|Camelot (30th Anniversary Remastered Edition) [VHS]
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Joshua Logan's 1967 film of the hit Broadway musical about the love triangle between King Arthur (Richard Harris), Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave), and Sir Lancelot (Franco Nero) is strong on star emphasis and weak on such fundamentals as story and sets. Except for a handful of solidly dramatic scenes--such as Guenevere grieving, late in the film, for the ruination she and Lancelot have caused--there's not a lot to get excited about. (The story's theme of a lost, great society, however, certainly struck a chord in the 1960s.) The Lerner-Loewe songs ("If Ever I Would Leave You," "Camelot") pretty much sell themselves, even if they are, at best, only proficiently performed in this movie. --Tom Keogh
- I really like this version
Unlike the critics and the customer comments i find this musical version WONDERFUL! What puzzles me is why do people compare this title to "The Kennedys." If anything that is an insult to a great motion picture. But i digress.....I find the musical numbers most fitting to the scenes that are going on with the story. My favorite is "Lusty Month of May" and if you have a 5.1 Stereo System this number surrounds you with beautiful music and so with "If Ever i Could Leave You." My eyes tear-up terribly during that number. I don't know how anyone couldn't fall in love with this movie.Also this movie is in it's original Roadshow Format with it's arousing Round Table speech from Richard Harris as the music builds just before "Intermission." It gives me chills just writing about it.Dispite the other reviews, see for yourself if this 60's musical will touch a cord with you and i don't care what people think of Vanessa Redgrave, this movie was made for her. She's brilliant!...more info
- Richard Harris...what can I say....
A CLASSIC!!! Music is fantastic and makes me want to live forever....in Camelot, in Camelot...hmmmm, hmmmm...more info
- Excellent Movie -- poor box
Camelot with Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave is a classic. The problem is with the Amazon box. You get a "security" box which means it won't close after you open it, and the cover is not protected in plastic. Amazon should be ashamed for shipping a poor quality box and getting retail pricing. I could have had an excellent copy from any number of local sources. ...more info
- A Fleeting Wisp Of Glory: Emotional Music Drama
I am an advocate of all the arts and Broadway musicals have descended from the noble art of opera. The musical era of the early twentieth century did not die in the face of the Cuba/Missile conflict, nor in the war years of Vietnam. The brilliant musical masters, Rogers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Lowe were incredibly gifted, providing audiences with catchy melodies, romance and powerful dramatic emotions. In Lerner and Lowe's Camelot, we are immersed by the love triange between Arthur, Guenevere and Lancelot, which seems small next to the bigger picture- the stability of Camelot. Camelot is the ideal world, the perfect society, Utopia, Paradise. With the aid of the good wizard sage Merlin, Arthur assumed heavy responsibility as king and head of the Round Table, a fellowship of knights on the quest for the Holy Grail and sworn to uphold justice and balance in the world. This peace was upset by war and by the problematic situation that arose when Guenevere fell in love with Arthur's best friend and champion knight, Lancelot.
In this excellent DVD, the 60's film is back with full glory. We realize why this musical appealed to a generation that was insistent on peace. Richard Harris is the perfect Arthur, idealistic, romantic, wise, mature, and in his scenes with Merlin we do see the pararellism with the writings of T.H. Lawrence's "Once And Future King" and the magic (Arthur becomes a goldfish, communes with nature, etc, is similar to the Disney interpretion, "The Sword In The Stone". Richard Harris sings superbly in his solos, "Camelot," and "How To Handle A Woman". Vanessa Redgrave was not the original stage interpreter of Guenevere. The credit belongs to Julie Andrews, whose light voice, cheerful, innocent and sweet temperament is directly polar opposite to Guenevere's lusty, earthy, darker-voiced portrayal. But in my personal opinion, Vanessa Redgrave captures the true Guenevere. This is evident in her song "Where are the Joys of Maidenhood ?" "Take me to the Fair", "The Lusty Month of May" and her melancholy duet with Lancelot "I loved You Once In Silence". Franco Nero as Lancelot is charming, comedic, witty, a direct opposite to the upright Arthur, but we are sympathetic with his situation when his humanity comes through. He decides to break up with Guenevere out of his own love and respect for Arthur. Unfortunately, that is the moment when their affair is discovered, and the rest is history. Arthur battles Mordred, both of them lose and die, and Camelot disappears into the pages of myth. The rousing choruses are striking, especially in the wedding of Guenevere and Arthur and when Guenevere is sentenced to be burned at the stake. The finale is unsurpassed, as Arthur says: "Ask anyone if they've ever heard the story, and if they have not, say it loud and clear; that once there was a fleeting wisp of glory..called Camelot"....more info
- If Ever I Would Leave You
In this lavish adaptation of the Broadway musical based on T.H. White's modern classic "The Once and Future King," the music of Frederick Loewe and Lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner weave this story into an intricate tapestry of unforgettable heart-stirring emotions. The emotions are quite overpowering and you almost have to watch this movie three times to fully appreciate the texture and detail of the 45 sets and 3,500 costumes.
