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Trivia / Camelot

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The musical:

  • Big Name Fan
    • The show was famously popular with then-president John F. Kennedy and his family. During his presidency, the White House was even referred to as "Camelot."
    • Atop the Fourth Wall host and creator Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug cited both the stage musical and the movie as his favorites, claiming that it played an important role in forming his personal sense of morality as a child.
  • Colbert Bump
    • The show saw a massive boost in ticket sales following Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet's performance of songs from the show on The Ed Sullivan Show.
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    • A decent number of millennials and gen-zers know about this show from Linkara mentioning his love for it on Atop the Fourth Wall.
  • Cut Song: "Fie on Goodness" is cut from some productions. Another number, between Mordred and Morgan LeFey, is often cut. Nobody misses it.
    • Despite being on the original cast album, "Fie on Goodness" and "Then You May Take Me to the Fair" were cut from the original Broadway run to shorten an over-long show.
  • Troubled Production: Oh yes. Multiple songs have different variants (listen to Guenevere here versus here for one example). Act 2 was also said to be much more difficult to write, and different productions tend to cut at least one part of it for time.
    • During rehearsals, writer Alan Jay Lerner was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer. Soon after he came back, director Moss Hart suffered a heart attack and Lerner temporarily took over the direction without credit. The show ran four and a half hours at the start of its Toronto tryout and without a full-time director, no one could agree on what to cut, leading to conflicts between Lerner and Loewe that would lead to the breakup of their partnership a year later.

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For the film:

  • Actor-Inspired Element: It was Vanessa Redgrave's idea to do "Take Me to the Fair," in a constantly changing setting with new backgrounds and costumes for every change of verse to show the passage of time.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Richard Harris desperately campaigned to play King Arthur, despite being repeatedly refused due to his limited singing ability. At one point he even paid a man to carry a board down the Strand that said, "Harris Better than Burton, Only Harris for Camelot". When Vanessa Redgrave was cast as Guenivere, Harris sent a note to producer Jack L. Warner, which read, "Height of Vanessa Redgrave: 5 feet 11 inches. Richard Burton: 5 feet 10 inches. Richard Harris: 6 feet 2 inch,"
  • California Doubling: Despite being set in Medieval England, the movie was actually filmed on location in Spain.
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  • Cut Song: "The Jousts", "Before I Gaze At You Again", "The Seven Deadly Virtues", "Persuasion" and "Fie On Goodness!" were cut from the film.
  • Fake Nationality: Arthur, the King of England, is played by Irishman Richard Harris, and French knight Lancelot Du Lac is played by Italian actor Franco Nero, who makes no real attempt to sound French.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Despite the fact that he was the only trained singer in the cast, David Hemmings doesn't get to sing at all during the movie.
  • Large Ham: At times, Richard Harris and Franco Nero come within mere centimeters of consuming the set whole.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Franco Nero's singing was dubbed by Gene Merlino of the group The Mellomen.
  • Prop Recycling: The knights' armor in the film was brought to Hollywood from Spain, where it had been used in El Cid.
  • Romance on the Set: Much like their characters, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero were lovers at the time.
  • Underage Casting: Lionel Jeffries was only forty when he played the elderly King Pellinore.
  • Wag the Director:
    • Richard Harris insisted on cutting Lancelot and Guinevere's love scene, because he felt that it reduced the dignified aspects of the king. When Jack L. Warner refused to comply, Harris burst into his office and started pounding on the desk.
    • Vanessa Redgrave insistined on "creative" enhancements to her dialogue, costumes, and character. For one musical number which accents Guenevere's playful attitude towards Lancelot, she baffled the director by singing her lyrics in French. When questioned as to why, she said, "We're making fun of Lancelot, aren't we? And he's French. Well, the whole idea is that by singing it in French we're making more of a joke of him." Luckily, after an exhausting debate, Logan managed to get her to record the lyrics in English.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original plan was to have Richard Burton and Julie Andrews reprise their stage roles as King Arthur and Guinevere. This fell through when due to salary disagreements. Warner Bros. considered having Burton star opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O'Toole as Guinevere and Lancelot, but this was deemed too expensive.
    • Joshua Logan had Terence Stamp in mind for Lancelot, but he turned it down.
    • Cher and Marianne Faithful were conisdered for Guinevere.

For the TV Series:

  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Eva Green is a huge lover of witches and the occult, and loves the chance to play them.
  • Billing Displacement: Joseph Fiennes is billed before Jamie Campbell Bower, despite Arthur being the main character.
  • California Doubling: The series is set in Britain but was largely filmed in Ireland.
  • Dueling Shows: Game of Thrones and more loosely Merlin. It was also compared to Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
  • Fake Brit:
    • Eva Green once again downplays her French accent to play a British character.
    • Peter Mooney, who plays Kay, is Canadian, as is Lara Jean Chorostecki (Bridget).
    • Diramuid Murtagh (Brastias) is Irish.
    • Sebastian Koch, who played Uther, is German.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • It did not go unnoticed that this series started up at the same time Merlin (2008) was beginning its fourth season. Though it was probably a coincidence, it also ended up containing several interesting similarities to the other show, including Arthur and Morgan being half-siblings through their father (most versions have Igraine as the shared parent), Morgan having a dark-skinned maidservant, and Arthur being characterized as a Spoiled Brat before his Character Development. These aspects were unique to each show and are seldom (if ever) seen in other adaptations of Arthurian Legend.
    • It was also an Irish-filmed historical series full of sex and sword fighting, following the lead of The Tudors and Vikings. Likewise the Low Fantasy and Demythification aspects took cues from Game of Thrones.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Claire Forlani was famous for various love interest roles in American films during the 90s. Playing a Proper Lady in a fantasy piece is very different. What's more is that it's one of the first major roles where she gets to use her natural accent (she's English but normally plays Americans).
    • Downplayed with Jamie Campbell Bower, who was often cast as evil pretty boys.
  • Playing with Character Type: While Eva Green playing an eerie supernatural character is hardly new (even at the time she'd already done The Golden Compass), her characters usually fall into Dark Is Not Evil. Morgan however is clearly a villain, and probably the most evil character Eva has ever played.
  • Stillborn Franchise: In the season finale, the Round Table is established, and Mordred is conceived. Then the show was axed. The official reason was lead actors having prior commitments, but lower viewership and critical reception compared to contemporary shows like Game of Thrones didn't help. Word of God is that they did have plans for additional seasons, even if ten episodes were only greenlit.
  • Typecasting: James Purefoy as the evil King Lot is nothing new.
  • The Wiki Rule: Camelot Wiki

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