Release Date: September 26, 1982
Director: Marty Callner
Production Company: Home Box Office (HBO)
The revival of the Broadway musical Camelot played at the Winter Garden Theatre (just before it was infested by Cats) in 1981-1982 and this film for HBO is a taping of a live performance. When I was a child, this was my introduction to the musical and Arthurian legend in general. I later saw the 1967 film adaptation of Camelot which was a bit meh, and I attended a touring company performance in the 1990s. I enjoyed that performance although it starred Robert Goulet as King Arthur which seemed a misuse of his vocal talents.
For me this 1982 version of Camelot remains the gold standard. It stars Richard Harris as Arthur, and I’ve forever been a fan of Richard Harris since first watching this. I’m glad I was able to find it again on the library resource Hoopla. Harris brings humanity, gravitas, and humor to his role as Arthur. Camelot reduces it’s source material (T.H. White’s The Once and Future King) down to the essential love triangle among Arthur, Guenevere, and Lancelot. Meg Bussert and Richard Muenz perform and sing terrifically as Guenevere, and Lancelot. I’m also delighted by Barrie Ingham’s hilarious performance as Pellinore.
If you like Camelot, or you’ve never seen Camelot, you owe it to yourself to watch this version.