Camelot is a timeless romantic drama that takes us to a medieval world that could only be imagined in your most romantic fantasy. The humor is witty, the music is unforgettable and the world of Camelot has castle scenes that are beyond compare. In fact, if you love castles, you will see scenes from dreamy castles in Spain. The Castle of Camelot is modeled after the Castle of Coca. The architectural details in the design are partly Romanesque, Norman, Viking and Gothic. The decorations have a "fantasy" medieval flavor.
The movie is at first shrouded in mystery as Arthur sits in a dark misty forest. Arthur is about to go into battle and doesn't want to die in a state of confusion. Merlin advises Arthur to think back to the time when he met Guenevere.
We are transported into King Arthur's memory, where the entire story takes place in vivid detail. King Arthur sings about his fears of the wedding night and it is all rather cute and humorous. We instantly see King Arthur as an eternal boy and later find out how he became king quite by accident when he draws the sword, Excalibur, out of a stone.
Guenevere arrives all wrapped in fur as she travels through the "most ferocious, savage, terrifying forest" she has ever seen. The branches are laden with snow and icicles. She simply adores the danger and beauty. When she hears the forest is quite dangerous, she wishes to be stolen away. Her heart is quite hungry for adventure and romance as a damsel in distress and all she has to look forward to is an arranged marriage.
When she meets "Wart" she has no idea he is King Arthur and asks him to run away with her. Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Harris are like two happy children living in a magical dream. King Arthur has a boyish charm, plenty of witty lines and the almost periwinkle eye shadow quite matches his turtleneck sweater and promotes a whimsical mood.
The royal marriage is magnificent and the wedding gown flows between two seas of candles. For a time, we truly believe this arranged marriage will succeed. Arthur shares his dreams of uniting the feudal city-states and Guenevere seems intrigued with her husband's leadership qualities. She too seems to be dreaming of a new world filled with chivalrous knights who fight for right.
When French knight Sir Lancelot arrives, he destroys the intimacy between Guenevere and King Arthur, although he promises to be the king's defender in this newly civilized world. Guenevere becomes a woman who must make impossible decisions. Lancelot dreams of all the good he can do, all the wrongs he can right and in fact, his desires lead him to a place where a fragile utopia is destroyed.
"Camelot" then becomes a serious study in how three people are almost forced to make irreversible decisions. King Arthur (Richard Harris) seems to quickly go into an extended period of denial and since he deeply loves Guenevere, he forgives her for being human. Lancelot (Franco Nero) lives life intensely and feels deeply about King Arthur's mission. He is filled with a passion for life and makes promises he can hardly keep once he enters Guenevere's world.
Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave) is so innocent in her love of both King Arthur and Lancelot. She falls madly in love with Lancelot because he embodies all that she has always dreamed of, despite the fact that their love now destroys Lancelot's chivalrous ideals. He fights for her and his impressive battle skills and depth of emotion after he fights in the joust draws her into his world. Each time they look at one another, the world stands still and in awe of this love they feel for one another. If only she had met Lancelot before she had been promised to King Arthur.
I doubt there is a more powerfully erotic and yet angelic scene than the one where Guenevere stands in the doorway with her golden hair flowing behind her in the drafty castle. This scene portrays her in an almost angelic way as "If Ever I Would Leave You" plays on, drawing us into an intimate circle created by three hearts who are forever woven into this immortal tale. How can your heart not melt when Lancelot declares his undying affection by saying: "I, I love you. God forgive me, but I do."
There are a lot of extras:
1. Jump to a Scene
2. Explore Camelot
-Cast & Crew
-The History of the Legend - Information on King Arthur (Interesting ideas, like that King Arthur was really a Celtic chieftain in the 5th century who became a king in the legends after his death. He was believed to have been killed at a battle at Camlan in 537 AD.), Excalibur, The Holy Grail (Why King Arthur was seeking this magical object) and The Knights of the Round Table
-King Arthur Comes to Hollywood
-Featurette: The Story of Camelot
-Featurette: Special Premiere Footage
-5 Theatrical Trailers
3. Languages - You have to choose "English" or you will only hear the Musical Score.
I really can't think of a more perfect movie. Sadly at the end of the movie, the story is not quite what we expect. Yet, I don't think we would want this movie to end in any other way.
