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The Lord of the Rings (1978) Poster

Goofs

Continuity 

Whilst Gandalf is talking to Theoden and Grima in Edoras, Gimli's hood appears and disappears as the camera angles change.
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This goof item contains spoilers. Click to view
Jump to: Character error (5) | Continuity (4) | Revealing mistakes (3) | Spoilers (2)

Character error 

The name of the wizard of Isengard fluctuates between "Saruman" and "Aruman" throughout the movie.
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Celeborn's name is mispronounced ("Seleborn" instead of "Keleborn").
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Saruman is called "Saruman the White" and "Saruman of Many Colors", yet throughout this movie he is dressed entirely in red.
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Gandalf and Aragorn pronounce "Edoras" differently.
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"Minas Tirith" is consistently mispronounced as "Mine-as Tirith" rather than "Min-as Tirith".
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Continuity 

In the first shot of the orc attack in Moria, Legolas' bow is tall with spiral tips (which he uses throughout the movie). In the very next shot, two seconds later, it is much smaller, with the regular curved tips of a straight-limb longbow.
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The same close-ups of Legolas firing his bow and then running appear twice each during the Helm's Deep sequence.
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In Rivendell when you first see Bilbo he is stood reciting poetry, while the other four hobbits walk into the room. In one frame you see Frodo sat in a corner playing a harp, then it returns to him entering with the other hobbits and it is an elf playing the harp.
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The night Boromir tries to persuade Frodo to lend him the ring, the moon is behind Frodo, but it is also behind Boromir as well.
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Revealing mistakes 

In many, many shots throughout the second half of the movie, the blond Legolas has dark hair. The actor who played Legolas in the live-action footage on which the movie was based clearly had dark hair, and these shots were insufficiently fully converted into animation.
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The Dwarf Gimli is almost as tall as the human and Elven characters in this movie. Presumably the actor who played him in the live-action footage was insufficiently short, and it was considered impractical to shrink him in the rotoscoping process.
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When Frodo and Sam are rowing down the river, they are facing each other and rowing in opposite directions, so the boat is just moving back and forth.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

When Gandalf is revealed to be alive again, he jumps up onto a rock. His cloak becomes wrapped around his staff and has to be disentangled - clearly a mishap carried over from the live-action footage.
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Continuity 

After Gandalf returns to the company of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli as Gandalf The White (wearing a solid white outfit), he accompanies them to the castle of King Theoden. When the group is walking up to the entrance, Gandalf is suddenly shown in his original grey cloak and blue hat. In the next shot, he is wearing all white again.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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