For today’s post I would like to do a countdown of my favorite portrayals of the Queen of Camelot. I adore Arthurian legends, and I thought this countdown would be a really fun one to do! Now without further ado here are my top five Guineveres on the screen!
Number 5: Julia Ormond in First Knight (1995)
~In this 1995 version of the Arthurian tales we see Julia Ormond play a much younger Guinevere married to an older, but still dashing, Arthur (played by Sean Connery, he alone is reason to watch it). Of course, Guinevere falls in love with Lancelot, here played by Richard Gere. While not the greatest of Arthurian adaptations, Julia Ormond does a good job, and the rest of the cast is fun to watch as well.
Number 4: Lena Headey in Merlin (1998)
~I love the fact that the woman who would go on to play Cersei Lannister played Guinevere over a decade earlier! I truly enjoy this miniseries about Merlin.
Number 3: Ava Gardner in The Knights of the Round Table (1953)
~Ava Gardner was silver screen royalty, and she was very fun to watch as Guinevere! I do love Old Hollywood, as anyone who is a regular reader here knows, and that is one reason Ava Gardner makes this list.
Number 2: Tamsin Egerton in Camelot (2011)
~This is an often reviled series, that I honestly really enjoyed. It is a non-traditional take on the legends, and that often makes people annoyed. Personally I am of the opinion that since there is no one original version of the legends, as they have changed and adapted over time, new takes on them are not a negative thing. That being said there are takes I did not like myself, however this was not one of them! I adored the female cast, and I think they overshadowed the men. Tamsin Egerton played a sexy, sweet, and conflicted Guinevere. She is smart and noble, even when she makes poor choices. I truly wish the series had more than one season!
Number 1: Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot (1967)
~My number one had to be Vanessa Redgrave in the film adaptation of the musical Camelot. While I wish the film would have included the more magical numbers from the stage musical, I do very much enjoy this. It gets bonus points for having a Guinevere and Lancelot (Redgrave and France Nero) who fell in love while playing the roles! In all this is a very 1960s take on the Arthurian legends, and Redgrave played a very flirty and even occasionally manipulative Guinevere! We get to see the positive and negative sides of Guinevere, making the legendary queen a little more real!
Special Mention: Sheryl Lee in Guinevere (1994). This makes the special mention section because the made for television film is based on Persia Woolley’s trilogy of books about Guinevere. However, I much preferred the books to this movie.
~I hope you have enjoyed this countdown. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!