~The Rebecca Review
Author of Seasoned with Love: A collection of
best-loved recipes inspired by over 40 cultures ...more info
- a piece of magic
this film is great but (don't misunderstand me) it took too long to be made... a small hit on broadway in 1960 (it opened on dec.3rd 1960 and people expected a new "my fair lady") with burton, andrews and goulet, it really did match a whole "concept" that was very actual at that time: the "perfect" america (it was jfk's favourite broadway show). the world had changed a lot in 1968/69. woodstock, vietnam were happening and a more realist group of moviemakers were working on films like "easy rider", "they shoot horses, don't they?" etc. was there still place for such dreams? richard harris is a great king arthur, vanessa redgrave a beautiful guenevere (i wonder how andrews would have been recreating her original role... josh logan could not be persuaded to let her play guenevere for lack of sex-appeal... the "von trapp/poppins image" in america would continue to be quite damaging to the career of this actress...) although her voice far too inexpressive. franco nero is beautiful to look at, but seems to be crying all the time. production was sumptuous etc. etc. nowadayy a "museum piece" it is still marvelous to watch... it has magic! well, that is what camelot meant, wasn't it?
very enjoyable......more info
- The King Arthur Legend with song and dance...
My favorite poetry and legend set to music.
Vanessa Redgrave is my idea of beautiful and English:
she really doesn't sing as well as maybe she should.
I suppose that you can nit pick this about it not having the whole tale
or distorting this or that,
but this production is just beautiful for all time.
If one looks at it as a work of art, the result is successful.
I loved it!...more info
- Cheap Click Case Cover
Amazon needs to indicate that this comes in a cheap click case and not a hard case as this matters to some of us choosing to buy this edition of the movie. Should be listed in the "details" of the product.
Movie is fun...lots of great music!...more info
I enjoyed "Camelot" from the very moment the title came onscreen, in big red lettering. The focus of the musical is on the destructive love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, and on the idealized and idyllic lost world that was once Camelot. Despite the sense of loss, it ends on a hopeful note, that one day, Camelot may rise again. Pay attention to the little boy at the end of the movie: his name is Tom, he is from Warwickshire, and he is knighted by Arthur. I'm pretty sure this is an allusion to Sir Thomas Malory, author of Le Morte Darthur, the indirect source for "Camelot," and who was also a knight and from Warwickshire. Moreover, Malory wrote "Le Morte Darthur" out of a nostalgic and idealistic vision of knighthood, so the idealistic little boy, who still believes in Camelot, almost certainly represents him.
Much of the story is told through the songs. The songs are wonderful, and I enjoyed all of them, but "The simple joys of Maidenhood," "I loved you once in silence," "The Lusty Month of May," "Then You May Take Me to the Fair" and of course "Camelot," (including its reprise at the close of the film, with different lyrics), are simply amazing. And it's not just the music. The lyrics are marvelous.
One reviewer writes that he is disappointed with the singing. I can imagine that after seeing the play with Julie Andrews in New York, one has every right to feel that way. Vanessa Redgrave is not Julie Andrews, to be sure, but she looks beautiful on screen, and her singing is more than OK, as is the singing of Richard Harris (Arthur. It could have been better, but it is enjoyable as it is. Incidentally, both Richard Harris and the young blue-eyed Franco Nero look very good, each in his own way.
This DVD has been digitally remastered, and as a result, the image is simply superb! The settings are splendid and almost overwhelming.
"Camelot" is so good, and so enchanting, that after watching it for the first time till the late hours of the night, I decided to watch some of it again for a while, I just couldn't part with it. Give yourself a treat and buy this DVD, you couln't go wrong with it!
Loved the cast on the Broadway stage and wasn't sure the movie was going to live up to it but after watching my VHS tape many times over the years I adjusted. Alas the tape died and I just had to replace it before I had another urge to start humming the score (I have the CD of the orginal version) and need a Camelot fix....more info
- Kings and Queens afer 40 years
This is a very good film. The songs are great and the costumes very appropriate.
Richard Harris ( King Arthur ) is the old headmaster of Hogworths School of Magics and Vanessa Redgrave ( Queen Guenevere ) his main witch. A sad destiny for the royal couple. ...more info
- Richard Harris - a great performance
This movie is adapted from "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White. And you probably know the story - boy becomes king, king is betrothed in an arranged marriage, Lancelot pops in....It is _nothing_ like the book but it does have its good points.
