View Full Version : If the Movie had been Directed by Someone Else

05-04-2002, 02:51 PM
Don't get me wrong. I think Peter Jackson has done a magnificent job with the movie. I can’t imagine it being much better*. I’m just trying to imagine how <I>different</I> (better? worse? who cares?) the movie would have been if it were directed by someone else (living or dead).<P>The cinematography in Jackson’s film(s) is truly beautiful. The only other director that came to my mind when I viewed those New Zealand vistas was David Lean (1908-1991).<P>His films include: <BR>·<I>Great Expectations</I> (1946)<BR>·<I>Oliver Twist</I> (1948)<BR>·<I>Bridge on the River Kwai</I> (1957) - <B>Best Director</B>, Best Picture, Best Actor<BR>·<I>Lawrence of Arabia</I> (1962) – <B>Best Director</B>, Best Picture<BR>·<I>Dr. Zhivago</I> (1965)<BR>·<I>A Passage to India</I> (1984) – Best Supporting Actress<P>I have no doubt that David Lean would have chosen New Zealand as the perfect location for this film. The guy loved to shoot on location. And trains – railways – just noticed that – in Bridge, Lawrence, Zhivago, and Passage. He’d be disappointed – no trains – just oliphuants. He would have cast Sir Alec Guinness in the film - perhaps as Gandalf or as Saruman – they worked together on all the films listed above. Would he have cast Omar Sharif as Aragorn? Peter O’Toole as whom? Éomer? (I'm thinking of the year 1962.)<P>Can you imagine a long, long shot of Éomer and the riders of Rohan, at first just barely visible on the horizon, galloping across the grass through some mist toward the waiting Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli? I’m thinking of Sherif Ali Ibn El Kharish (played by Omar Sharif) riding across the desert sands through the mirage toward Lawrence at the well in <I>Lawrence of Arabia</I>.<P>And think just how spooky and creepy The Paths of the Dead would look – in black & white for best effect. Recall Lean’s opening of <I>Great Expectations</I> – the shadows and the creaking of the trees in the wind playing tricks on young Pip’s mind in the churchyard scene. Not to mention the dark and dusty halls of Miss Havisham’s ‘unlived-in’ house – reminds me of Moria.<P>What do you think? Do you have a favourite director who might have given the movie a different spin? I'm not interested in new scripts, but the different emphasis, film techniques, editing, and casting each director might have used and how that would make them a good choice to direct this movie.<P>Or perhaps you can see references to past directors (and films) in Peter Jackson’s version? For example: Jackson’s penchant for appearing in his own films was Alfred Hitchcock’s signature. Any Hitchcock fans want to speculate what he would have done with <I>the Rings</I>?<P>Another example: Boromir’s death scene rivals that of Messala in William Wyler’s <I>Ben-Hur</I> (after the chariot race). The situations of the death scenes in the two movies differ radically – they’re almost polar. A major difference is that Boromir confesses and is forgiven by Aragorn, whereas Messala ‘confesses’ to taunt Judah and so he is not forgiven. But the impact of both scenes is incredible – they tell so much about the character of both the penitent/taunter and the survivor/confessor. Someone out there really keen about Wyler and want to discuss his possible take on tLotR? I like a lot of his movies – what a range! <P>[Edited May 5/02: Do you think PJ was referencing Wyler in this scene? The lighting? Mottled thru the grating / trees. The other figures in the background awaiting the outcome? Surgeons / Legolas & Gimli. The 'confession' is similar in content - 'I've put 2 people you care for in mortal danger.' I'm probably just reading too much into it.]<P>[Let’s skip discussion of modern ‘post-Walt’ Disney animated versions since that’s been covered in thread: <A HREF="http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=4&t=000491" TARGET=_blank>Disney's Lord Of The Rings...??!! </A> Ideas about versions produced, if not directed, by Walt himself – especially live-action á la Swiss Family Robinson, Davey Crockett, etc. would be of some interest.]<P><BR>[Some script re-writes can be found in <A HREF="http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=000801" TARGET=_blank>Books >> If LotR had been written by someone else!?</A> And probably elsewhere in The Movies forum. So there’s no need to do those here.]<P>*I'll go into that somewhere else, perhaps.<p>[ May 05, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]

