Adventure / Fantasy / Musical / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 50%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 70%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 5284


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April 04, 2017 at 08:41 AM



Richard Harris as King Arthur
Franco Nero as Lancelot Du Lac
Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevere
David Hemmings as Mordred
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.28 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 59 min
P/S 3 / 6
2.73 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 59 min
P/S 14 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Myriam Nys 3 / 10

godawful - in spring, summer, autumn and winter

The movie is based on a musical, which is based on a novel, which is based on a story cycle, which is based on a legend, which may (or may not) be based on an actual historic figure such as a warlord or a minor king. This means several steps between real life and movie, which may help explain why "Camelot" finds it so difficult to define its subject or settle on a tone and style.

It's clear that the various makers of the movie were unable or unwilling to make a few key choices. Should "Camelot" be romantic, realistic, comic, tragic, tragicomic, epic, elegiac ? Should it go for gloss, for gilding, for grit ? Is it supposed to be, say, a fantasy with religious elements or a fantasy with magical elements ? A nicely polished musical in a classical vein or an anarchic tribute to hippie freedom ? A comment on contemporary society or a mirror of a period in a distant past ? Ah, well, let's go for the "omnia omnibus" approach : let's throw in a little bit of everything, that'll make everybody happy.

The result is both confused and confusing. Still, at other moments the movie seems more inept than confused : there are some seriously strange sets, edits, angles, and so on. One could cut out whole scenes and stick them in a parody.

It doesn't help that many of its characters / performances are so weird : king Arthur, for instance, is afraid of women because they are.. you know.. so womanly... women, they've got these.. well.. They have long hair.. and cooties and.. and.. women, you know, women are all round and soft and they speak in such strange little voices... They.. They.. Breasts, you know, and TWO of them... Women... It's almost as if they're doing it on purpose !

Psychiatrists probably have a name for it.

Not every element is bad - there are some memorable costumes, for instance - but as a whole this is a pretty awful movie. Still, you might want to give it a try if you've got an iron patience, a liking for tequila and some faithful friends who like to organize drinking games around themes such as "Who is wearing the most eye make-up" or "Every time someone should throw a suet pudding at queen Guinevere".

Reviewed by Bill Slocum 2 / 10

Nostril Porn

When is a motion picture all picture and no motion? To have the answer, see this three-hour collection of close-ups and costumes, a musical ponderously directed by Josh Logan starring three actors who can't sing.

In England's early medieval period, King Arthur (Richard Harris) and his new bride Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave) bring together the flower of knighthood to establish a new golden era of "might for right." But Arthur's most powerful ally, Lancelot (Franco Nero) becomes the undoing of the realm when he and Guenevere begin a passionate, painful affair.

"How did I blunder into this agonizing absurdity?" is the question Arthur poses in his opening scene. It starts with a musical where the music is not so much performed as presented, shot with abrupt jump cuts and suffocating close-ups that zero right up the noses of the three stars.

With three hours, and the Excalibur legend to play with, you would think there is a lot of story here. But there isn't. For ninety minutes, about the same screen time it took Rick and Ilsa to make their plans or Charles Foster Kane to leave his wife, you get a pair of mistaken-identity cute meets and a pointless joust which somehow prompts the previously distant Gen and Lance to fall in love. The next 90 minutes are for watching everything fall apart.

Logan indulged his actors famously on set, even allowing Harris to flash Redgrave for cheap laughs and letting Redgrave mess with the Alan Jay Lerner lyrics. Despite its reputation, this isn't Lerner and partner Frederick Loewe's best score; yet the movie makes matters worse by overusing the strings and robbing the songs of any pull. The title song should be a thrusting, raucous number; it's Muzak here.

In a promotional show made at the time of the film's release, Logan emphasizes the word "texture" a lot. There is a lot of this on display, what with its touted "45 sets and 3,500 costumes." The costumes look okay; the sets decked out like Christmas trees in "GoodFellas." But where's the story?

The Arthur legend is a sprawling epic; to fit something digestible into even three hours you have to make choices. Here, Logan and the production team seemed to decide to zero in on the three main characters and ignore everyone else, except for cheap comic relief from Lionel Jeffries as Pellinore, a king who can't remember where his kingdom is; and David Hemmings as sly and slinky Mordred, the bad guy of the piece. Neither manage to do more than annoy.

Of the principals, Harris and Redgrave talk-sing while Nero is dubbed. Nero has negative comic presence, rendering his opening number "C'est Moi" inert; Redgrave is cool and unlikable throughout. Only Harris has a pulse, but as his character is all over the map his energy becomes a weight as the story flips around. Nothing is really established about what makes his Camelot special; the only time I noticed the Round Table was when a horse galloped across it.

If you want to celebrate the notion of a land dedicated to the principle people matter, why undercut it by ignoring everyone but the king and his two favorite subjects? It's reflective of the sort of star service Logan made his career; the result is even worse than usual for him.

Reviewed by MissSimonetta 7 / 10

One brief, shining moment

I go back and forth with this 1967 adaptation of Camelot. When I first saw it as a teenager, I rather liked it, but as I've gotten older, my feelings grow more mixed. On one hand, the music is glorious, and the themes of idealism, morality, and justice are haunting. While Richard Harris overdoes parts of his performance, I think he did a good job as the noble yet emotionally tormented King Arthur. Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave are game too, even if I think other performers should have been cast in those roles.

It's the filmmaking I don't like, particularly the browns and beige aesthetic the creators went with-- it's so ugly and doesn't fit the tone. At the very least, the more light-hearted and comedic first half of the movie should have been more colorful, reflecting the idealism of its youthful characters; bring in the earth tones once the world-weariness kicks in during the tragic latter part. The cinematography is also uninspired for the most part, focusing more on the big sets or actors' picture-perfect faces than doing anything interesting to tell the story visually.

Still, I'm not going to consign this movie to the failure bin, because the story itself is still moving. I admit this movie still makes me cry, no matter how boring the cinematography is. It could have been a movie musical masterpiece, but as far as the huge roadshow 1960s spectaculars go, this one is hardly horrible.

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