One is Richard Harris' over the top performance as King Arthur. He, much in the manner of Rex Harrison in "My Fair Lady", speaks his songs as opposed to singing them. Suprisingly, it actually works very well. It's not the "feel good movie" of all time, but it is a good one about flawed individuals - and it was said to be President John F. Kenndy's favorite Broadway play.
So if you're interested in seeing a movie that will make you think about great leaders' errors in judgement, along with the pagentry of court life, this is a movie for you. I recommend it highly....more info
- MISSING LINES
ALTHOUGH I LOVE THIS MOVIE, I WAS VERY IRRITATED AT THE BEGINNING BECAUSE THE DIALOGUE WAS MISSING...ONLY THE MUSIC WAS THERE. I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG THIS WENT ON. I PUT IN THE VIDEO INSTEAD....more info
- Tepid and vastly inferior to the Broadway version
Having grown up listening to the Broadway album recording of "Camelot," my hopes were dashed upon recently viewing this DVD. Having never realized that there were two soundtrack albums for Camelot, it never occured to me that I wouldn't be hearing the stirring singing of the Broadway album, including the villainous songs of Mordred, which were easily my favorite pieces in the whole work.
In addition to not hearing "The Seven Deadly Virtues" and "Fie on Goodness" -- two of the greatest villain songs of all time, without question -- the musical and acting performances overall here are subpar at best. Richard Harris seems to be trying to do his whole performance via his eyebrows, which wiggle about on his forehead like catepillars trying to escape his face. Vanessa Redgrave, for all her justly deserved reputation as an actress, looks more underfed than radiant as Guenevere and Franco Nearo seems to be having a lot of fun in an entirely different film.
Director Joshua Logan did the real damage to this story, though, with a disjointed directing style that focusses more on interesting scenes and bits than making a coherent tale. Time passes at varying rates, with never any warning to that effect, and while some of the issues with the script are leftovers from the play, there's no excuse for not making a more coherent film, cutting and adding to the book as needed.
On the whole, this is a highly disappointing movie, and the DVD has a slapped together feel, with pale text in a squiggly font placed atop bright backgrounds, making much of the additional content -- which is anemic compared to disks like "Shrek" -- unreadable and unusable.
This is a renter, and even then, only if you've exhausted every other choice at your local video rental shop....more info
- A Classic Musical About The Arthurian Legend
The Lerner and Lowe musical seems to be a variation from the T.H. Lawrence novel, "The Once and Future King," from which the animated Dysney film was taken. Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero effectively carry out the movie, their voices superb in every song and their dramatic performances making an excellent and enjoyable film. The story is the age-old Arthur myth. King Arthur, the idealist, tutored by his all-knowing wizard Merlin, creates Camelot, a peaceful realm supported by the mighty Round Table, whose aim is "Might for Right". But things begin to fall apart for Arthur and his dream. Guenevere, whose marriage to Arthur had all been arranged, falls for the dashing French-born champion Knight, Lancelot. Their affair sparks the suspicion of Mordred who reveals it to the public, just when it was ending (the parting scene between Guenevere and Lancelot.."And I shall never come to you again" and their duet is very emotional and heartrendering). As we know, Mordred and Arthur battle, the Round Table is dissolved and Camelot becomes a dream remembered. This musical was appropriate to its milieu. It was the 60's when this film was made, and peace rallies were manifested over America. The idealism of peace and brotherly harmony (as in the Round Table) is effectively similar to the idealism of American government. The allegory of the musical is quite transparent. I hope you give this musical a chance, and it has a special place in my heart. Along with The Sound of Music and The King and I, this musical stands out in the great tradition. Five stars well deserved. Songs that stand out in this musical are "I wonder what the King is doing tonight" "Where are the Sweet Joys of Maidenhood ?", "Camelot" "How to handle a woman" and "If I ever Would Leave You."...more info
- there's a lesson here
There's a lesson here but you have a lot of immorality to go through to get it. Don't think it needed to be quite so frank with the immorality for the lesson to be known. Not good for children....more info
- It's the Music that Really Counts Here!
In the annals of musical theater, there are more than a few great scores. Among them is Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot" which has more than its share of great songs that shine away from the musical play.
In 1964, Jack Warner produced "My Fair Lady" at Warner Brothers. It was an excellent film, if a bit too cautious. The play was a phenomenon and Jack didn't want anyone mucking about with it. Going to see it was almost as exciting as going to church, even though the film itself was entertaining and beautiful to look at.
