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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Camelot (1967)

On the eve of a great battle, King Arthur (Richard Harris) reflects on his first meeting with his bride Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave), his dreams of uniting all of England, the forming of the knights of the Round Table, of his friend Lancelot (Franco Nero) and how it all lead to the battlefield. Based on the Tony award winning hit 1960 Broadway Lerner & Loewe (MY FAIR LADY) musical and directed by Joshua Logan (PICNIC). I watched the 3 hour roadshow cut. The general release version was cut by almost 30 minutes including overture, intermission and entr'acte. Behind the camera, two contributions stand out. The production design and costumes of John Truscott and the musical supervision of the legendary Alfred Newman who makes the Lerner & Loewe score soar. Both men justifiably won Oscars for their work here. In front of the camera, the film belongs to Vanessa Redgrave who brings a great actress's authority to the underwritten role of Guenevere. Franco Nero's Lancelot is also a standout but while Richard Harris is on firm ground when singing, he can't seem to say the simplest line without acting it to death. After awhile, it becomes amusing to see how much he's going to squeeze out of a line and indeed, he overacts even when whispering! With David Hemmings, Lionel Jeffries, Laurence Naismith and Estelle Winwood.   

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