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Beyond the Movie: The Lord of the Rings (23 Dec. 2001)

TV Episode  |  Unrated  |   |  Documentary
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A look at the background for Tolkien's mythology, hence the movie's mythology.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Phil Crowley ...
Himself - Narrator
John Howe ...
Himself - Conceptual Designer of LOTR
Peter McHugh ...
Additional Voices
Additional Voices
Alan Lee ...
Himself - Conceptual Designer of LOTR
Himself / Samwise 'Sam' Gamgee
Himself / Saruman the White
John Garth ...
Himself - Tolkien Historian
Martin Carver ...
Himself - Archeologist (as Martin Carver PhD)
Himself - Director: Weta Workshop
Pekka Huttu-Hiltunen ...
Himself - Music Instructor


A documentary about the influences on Tolkien, covering in brief his childhood and how he detested the onslaught of industry through the idyllic countryside, moving on to describe his fighting experience from WWI, and closing with a look at the Finnish inspiration for the scholar's self-invented languages of Elfish. In between are interviews with the cast of the films and some clips, by far the most from "The Fellowship of the Ring", but a few glimpses of Rohan riders (from "The Two Towers") are provided. Also, there are interviews with a range of the filmmakers. Written by Joshua Calvert

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Release Date:

23 December 2001 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Some suprises here
8 July 2002 | by (Sydney) – See all my reviews

Like the books themselves, and then the film, this background to J.R.R.Tolkien's tale is a bit better than expected. There is a little bit more to the background of the trilogy than one might expect, as Mr Tolkien lived a somewhat unusual life.

Even though he repeatedly denied it, literary experts have found parallels to things he experienced in his life, and the tale of the Ring. He was involved in the Battle of the Somme in World War 1, where he lost many of his closest friends. He got trench fever. His sons fought in World War 11, and he disliked intensely the bleak industrialism which spread across the countryside he grew up in. He was much drawn to Finnish and Anglo-Saxon sagas, and wished to write about the forgotten Anglo-Saxon tales from before William the Conqueror's invasion of old England in 1066.

There was little doubt his sensitive soul was much affected by the horrible trench conditions of World War 1, the repeat of such in World War 11, and the industrial 'poisoning' of the beautiful countryside which he called home.

The documentary is delicately done, with the historical background a bit of an eye opener.

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

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