Four years later, Warner attempted to do the same thing with "Camelot." In many ways, he failed, but in a couple of others, he outshone "My Fair Lady" and many other fine movie musicals. First, but not foremost, he enlisted the talents of John Truscott to design the film. No medieval tale has ever benefitted from so fine a vision. His sets and costumes are among the finest -- yet most realistic -- ever created. Second, and this is the best part (for me) -- he acquired the services of the finest composer/conductor Hollywood has ever produced. Alfred Newman had already won 8 Academy Awards prior to scoring "Camelot." Newman was one of a handful of composers who invented film scoring in the 1930s and 1940s. As head of the Fox music department from 1940-1959, Newman had the best orchestrators, best musicians and best composers working for him at Fox than could be found anywhere else.
For "Camelot," Newman had a free hand, along with his associate Ken Darby who had worked with Newman for nearly 20 years, collaborating on such film musicals as "Carousel," "The King and I" and "South Pacific."
The reason I'm making such a fuss over this -- in addition to the fact that "Camelot" earned Newman his 9th Oscar -- is that "Camelot" rates as one of the best scored musicals in film history and on this DVD, you can hear the entire musical score, free of dialogue and solo vocals, in 5.1CH stereo!
What separates "Camelot" from "My Fair Lady" is that in the latter, Warner would not let conductor Andre Previn alter the basic orchestrations of the play. Previn had some leeway, and it really shows in the score when he cuts loose. By and large, though, this did not include songs....just musical underscore/transitions. Newman, on the other hand, virtually co-composed the entire score. Using the thematic material, he wrote a dynamic, Erich-Wolfgang-Korngoldian ("Robin Hood," "The Sea Hawk," etc.) underscore that rouses you, thrills you and makes you feel great even if the film drama itself can't quite live up to it.
Watching a film for this isolated score feature alone is something only die-hard music lovers could tolerate, but it's there and can be enjoyed by anyone. Think of it as a full-orchestra karaoke feature and you can sing your favortie songs backed by one of the finest Hollywood orchestras ever assembled!
I've always been partial to "Camelot" for the score, the sets and the luminous presence of Vanessa Redgrave.
In truth, however, "Camelot" never looked as good in its first-run roadshow performances as it does on this DVD. This movie shimmers and sparkles and glows. It looks absolutely NEW. The sound does show its age in spots.
If only Arthur didn't run around all the time calling Guinevere and Lancelot "Ginny" and "Lance." (Lance. Ginny. Ginny. Lance.). That almost ruins the film for me -- that and Arthur's eccentric blue eye shadow. And if only Hollywood had not entrusted another great musical into the musically uninspired hands of Joshua Logan (one of Broadway's greatest directors but whose heavy hand all but ruined the film versions of "South Pacific", "Camelot" and "Paint Your Wagon.")
It's a whale of a movie. And the score is one of the finest ever committed to film....more info
- Abysmal production of a great musical
Vanessa Redgrave can't sing - perhaps the song should be "The Simple Joys of Silence" instead of "The Simple Joys of Maidenhood".
Franco Nero leaves you cold.
Richard Harris, however, is the one, bright, shining moment in this Camelot. The Broadway Version which he did in '82 is head and shoulders above this....more info
- Glowing Movie Version Of The Immortal Broadway Production
The 1967 film version of "Camelot", always seems to ignite feverish debate among movie fans over its merits both in production and performances. The viewpoints tend to range from "the worst musical sung by non singers in movie history", to "a totally beautiful film production that captures the spirit of the famous Broadway musical to perfection". Having been fascinated by the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table since I was a young boy I tend to view this film very affectionately while not for a moment failing to see its shortcomings. Criticism is always heavily directed at the two main leads Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave and their "talk singing", of the show's memorable score, however viewers must realise that the original Arthur on Broadway was Richard Burton who like Rex Harrison cornered the market in talk singing in a very successful way. Certainly many of the cast have a very 1960's appearance however it has to be remembered that this is an adaption of a Broadway musical with a medieval setting, it is not trying to be a careful document of life in the middle ages. On a high note the film boasts amazingly lavish sets and a musical score courtesy of lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe that is one of the most beautiful I have ever heard in a movie musical, it being highly romantic and sensual in feel which suits perfectly the great talents of both Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave ideally cast in the leads.
