T.H.White's modern rendition of the romantic drama Camelot is my
favorite movie. Filmed in a setting which took three years to complete the
backdrop was all about the legendary King Author of England.
Richard Harris who
played King Author was in his youth. His stately demeanor, elegant
physical bearing in the way he walked, and his gentle manner told of
kingly ways. The gold, heavy looking crown rested regally on his head when
he was having an audience with a host of guests and it reminded them he
was the power on the thrown. The arrow gold spikes on a circle rested
easily on his head.
When he was alone
his musings went to a different attitude. “I know what my people are
thinking tonight,” he would mutter. “They are wondering, 'what is the King
thinking tonight?” “I'll tell you. He's scared.”
Upon learning of
Guinevere and Lancelot's affair he said, “How can they do this to me? I'm
a man. He went on to say, I'm not a man. I'm a King. I'm civilized. What
about their pain and torment. By God I shall be a King. I'll reach for the
stars. Violence is not strength. We are civilized. We shall live through
this together. May God have mercy on us all.”
queen, played by Vanessa Redgrave, was equally as royal in her appearance
as the king's was. Her tall, delicate, fine bone structure might have
alone selected her for this role. The long flowing gowns of the period
draped easily about her body and gave her the extra grace of a stately
appearance. “Jenny,” the King called her and he named her correctly. She
did not have the same moral commitment to establishing a righteous
government as he did. Her love for the common activities of the people
were more to her likes. May day was the month she sang, “The Merry Month
of May,” as she frolicked among the fields of flowers with the maidens and
manipulated the Knights against Lancelot, the Knight from France. Her
scheme backfired on her with Franco Nero, playing Lancelot, nearly
killing one of the Knights. On his knees pleading for the man's life in
prayer Lancelot was made humble as she had planned but in a different way.
Guenevere's smug superiority turned to respect and then to desire.
These events were
what led to the destruction of the Round Table, Author's civilized rule,
and everything he had tried to established as to solving mankind's
problems with civil courts and trial by juries. The end of Camelot as the
song told, “Camelot, these are the legal laws.”
Camelot, Not to be Forgot
Richard Harris took a final bow.
His spirit lifts away to its maker now.
And for his work, not to be forgot,
There is the haunting film of Camelot.
Through the years trials and troubles came,
That play always took away my pain.
For whatever reason who knows why.
Maybe it was to realize King's too, cry.
Mr. Harris was said to be a private person,
For this I think I understand his reason.
"It's evening from December to December,
That once a fleeting wisp of glory to remember,"
And Richard Harris, "Not to be Forgot."