By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –
T.H. White is the author behind some of the greatest Arthurian legends ever written. His writing has formed the basis for Walt Disney’s animated classic The Sword in the Stone (1963) and the beloved stage musical Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. After the success of the Best Picture-winning musical My Fair Lady (1964), it is no surprise that Warner Bros. would adapt another musical from this famous duo for the silver screen. That is one of the many reasons why Camelot is such a sumptuous adaptation of a major stage musical.
This movie musical is a 3-hour spectacle that features Hollywood royalty (pun intended). Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave both look absolutely stunning as King Arthur and Guinevere, two of the most iconic characters that the world has ever known. Franco Nero also delivers a marvelous performance as Lancelot, and even earned a Golden Globe nomination as the “Most Promising Newcomer – Male” that year. Since this is a lavish musical, the film obviously won Academy Awards for its art direction, costume design, and musical score.
The awards and nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Oscars also show that this is a very respected film even though it did not achieve the same level of fame as My Fair Lady (1964). Nevertheless, the film is still a joy to watch as one of the most beautiful love stories ever written unfolds in this marvelous musical motion picture.
Hopeless romantics and people who enjoy romantic stories will definitely enjoy Camelot. Kate Winslet’s portrayal of Marianne Dashwood reveals that Jane Austen’s beloved heroine admires the story of Guinevere in the 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Emma Watson’s Belle in Beauty and the Beast (2017) also enjoys the story of Guinevere and Lancelot as she discusses some of her favorite stories with the Beast who she learns to love over time. Some people might not even know that Mary Poppins herself (Julie Andrews) actually starred in Camelot when Walt Disney decided to cast her as the world’s most famous nanny. Because of T.H. White’s writing, and film adaptations of those beloved stories, it is clear that Camelot is an example of how Arthurian legends live on in both literature and film.
Camelot (1967) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: during every musical number
Drink a Shot: every time there is a shot of anything related to royalty and medieval times
Have Some Wine: whenever the characters drink wine
And Maybe Have Some Pizza with Your Drinks: for all of King Arthur’s knights at the Round Table (and yes, this is supposed to be a funny reference to Round Table Pizza)