The respected stage director Joshua Logan was not a natural moviemaker, to put it kindly. The performances in his films were always too broad (think "Picnic," excepting Kim Novak). You were aware of the proscenium. That said, sometimes his theatrical artistry did work. "Camelot" is hit or miss but the hits are bulls-eyes, especially with Vanessa Redgrave who is rapturous in this film.
I loved CAMELOT on stage, and I feel the film improved the libretto. I love what Logan did with the cast and look. He really recreated it for the screen rather than simply film the play the way Cukor did with MY FAIR LADY. Seeing the film in 70mm in stereo was a wonderful experience. The new blu-ray is stunning in sight and sound. Harris, Redgrave and Nero are heartbreaking.
Josh Logan tries. Lord love him, he tries. He had a great feeling for aesthetics and there are some beautiful images here and there that come close to the magic he achieves in Picnic's slow dance, but the material is just wretched. If this had been a straight telling of the legend, I have every confidence Logan could have worked miracles. But with this shallow charade he's hamstrung at every turn.
No matter how much money was thrown at this film it rarely takes hold as anything other than beautiful hubris and nearly drowns a generally appealing libretto and score with needless opulence. Woefully miscast and distracted leads add to the jolly misery and it’s yet another clunking attempt to replicate Warner’s earlier My Fair Lady, itself no stranger to largesse served as whimsy. Oh Julie, where for art thou?