The story of the marriage of England's King Arthur to Guinevere. The plot of illegitimate Mordred to gain the throne and Guinevere's growing attachment to Sir Lancelot, threaten to topple Arthur and destroy his "round table" of knights.
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The story of the marriage of England's King Arthur to Guinevere is played out amid the pagentry of Camelot. The plot of illegitimate Modred to gain the throne and Guinevere's growing attachment to Sir Lancelot, whom she at first abhors, threaten to topple Arthur and destroy his "round table" of knights who would use their might for right.Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the throne room of the Great Hall, where Lancelot is to be dubbed, assorted people are gathered throughout the hall as King Arthur and Queen Guenevere make their way to the throne, but no knights. As Sir Lancelot rides his horse into the hall, both sides of the hall lined with knights in armor, where there had been no knights before. See more »
The rules of battle are not for Lancelot Du Lac, Your Majesty! Let us attack now while they sleep!
We will attack when I give the command - at dawn.
[the knight leaves, and Arthur begins to talk to himself]
Oh, Merlyn, Merlyn, why is Ginny in that castle, behind walls I cannot enter? How did I blunder into this agonizing absurdity? Where did I stumble? How did I go wrong? Should I not have loved her?
Then I should not have been born! Oh, Merlyn, I haven't got much ...
[...] See more »
The version shown in what were then known as neighborhood theatres (i.e. second run houses) was shorter than the full-length one by about a half hour, and the cuts were very obvious. The first cut occurred after Arthur said the line "He lives backwards" (referring to Merlin). In the cut version, he does not explain what it means, while in the full-length version he does. Also gone in the cut version were half of Lancelot's first song "C'est Moi", half of Guenevere's song "The Simple Joys of Maidenhood", Arthur's spoken monologue during "How To Handle A Woman", and the entire scene in which Arthur, in the forest, remembers the lessons that Merlin taught him as a boy. The film was subsequently re-released a year later with the tagline UNCUT!, although it turned out to be still cut in the same spots. It was not until its first telecast (in two parts, on NBC) that all the cut moments were restored. See more »
I'm so used to demolishing contemporary productions and writing negative reviews that I often forget that that there are positive elements in some of the worst of films, and some well meant efforts in films that tried. So it is with the 1967 production of "Camelot" staring a plethora of names.
The film is an adaptation of the stage play of the same name, which itself is an adaptation of "The Man Who Would be King", a then contemporary retelling of the Arthurian legend as it had become interpreted by Hollywood and high brow publishers.
There's a lot of pageantry and production value injected and infused into this film. Everything from unearthing portions near the castle (the same used for "El Cid") to creating elegant armor highlighted with filigree and elaborate detail. The costumes, the sets, and emoting by the actors themselves falls into the "put best foot forward" category. Everything here is well meant. And to this end it is an entertaining film in its own right.
But it does fall flat here and there. The film was a business venture, like all films, but despite the resources allocated to the project, the production feels marginally rushed. The Broadway production with Julie Andrews and Richard Burton had made its mark a few years before, and the film was attempting to revitalize the waning coat tail interest in that production.
And that's just how the film feels; a somewhat rushed effort that was spared no expense to bring the fantasy world of Arthur, his castle "Camelot", queen, knights and all the rest. The clues are subtle, but there. The camera work is respectable, but not well defined nor planned out for any choreography staged. The pans and dolly shots are rough and unscheduled, or rough. Little pre-planning went into the shot setups. Zooms combined with dolly shots are mixed in with wide masters, giving the film the feel of being cobbled as opposed to created. The shots convey a "we need to shoot this quickly" feel, and it shows.
The art direction is interesting, but the technology of the time and emphasis on realistic colors during that period in commercial film making hold back a better production. The fact that other big names were brought in to pinch hit for the original Broadway cast that had established the play, again speaks volumes as to the kind of care that went into this film.
This isn't to say that the film is bad, but it could have been more. During this period in commercial film making name actors carried an enormous weight in marketing. They were truly "stars" during this time, as opposed to popular tabloid names akin to an adult version of high- school. Ergo name actors, or those aspiring to the such, were given A- productions, or, more correctly, placed in productions aspiring to be A- material. In short, people were hoping for Andrew, Burton and Goulet, but got Harris and company instead.
The musical numbers, as can be expected from a filmic translation of a Broadway play, are altered. The new takes on the old rifts are hit and miss; some are more successful than others. Yet again we get a sort of rough or unrefined feel from the musical numbers because of the haste in production. Again, respectable, but still unrefined in spite of the effort given.
I'm not one for remakes. I truly am not. But this one might be an interesting project to recreate, properly this time, with a little more care, and a little more time.
Not a great film, but decent entertainment. A snapshot of late 60s and early 70's commercial film making.
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