitudes. ...
Fortunately, the spoken words have richness as they flow off the cultivated tongues of handsomely costumed performers who, at least, look their medieval roles. Father John Groser, an English cleric, is grandly dignified and benign as the conscientious Archbishop who coolly calculates his martyrdom and Alexander Gauge is forceful as King Henry in a scene especially written for the film.