5.7/10
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53 user 19 critic

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.

Writers:

J.R.R. Tolkien (novels), Romeo Muller (adapted for the screen)
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Popularity
3,891 ( 490)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Orson Bean ... Frodo Baggins / Bilbo Baggins (voice)
Theodore Bikel ... Aragorn (voice)
William Conrad ... Lord Denethor (voice)
John Huston ... Gandalf (voice)
Roddy McDowall ... Samwise Gamgee (voice)
Brother Theodore ... Gollum / Smeagol (voice) (as Theodore)
Paul Frees ... Orc / Goblin / Uruk-Hai / Captain Shagrat / Lieutenant Snaga / Orc Sergeant / Lord Elrond (voice)
Don Messick ... King Theoden / Easterling / The Mouth of Sauron (voice)
John Stephenson ... Gondorian Guard / Dwimmerlaik - The Witch-King of Angmar (voice)
Casey Kasem ... Meriadoc 'Merry' Brandybuck (voice)
Sonny Melendrez ... Peregrin 'Pippin' Took (voice)
Nellie Bellflower ... Eowyn / Dernhelm (voice)
Glenn Yarbrough ... The Minstrel (voice)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A Story of Hobbits. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Return of the King See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters of Gimli and Legolas do not appear in this film, despite being major characters in The Lord of the Rings (1978), and both of their fathers being characters in the previous Rankin/Bass production, 'The Hobbit (1977)(TV)'. Gimli's father is the dwarf Gloin, while Legolas's father, Thranduil, is the King of the Elves in Mirkwood. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Gandalf: You cannot do this!
Lord Denethor: Nay, nay, soon all shall be burned. The West has failed, it shall go up in a great fire and all shall be in it. Ash, ash and smoke blown away on the wind!
Gandalf: All shall not be ended! Théoden's forces are on their way!
Lord Denethor: [laughs] Ride and despair! Ride and despair... didst thou think that the eyes of the White Tower were blind? I have looked inside my palantír.
Peregrin 'Pippin' Took: What is that?
Gandalf: A palantír. The stuff of wizards. A crystal ball to see the future.
Lord Denethor: I have seen more than thou knowest Grey ...
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User Reviews

good considering the time crunch
15 October 2003 | by VoodooChickenSee all my reviews

I really LIKED the whip song!!!

Considering this was a made-for-TV ANIMATED movie back in 1980, Rankin-Bass did an okay job trying to make amends for Ralph Bakshi's failure. R-B was hired to take the entire finale of LOTR and squeeze it down to under 90 minutes suitable for TV. By comparison, Peter Jackson spent over 90 million to make a 3 1/2 hour movie with a PG-13 rating.

R-B made some tough, hard, and brave decisions to pick what would stay, what would go, and what needed to be changed. Purists should stick with the books, but when you consider that Tolkien himself couldn't tell his whole story within the book and had to include appendices, it really isn't necessary to include every minute detail on TV.

The book spent over 100 pages just wrapping up all the "lose ends" after the ring was destroyed. The quest for the ring was the main plot, not dealing with Saruman, not resolving Aragorn's and Arwen's love, not even dealing with Legolas' and Gimli's bond. While these plots didn't make it to the movie and that's a shame, they are not essential to the main story.

I'm not saying the movie was GREAT. I still chuckle when I think that the actual RETURNING OF THE KING took a five second cameo, I stand by Rankin-Bass if only to pick up Ralph Bakshi's pieces, even in vain.


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