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The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings – 1978
Ralph Bakshi

J.R.R. Tolkien – novels
Chris Conkling – screenplay

Christopher Guard
William Squire
Michael Scholes

Review by Wayne Malin

Hopelessly confused,

Ralph Bakshi had a good idea–do “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as three separate animated films. Back in 1978 it would have been impossible to do this live action. I saw it in a theatre in 1978 with my brother and some friends. I had just read “The Hobbit” but never the trilogy–my friends have never read any of it. We did like it and it made sense at first–but the film slowly got more and more confused as it went on. For whatever reason Bakshi did the first book AND half of the second book. Trying to cram all that into a film only a little over two hours was unwise (to say the least). Characters were introduced at light speed and the story barreled ahead full force never stopping to explain events or plot.

By the end we were all totally lost and couldn’t figure out what was happening. A woman in front of us had read all the books beforehand. She said they ruined it afterwords and urged us to read the books instead. It’s a good thing we got that incredible trilogy all those years later live action. This is, at best, a curiosity item. The animation IS good but the story is impossible to follow and it ends very abruptly. Animation fans might want to take a look but it’s not really worth it.

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A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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