Year: 1967

Studio: Warner Brothers - Seven Arts

Screenplay: Alan Jay Lerner

Director: Joshua Logan


Brief Synopsis:

Camelot is the story of King Arthur, Lady Guenevere, Sir Lancelot, and the kingdom of Camelot. King Arthur meets and marries Guenevere. He decides to change the ways of living in Camelot by creating a peaceful society where disputes are settled by courts and laws instead of with swords and duels. Lancelot comes from France to serve in King Arthur's civilized court and he and Arthur become close friends. Eventually, Guenevere and Lancelot fall in love and Mordred, Arthur's illegitimate son, uses the romance to overthrow King Arthur's civilized kingdom of Camelot.

Detailed Synopsis:

King Arthur (Richard Harris) is in the woods when he spots his bride, Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave), approaching in her carriage. They have never met and both are frightened by the prospect of their impending marriage. They meet when Guenevere decides to run away but Arthur does not reveal his true identity. They are enchanted with each other and when Guenevere discovers who Arthur really is, she willingly goes with him to his castle in Camelot.

Arthur believes in a peaceful, harmonious world even though the one he lives in is one of violence. He decides to change the situation in his vast kingdom and he decrees that might should only be used for righting wrongs. He sets up a new order of knights - the Knights of the Round Table - and only the noblest knights will be permitted to join Arthur's new order. Messages are sent throughout Europe, announcing the new order.

Lancelot (Franco Nero) is a Frenchman who comes to Camelot to join Arthur's knights of the round table. Merlin, a wizard and Arthur's teacher, spoke to him once of Lancelot and now Arthur welcomes Lance into his kingdom. Guenevere and the knights despise Lancelot because he is arrogant and believes that his morality and pureness are of a higher order than anyone else's and he alienates everyone but Arthur.

Guenevere arranges for several of the most skilled and powerful knights to challenge Lancelot in dueling matches at the court's annual fair. Lance defeats all of the challengers but injures one fatally. He prays over the dying man and the knight suddenly and miraculously comes back to life. Guenevere witnesses this and she is deeply moved by Lance's power.

As time goes on, Lance and Guenevere fall in love and, although Arthur knows about their love, he does not speak to either one about it. The other knights begin to speak openly about Lance and Guenevere and Arthur passes laws that forbid anyone from defaming the queen. He also ensures that Lance and Guenevere never have the chance to be together alone.

Arthur, in his youth, fathered an illegitimate son, Mordred, who comes to Camelot to claim his position as Arthur's son. Arthur acknowledges that Mordred is his son, but he refuses to give him the honor and share of his kingdom that Mordred wants, so Mordred plots Arthur's downfall, and the destruction of the Knights of the Round Table.

Mordred challenges Arthur to leave Lance and Guenevere alone in the castle, certain that they will give into their passion and destroy Arthur's trust in them. Although Arthur knows that if Lance and Guenevere are caught together, they will be condemned to death by being burned at the stake, he trusts them and accepts Mordred's challenge. Unfortunately, Arthur's trust is betrayed and Guenevere and Lance are trapped by Mordred and the knights. Lance escapes but Guenevere is condemned to death.

Arthur can do nothing to save Guenevere without destroying his kingdom and all his hopes for Camelot and a civilized world. On the day of Guenevere's burning, Lance comes and rescues her, but Arthur is then forced to gather together his knights and prepare to do battle against Lance and his army of supporters.

Arthur, Guenevere and Lance meet for one final time, shortly before they will go to battle. Guenevere has joined a nunnery and Lance asks for Arthur's forgiveness.

While Arthur is waiting to sound the call to battle, a lad comes running by and he tells Arthur that he has heard about King Arthur's round table and the noble knights and that he wants to join them in their battle. Arthur commands the lad to return to England and tell everyone the tale of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table.