Based on H.T. White's "The Once And Future King", Warner Bros. Screen version of "Camelot", tells the ultimately tragic romantic love triangle involving King Arthur, his lovely wife Guenevere, and the dashing French Knight Lancelot. Arthur has a dream of world peace where all the collective rulers will come together around a special round table. However what he doesn't realize is that one of the strongest believers of this principle, the French knight Lancelot Du Lac who travels to Camelot to put his services at Arthur's disposal unexpectedly becomes involved in a passionate affair with Guenevere. The Queen of course also loves her husband but is drawn to the passionate Frenchman which threatens to destroy the whole kingdom. The arrival of troublemaker relative Mordred also spells trouble as he conspires to destroy Arthur's whole belief in the principle of a early united nations. When Lancelot and Guenevere are trapped in a passionate embrace the Queen is condemmed to death by being burnt at the stake however at the moment of her execution Lancelot rescues her and Arthur must go into battle to save his kingdom and the principles he has fought so long for. On the morning of his battle with Lancelot after learning that the remorse ridden Guenevere has left him to join a convent Arthur comes across young Tom of Warwick in the camp and the young boy's simple sincerity and belief in the principles that Arthur is about to fight for restores his faith and belief that there is hope for the world.
To this day there is still feverish debate in regards to the casting of the leads in "Camelot" and to the merits of the overall production. Personally I think Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave make perfect casting as Arthur and Guinevere, while Franco Nero is the very image on screen of what the dashing Lancelot should be like. Immortalised on Broadway by Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet respectively, critics seemed to have difficulty with the actors selected for the same roles in the film version. As Vanessa Redgrave was famously quoted as saying at the time of production; "If Julie Andrews had really wanted to play this role in the film version she would definitely be doing so now". Richard Harris gave I believe one of his most likeable performances as Arthur and like Richard Burton before him manages beautifully with the many "talk singing" numbers that make up a large part of the score of "Camelot". Vanessa Redgrave normally associated with gritty dramatic roles in films as diverse as "Blow Up", "Mary Queen of Scots", and the superb "Playing for Time", here is luscious in the famous role of Guenevere , the very epitome of beauty and romantic passion. Rarely has she appeared more beautiful on screen, which is an attribute about Ms. Redgrave which is sadly often overlooked. Her opening scene as she approaches Camelot through a snow covered forest for her upcoming wedding clad in a magnificent white fur coat is probably one of the most beautiful images captured on screen in any 1960's musical. In supporting roles many actors succeed in creating a great impression often in limited screen time from veteran character actor Lionel Jefferies in a comic performance as the forgetful King Pellinore, through to David Hemmings in a wonderful turn as the villianous Mordred Visually "Camelot", is a feast for the eyes and displays it's lush budget at every turn from the rich colour photography to the sumptuous locations used in Spain and France, to the stunning set of Camelot itself which was miraculously created on the backlot of Warner Bros Studios in Hollywood and was one of the last great outdoor sets to be constructed at the studio. So special was this "Camelot" set that it was to reappear six years later magically transformed to represent Shangri La in the 1973 musical version of "Lost Horizon". It is the rich musical score of "Camelot", by Alfred newman however that in my belief is it's shining glory. The prelude and overture combines some of the most beautiful instrumental compositions of any musical and the other numbers are sublime including the wistful "The Simple Joys of Maidenhood", to the lively "The Lusty Month of May", through to Arthur's magical "How to Handle a Woman" an of course the film's romantic highlight with "I Loved You Once In Silence". Despite the criticism of actors who are not trained singers attempting these numbers the compositions of these musical numbers ideally suit the talents of Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero and the end result is some of the most romantic musical moments you could imagine in a motion picture.
Nominated for achievements in cinematography, musical score,and of course for the superb costume design "Camelot", was crucified by a majority of critics at the time of its release in 1967. The film however has that warm nostalgic feel to it that makes repeated viewings of it essential. The passage of time makes me wonder at some of the spite of critics back in 1967 as the film is far from the total disaster that we are always led to believe it is and is really part of that last gasp of elegant film making just prior to 1970. It certainly captures Richard Harris in his prime as the good hearted, high principled King with a dream and provides Vanessa Redgrave with a stunning showcase for her considerable talents in the role of the beautiful but ultimately tragic Queen Guenevere. While "Camelot", is certainly very much of its time, i.e. the mid 1960's, its romantic story is sure to charm all lovers of well made tales of romance, combined with tragedy. Enjoy!
