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The Return of the King (1980)

Not Rated | | Animation, Action, Adventure | TV Movie 11 May 1980
Two Hobbits struggle to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom while their friends desperately fight evil Lord Sauron's forces in a final battle.


(novels), (adapted for the screen)
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Cast overview:
Aragorn (voice)
Lord Denethor (voice)
Gandalf (voice)
Samwise Gamgee (voice)
Brother Theodore ...
Gollum / Smeagol (voice) (as Theodore)
Paul Frees ...
Don Messick ...
John Stephenson ...
Sonny Melendrez ...
Eowyn / Dernhelm (voice)
Glenn Yarbrough ...
The Minstrel (voice)


This film adapts the final book of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy where the Hobbits, Frodo and Samwise, struggle through the barren land of Mordor to destroy the Ruling Ring in Mount Doom. At the same time, Gandalf and the others wage a desperate battle against the forces of Sauron at Minas Tirith, but Sauron seems to have the upper hand while the source of his power, the Ring, slowly threatens to corrupt its bearers. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Story of Hobbits. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El retorno del rey  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Huston directed Theodore Bikel in The African Queen (1951), which also featured Katharine Hepburn. Hepburn was played in The Aviator (2004) by Cate Blanchett, who also appeared in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). See more »


Many names of locations and characters are mispronounced: Gorgoroth as Gorogoroth, Minas Tirith as Mine-as Tirith (instead of Me-nas), Cirith Ungol as Sirith Ungol (insteaf of Kirith), Smaug as Smog (instead of Sma-ug), Sauron as Soron (instead of Sow-ron), Lebennin as LebEnnin (instead of LEbennin). See more »


Eowyn: Begone foul dwimmerlaik! Leave the dead in peace.
The Witch King: Come not between the Nazgul and his prey, or he will slay thee in turn.
Eowyn: Do what you will, I will hinder it if I may.
The Witch King: Hinder me? Thou fool! Dost though not know the prophecy? No living man may hinder me.
Eowyn: But no living man am I! You look upon a woman, Eowyn am I. You stand between me and my Lord and kin. Begone, or living or dark undead, I will smite you if you touch him!
See more »


Featured in Ringers: Lord of the Fans (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

This is actually painful to watch...
16 April 2005 | by (proudly, Middle Earth) – See all my reviews

First of all, I'd like to express how much I love The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tolkien was a genius. Peter Jackson did a great job on the films, I think. But Rankin-Bass, however, did not.


The thing that bothered me a lot in this movie was the music. It was annoying, and ends up getting stuck in your head. Right now I'm trying to get rid of the one about Frodo's Nine Fingers. The animation is awful. There were also several elements of the story that bothered me, in animation, and in plot. For example, why did Elrond have a beard? Elves don't have beards. They are clean-shaven, always. Why did Merry and Pippin meet on the Pelenor DURING the battle? Where are Legolas and Gimli? What's with Denethor? The orcs looked much too top-heavy to be able to walk. The Nazgul were terrible. (They were on flying horses.) Denethor was bad, as well, as he just looked like a crazy old man with a back problem. He didn't look strong at all, as he was portrayed in the books and the recent film by Peter Jackson. Gollum looked as if he were pregnant, and sounded like a guy clearing his throat. And Sam's frequent exclamations of, "Oh, my God!" and "Lord, help me!" were not true to the books. (Although Tolkien was a Christian and so am I, the phrases should not have been in the movie.) And the battering ram, Grond? The thing looked as if strangely colored drool was coming out of its mouth rather than fire.

This was overall the worst adaptation of anything I have ever seen. It was, truly, painful to watch.

No, really, I was writhing in agony. Good thing the library rents out tapes for free.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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