Camelot seems to be a movie that many people either really admire and appreciate or is a film that people would label too cheesy and silly for its own good. Either way, Joshua Logan’s “Camelot” has made it to it’s 45th Anniversary and in its honor, Warner Brothers has released a special edition of the film that is now available for purchase. You can purchase the film by clicking on the Blu Ray cover below, which will redirect you to the offical Warner Brothers shop where you can pick up the film.
The movie is based on a 1960’s musical production and follows the classic tale of King Arthur. In the film, King Arthur and Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave) get married and they are the rulers of yep, you guessed it Camelot. Arthur is a great ruler and seems to be beloved by those of Camelot. Just like most films of this nature, everything seems to be going good until the unexpected happens. A knight named Lancelot comes to town and begins to swoon Guenevere. This begins a strange love triangle that sooner rather than later may result in problems for the entire kingdom of Camelot.
Watching a film like Camelot is probably one of the most interesting experiences if you are a film lover like myself. The tale of King Arthur is such a classic tale and seeing this made into a musical is very interesting to see even in today’s day and age. I personally have always admired musical in both film and on stage. I feel that a story that can be told through music adds another layer to it. I thought the idea of making Camelot into a musical was a strange idea, but it works for the most part of the film.
With such legendary actors and actresses in this film there is very little surprise that the acting in this film is top notch. Richard Harris is absolutely brillant as King Arthur and his performance is dead on. He gives Arthur a sense of credibility and makes him very likable. Redgrave, who is probably one of the standout performances in the film, shows off why she was one of the biggest leading ladies in the earlier days of Hollywood. She is both stunning in her looks, but really knows how to exhibit her emotions on screen. My least favorite character in the film was Franco Nero, who played Lancelot. While Nero did a good job in the film, I just didn’t like the conflict that the film shaped with him as a character. They made him into a softer character, but one that I really would have much rather hated than liked.
The musical numbers within this film are fun and upbeat. The songs oddly enough fit in with the tone of the film and really help shape the characters as a whole. While feeling a bit dated for the new generation, I personally really appreciate the fact that director Joshua Logan decided to add some style to the film especially during the musical numbers. There are so many scenes where the musical numbers are going on and instead of staying in one location, Logan decides to capture these characters singing their hearts out while in various locations, which I think visually helps the movie remain more entertaining for the viewer.
With all good, comes some bad. Camelot really makes me appreciate the golden days of Hollywood, but at the same time, this film feels really long and bloated at times. The movie runs a bit too long for its own good and at times is way too dramatic for its own good. Its those little hipcups that give this film some of the negative reception that the film has gotten, but it clearly isn’t enough to ever knock this film for attempting to try something unique with a story that has been beloved by many for so many years. Its definitely a film that shows its age, but at the same time shows that even 45 years ago Hollywood can take some risks and create a good film using a very simplistic plot.
The film’s Blu Ray transfer is very vivid and really makes the film shine. For a movie that is 45 years old, one might have doubted the image quality, but like most Warner Brothers releases this one is top notch. As far as special features are concerned, this disc has a nice amount of goodies that will give fans of the film something to look forward to. The disc has a feature length commentary by film critic Stephen Farber, a production documentary called Camelot: Falling Kingdoms, a short 10 min behind the scenes look about the film’s story, a promotional video of the film’s premiere in Times Sqaure, and a few trailers.
At the end of the day, Camelot is still a great watch and is something that many true film fans will appreciate. While the film has some minor issues here and there, the film still has terrific performances, likable characters, a good story, and some really fun and catchy musical numbers. If you are a fan of classic cinema this definitely a must own and I personally must recommend that those who have not seen it to check out the 45th Anniversary Edition now available from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.