This is my favorite musical ever. And I always cry at the end. No lie. Camelot is all about great hopes dashed to the ground, and it gets me right there. I love the soundtrack, I love the movie, I make no apologies for any of it.
Well … maybe for the costumes. They’re kind of just … long ye olde-timey sacks. Though I guess I shouldn’t judge Camelot‘s costumes too harshly because King Arthur is really more of legend, not a strictly historical story, and it’s not like this musical is set in a specific year. Those Arthurian legends put him as having lived in the late 5th and early 6th centuries in Britain, while most of the texts written about King Arthur date from the 11th and 12th centuries. So the story gets some flavor of the later period too. All that said, authentic 5th- through 12th-century clothing in the British Isles looks a whole lot like sacks to me.
Also, and more importantly, these are medieval sacks via the 1960s. This is more evident when you see the actual costumes on display vs. on the screen. The fabrics scream “polyester double-knit,” and all the bouffant hair and doe-eye makeup is obvious. Designer John Truscott won a Best Costume Oscar for this film, and, well, let’s just say it was of its time. Still, it doesn’t hurt the performances or the songs.
Don’t let it be forgot / That once there was a spot / For one brief shining moment / That was known as Camelot!