Camelot – The Once and Future King Strides On

Camelot the musicalI swear I have raved about Camelot before now, but try as I might, I can’t find the post or the article on the site.  There are over 350 pages here, so maybe it’s hiding somewhere I can’t dig up even with Google’s advanced search engine…or maybe, when I was forced to stop blogging during one of my two hiatuses, the post itself was lost.

I did, I know, a Pulse Pause Moment, about some of the unlikely but heavenly romantic moments found in this elderly movie.  Most musicals are expected to be light, frothy and superficial, with happy endings.  Camelot is none of the above, except that it does have music and people singing in it.  That’s where it departs from the formula.

Camelot opened on Broadway today, fifty-two years ago, which makes it even older than me by a good few years, which is a refreshing change these days. 🙂  The movie was made in 1967 and pretty much blew everyone out of the water.  It stuck with the Broadway musical theme, but it was brilliant and despite its length it is still very much watchable even today.  Franco Nero, as Lancelot, is very easy on the eyes indeed.

One of the more interesting aspects of the movie is the real, live romance that took place between Nero and Vanessa Redgrave.  They had an affair, and a child, and drifted apart.  It was only forty years later, after they had each unsuccessfully married elsewhere that they got together in 2006.

That fact makes the doomed love affair of Guinevere and Lancelot all the more poignant.

If you like movies heavy on drama and moments when humans are put through the utmost moments of courage and stress, when entire civilizations crumble and fall around them, then Camelot is worth a look.  You can even skip the frothy singing and dancing.  You won’t miss much.

The saddest part is that this is all based on historical facts.  Sketchy ones, it is true, but there is a little evidence that demonstrates that Arthur did exist and for a brief time kept the British and Celt tribes whole and defended Britain before the Anglo-Saxon tribes invaded and conquered them all.



3 thoughts on “Camelot – The Once and Future King Strides On”

  1. Absolutely loved Camelot. The hunk and I saw it in an actual theater (movie house) when it was released in 1967. We were dating then. Married December 16th that year. This year we’re married 45 years… Ah, how time does fly!

    And Nero…yum, he did smolder, didn’t he?

    1. Nero did, indeed, smoulder. He doesn’t do to bad, even these days. Those eyes! And that accent was exotic and sexy, too.

      I saw Camelot as a stage production, starring Richard Harris, when it did its world revival in the mid-nineties, just before I moved to Canada. It was absolutely fantastic, although I wouldn’t have minded Nero being Lancelot in that, either, regardless of his age. The stage production is just as heart-wrenching as the movie, but the movie manages to really draw out the subtleties of the relationship triangle, and Arthur’s true dilemma as a King, thanks to camera angles and close-ups you can’t get on stage.

      I seem to be in a season of watching tragedies and heart-breakers at the moment. I just wept my way through the extended version of Lord of the Rings. Camelot more than qualifies as another tear jerker well worth spending time on. I might dust off the DVD in the next week or so. It’s been a while since I watched it. I don’t want it to get stale.


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