- thumbs down
It's a bit much asking us to buy a video for the orchestration and costumes. I didn't pay much attention to the costumes, but as it happens, I found the orchestration rather syrupy. (Newman tries hard to turn "If Ever I Would Leave You" into "The Street Where You Leave" and fails. The movie would be better off if he didn't try so hard.) In any case, a musical in which "it's the music that counts" is a musical in which the principals have voices and actually sing their songs. Lowe's work is slaughtered here. Some points of (possible) interest: Lancelot's songs are dubbed in (by someone other than Franco Nero); Guenevere's songs are not: Redgrave sings them--sort of. Arthur never calls Guenevere "Ginny"; he calls her "Jenny". (Those who have read the book--"The Once and Future King"--know this. Those who have not read the book ought to.)...more info
- Glorious Camelot
I love fantasies and magical movies, and Camelot certainly fits. To see a young king terrified at his coming wedding day, a young bride upset at not being fought over by knights, an idea to bring together all the different kingdoms and have a different type of knight to sit at a round table. But the best of intentions never turn out as expecteed, and to see Guenivere's scorn for Lancelot turn to awe and love, his distress at falling from grace to fall in love with his king's wife, Arthur's torment at finding out the two people he loved best in all the world loved each other, and, in the end, the place known as Camelot under seige, his pure knights fighting again, the round table broken, and his queen about to be burned at the stake. So many songs to convey the emotions. I loved I wonder What the King is Doing Tonight which showed how human young King Arthur was. I will leave parents to determine how suitable it is for children, I simply revel in the music, songs, costumes, settings, and the fulfillment and destruction of one man's dream.
Cmelot is a movie that wil always make you smile and cry, and give thnks to God for allowing us to live in a world where timeless entertainment is available...more info
- "Mark me well - I will tell you, sir!"
Yes, 'Camelot' is a flawed movie, but a MAGICAL one, nonetheless. It is too long, and Franco Nero's dubbed singing voice as 'Lancelot' is laughable, and YET! Yet, we have RICHARD HARRIS, so perfect as the failing King Arthur, Vanessa Redgrave, never lovelier than in her role as the torn Guinavere, and David Hemmings, a dastardly 'mod' Mordred reeking havoc on the troubled Kingdom. Franco Nero (dubbing notwithstanding) brings a wonderful comedic touch to Lancelot, and with the sumptious sets and costumes, 'Camelot' really is a BEAUTIFUL film. It has been critisized for having a 'Sixties' feel to it, but the somewhat hippy-ish design just adds to the pleasure; and it REALLY doesn't matter that Richard Harris is wearing WAY to much blue eye-shadow - we're in CAMELOT, for goodness sake! There may very well be a 'legal limit to the snow' there, but when it comes to make-up, no holds are barred! Oh, one can pick a MILLION holes in 'Camelot' - but why bother? It's better just to pour yourself a glass of mead, light some candles, put 'Camelot' in your VCR and let Lerner and Loewes wonderful score sweep you into a magical time which never existed. 'Camelot' is pure escapism, but it's escapism with 'heart', and that heart belongs to Richard Harris. This movie is HIS, and years after first seeing this movie, when I imagine the face of King Arthur, the face that I see is Richard Harris'....more info
- A Movie Musical Masterpiece
This epic film stands right up there with Errol Flynn's "The Adventures of Robin Hood." It is totally filled with the emotion of this part of the Grail Legend. The performances are mannered but the actors always hit their marks. And the cinematography, sets, costumes and music are unparalleled in beauty.
Get this DVD now. A word about the dialogue not being heard in the first part of this DVD. You have to turn on the language on the menu. Otherwise all the music will play. It is a bonus. It says so on the cover. ...more info
I was thrilled to find "Camelot" on Amazon at such a low price in perfect condition. Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Harris in this production is priceless. It is an old classic and the DVD has special features that was an added pleasure..showing the movie's premier from the '60's....more info
- A Classic!
First saw this movie in December, 1967. Couldn't believe that a didn't have a copy in my home library. It defines my youth to me....more info
- There once was never a Camelot like this
Joshua Logan dreadfully directed this film for full impact on the snooze-o-meter. The picture wavers in tone, but it does have skillful bits of genius tucked in among his labored directorial blunders. This is very uncharacteristic filmmaking from Logan. Richard Harris' King Arthur is terribly acted and unfathomable in the first half, but he achieves some effective moments later in the film. The movie is somewhat saved by a good performance by David Hemmings and the screen presence of Franco Nero. It's a film you really wanted to like but you are just not able to. It's a shame....more info
- Mom and I shared a love for this movie.
