Return of the King (1980) Part 1

This is a… weird movie. It’s a sequel to a movie that didn’t share ANY of its cast and crew, and there’s a massive timegap between the end of one and the beginning of another that is just confusing. Also, a chunk of the cast of the Bakshi version has been jettisoned, and most of the characters from the book. Seriously, WHERE ARE LEGOLAS AND GIMLI?

It tries to appeal to kids with songs and Shire dreams, but also features Shakespearean-style monologues and characters implicitly committing suicide. Sigh. Rankin-Bass, just because The Hobbit was a movie for kids doesn’t mean this one is.

Oh, and did I mention that it has Roddy McDowell as Samwise Gamgee?

 
GANDALF (VO)
Hear you now…a story of good against evil.

… which is most stories, really. Well, except for Twishite and slice-of-life stories.

 
An epoch that has its beginning at an ending… and ends at a beginning.

Not to be pedantic, but every epoch begins at an ending (of the previous epoch) and ends at a beginning (of the next one).

It takes a lot of anti-talent to make LOTR sound incredibly… bland.

00:00:33,435 –> 00:00:36,563

Listen, as we speak of the fall

of a lord of darkness…
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…and the return of a king of light.
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00:00:40,008 –> 00:00:42,856

Concern yourselves

with armies and wizards…
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…phantoms and emperors…
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…cloud-capped towers

and bloodied fields of horrendous carnage.
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Consider no less…
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00:00:51,998 –> 00:00:53,844

…than the cataclysmic transformation…
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…of that ancient world

of wonder and magic…
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00:00:56,889 –> 00:00:59,494

…to the world we know now, of Man.
14

00:01:00,781 –> 00:01:03,505

What mighty lord, you may ask,

is hero enough…
15

00:01:03,707 –> 00:01:06,672

…to evoke such cosmic metamorphosis?
16

00:01:09,639 –> 00:01:12,485

Why, no lord at all,

but the littlest of fellows…
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00:01:13,290 –> 00:01:14,811

…Frodo the Hobbit…
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00:01:14,892 –> 00:01:17,096

…and his faithful squire, Samwise.
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00:01:18,220 –> 00:01:21,587

Who, beginning at the ending,

now approach Rivendell…
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00:01:21,870 –> 00:01:23,874

…the Elvish home of Elrond…
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00:01:24,154 –> 00:01:27,159

…there to help celebrate

the 129th birthday…
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00:01:27,723 –> 00:01:29,609

…of Frodo’s aged kin…
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00:01:30,168 –> 00:01:33,616

…Bilbo Baggins,

renowned tormentor of dragons.
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00:01:34,299 –> 00:01:39,269

Bless my soul!

You’re a match for Smaug himself.
25

00:01:47,651 –> 00:01:49,816

All of us, Frodo and Samwise…
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…their Hobbit companions,

Merry and Pippin…
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…EIrond the Elf-Lord, and l, Gandalf…
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…wished Bilbo only the best.
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But as we celebrated

far into the Elvish night…
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…we found it difficult

to keep our aging guest of honor awake.
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Nay, Pippin. Not till Bilbo has cut it.
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Blast. What a time to fall asleep.
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Who’s asleep?
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Just resting my eyes…
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…and remembering.
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There And Back Again…
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…and what happened after.
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Remembering, sir?
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So many things.
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Old Smaug…
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…dear Thorin…
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…that terrible Gollum chap…
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…the Ring of Invisibility.
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What’s become of my ring?
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That ring I gave you and you took away.
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Yes.
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I’ve lost it, Bilbo dear.
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I got rid of it, you know.
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Pity. I should have liked to see it again.
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But…
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…now, how silly of me.
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That’s what you went for, wasn’t it?
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To get rid of it.
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But why destroy a thing

of such wondrous magic?
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It was an evil thing, sir.
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Nay!
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Without its powers…
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…I could never have faced

the worm, Smaug.
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You unwittingly used its

evil forces for good, dear Uncle.
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Your innocence protected you.
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But had you continued to wear it…
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…instead of keeping it

above your mantle as a trophy…
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…its ever-growing malignancy

would have consumed you…
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…as it almost consumed Samwise and me

and the whole of Middle-earth.
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But this is all so confusing.
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So confusing.
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-Will he never cut the cake?

-Patience, Merry.
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Me for a good smoke, while we wait.
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-What say, master?

-Good notion, Sam.
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Bless my soul!
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You are missing a finger!
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You not only lost my ring…
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…you lost the finger on which it rode?
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Frodo, you must explain.
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We have brought with us someone…
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…who has written a ballad

about the adventures of Frodo:
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The Minstrel of Gondor.

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