My mother took me to see Camelot in 1969 at the age of 11. I absolutely fell in love with Richard Harris as King Arthur. There have been many King Arthur's that have come and gone, but none with the passion, yet sadness the Mr. Harris put into it. The scenery and the costumes were amazing and the storyline was wonderful. It truly let your imagination run wild. A movie like this could not be made today because there are no four letter words, no obscenities, so what would be the point in going? I truly wish more kids could see the broadway musicals that I was lucky enough to be brought up on. Gigi, Can Can, Oliver, My Fair Lady and so many more. You must see this movie and truly enjoy the actors/actresses. Vanessa Redgrave was amazing and so beautiful as Guinevere. Lancelot was the ultimate knight and you wanted to Kill Mordred! David Hemmings was soooo evil. I hope this helps. And by the way, April 24, 1987, my dream came true. I met Richard Harris. He was wonderful and charming and so funny. No one can tell a story like him. Camelot, to this day, is my all time favorite movie! ...more info
- A good movie, but somewhat long
This was a good movie, but at times it became long and tedious, and the watcher just sits there wondering when it will be over. The characters were very appealing, however, and you can connect with them. It is a good telling of the traditional Arthur story, though, I think, and I would definitely recommend it to people who enjoy the legends. Peace out!...more info
- A Good Musical That Gets Too Drawn Out
In school, we're doing a lesson on the Medieval times. So, for the project, we watched this 1967 musical on the much told tale of "King Arthur". I was a little apprehensive at first since it was long in length, but then I gained confidence when I saw that the cast was led by Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave, to very fine actors. Well, I watched the movie, and now I shall write a review on it.
I'm not going to bore anyone with plot details since anyone who knows the legend of King Arthur and Camelot knows the plot of the movie. What I will focus my review on is the music and the acting. The songs are absolutely fantastic. "If Ever I Should Leave You" remains a classic, but for me the standout performance was "The Lusty Month Of May". That song was superb. The rest of the songs were also very good. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the movie. The cast is so so. I felt that Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave took turns carrying the movie, since I couldn't buy Franco Nero's Lancelot. The two stars' talent are on full display, as without the film, this movie would have tedious and unbearable. I also felt the film could have been a lot shorter. I felt that it got drawn out towards the end (by the end, many of us were disappointed by the end) and could have cut out some stuff.
Well, 38 years have passed since this film were released, and three things are still abundantly clear:
1) The music is still superb.
2) Harris and Redgrave still shine.
3) It isn't as good as many remember it.
I'd really only recommend this movie to fans of the genre of musicals. Otherwise, nobody will find this film very interesting....more info
- More than a movie - it's an experience
When Camelot was produced in 1967, I was in the Army. I first heard the title song when my room mate had it playing on his reel to reel tape player at Two Rock Ranch Station in Petaluma, California and was immediately smitten by the music. I was discharged from the service in Oakland, California and returned to St. Louis, Missouri via Los Angeles where I was given a tour of the Warner Bros Seven Arts Studios in Burbank. The throne room set was then in the process of being disassembled and I could tell that the artists who had created the wet rock wall effect which consumed an entire sound stage had been very good at their craft. I had no idea what the signifigance of that visit was until I returned home to see the film at a local theater. The music, the sets, the acting, the singing, and the story all come together to create and experience that you remember forever. Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave did, in fact, fall in love during the production and had a son. I also remember reading that a stunt man had been killed during the filming of the jousting scenes. I guess I'm still old school for when I was able to buy this film on DVD, I felt that I was cheating the wonderful people who created it. I was never a great fan of the musical, but this movie is truly in my top ten list of best films ever made. Buy it. You won't be disappointed....more info
- Flawed but pleasing melodrama
Reviewers pick on the film's weaknesses, but overall, I think it is winning. Here are my top disagreements with fellow viewers:
1) Blue eyeshadow. This adds to the exoticism of the medieval setting, in which courtiers were often dandy types, and strange fashions came and went.
2) Stage cast vs. film cast. Overall, I'd say the film audience got the best of it. Most of all, Richard Harris, who campaigned for the part, plays Arthur with such puckish enthusiasm, dramatizing the conflict between the human boy/man and the beloved king. Famous and drunk, Richard Burton would never have brought so much charm to the role. (Later Harris became famous and drunk.) Vanessa Redgrave's ethereal yet sensual charmisma convinces us that she is the fickle queen who dismantled Camelot; Julie Andrews' girl next door quality would never have had the same magic.
3) Franco Nero was no Olivier, but his handsome doll-like appearance and stiffness actually drive the humor home in the hilarious "C'est Moi." He comes across as a slick and shallow narcissist, making us feel worse for the all-too-human Arthur.
4) Singing voices. In most musicals the singing voices are dubbed. Here they sang as they acted, giving the songs a rough but natural quality. Harris is a good singer. Redgrave's voice is delicate but this emphasizes her charm. Nero? Oh well.
5) The film could have benefited from some editing. It does get a little pompous. The score relies too heavily on the songs, sometimes forecasting them before they have actually been performed, which bugs me.
6) The highly detailed set is wonderful and has aged well.
Humor and sweet, manipulative emotion win the day. You have to be willing to go along with this film, as its original audience was....more info