05-04-2002, 03:03 PM
Then I wonder if Frank Capra may have been an ideal choice to direct a movie of The Lord of the Rings.<P>Frank Capra (1897-1991) was the director of these classic films: <BR>·<I>It Happened One Night</I> (1934) – <B>Best Director</B>, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress<BR>·<I>Mr. Deeds Goes to Town</I> (1936) – <B>Best Director</B><BR>·<I>Lost Horizon</I> (1937)<BR>·<I>You Can’t Take It With You</I> (1938) – <B>Best Director</B>, Best Picture<BR>·<I>Mr. Smith Goes to Washington</I> (1939) – Best Motion Picture Story<BR>·<I>Meet John Doe</I> (1941)<BR>·<I>Arsenic and Old Lace</I> (1944)<BR>·<I>It’s a Wonderful Life</I> (1946)<BR>·<I>State of the Union</I> (1948)<P>I think Tolkien's story has a Capra-esque feel. Capra's sensibilities seem compatible to The Lord of the Rings. It has that universal Capra theme of the little guy up against the evil powers-that-be. There is a shared idea that every person – no matter how seemingly small – is important and a hero.<P>Capra liked sentimentality and could do it without ‘mushiness’ – he could wed sentiment to serious dramatic scenes and to comedy. <P>Capra's stories emphasize the importance of friends and family and community. So I think he would have focused on the relationship of Frodo & Sam and established the hobbits and the Shire as the touchstone of the piece. The Scouring of the Shire would be included.<P>Capra knew how to shoot a really good romantic (and sexy) scene or love story with ‘steam’ and/or humour as appropriate. Claudette Colbert & Clark Gable, Gary Cooper & Barbara Stanwyck, Cooper & Jean Arthur, etc. Think of Tony Kirby (Jimmy Stewart) & Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur) in <I>You Can’t Take it With You</I> – she’s on the phone in his office - very light in tone. Recall George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) & Mary Hatch (Donna Reed), again ‘on the phone’ – together - in <I>It’s a Wonderful Life</I> - but in this film it's serious, dramatic, intense. So no problems with Aragorn & Arwen, (Éowyn & Aragorn), Éowyn & Faramir, Sam & Rosie – except there aren’t any phones in M-E!<P>Capra was no stranger to flights of fancy or fantasy – Clarence (Angel second-class) of <I>It’s a Wonderful Life</I>, Shangri-La of <I>Lost Horizon</I>, etc. Special effects required? Well he did achieve the realistic effect of snow on the Bedford Falls set – using cornflakes! Also the angel’s wings, the starry universe – all in <I>It’s a Wonderful Life</I>. I’m afraid I’m not so familiar with <I>Lost Horizon</I> – I have seen clips of it long ago, but there must have been special effects in it.<P>The action bits (battle scenes, sword fighting, horseback riding) may have been a stretch though.<P>So what would the Capra-corn version look like? Would it be filmed in Black & White?! The shots would be workmanlike, proven to tell a story, nothing fancy or showy like Orson Welles or Hitchcock would do. The film would look a bit like a stage play for 'interior' shots like the Council of Elrond. There would be lots of detail in sets & background to reveal character – much as PJ shot Bag End. Very good cinematography of landscapes (<I>Lost Horizon</I>).<P>The pacing would be quick where required with snappy comic dialogue. Some jokes would be lost in the speed – great for a 2nd or 3rd viewing. Bilbo's Party scene would look much the same as PJ's but shorter, more frantic, quicker to the point. Something similar to the dinner party / firecracker / arrest scene in <I>You Can't Take It With You</I>. <P>[Edited May 5/02: On reflection, the Party scene would have been about the same length as PJ's, very chaotic, but then with a quiet scene with a LONGER (ie. the whole) speech by Bilbo. I was thinking more of Howard Hawks' screwball comedies. Sorry about that.]<P>The confrontation between Saruman & Gandalf would be more sinister and based on verbal (rather than physical) sparring – truer to Tolkien - Gandalf almost falling for Saruman’s offer. Recall George Bailey being offered the job by Mr. Potter in <I>It's a Wonderful Life</I> – ending with the sweaty handshake.<P>A song or two would be included. (<I>Auld Lang Syne</I> if he could fit it in somehow!)<P>There are no small roles in a Capra movie – all roles are important – Capra personally selected every member of the cast in his films. The Lord of the Rings is an ensemble piece, if ever there’s been one.<P>He worked with many of the great stars and character actors of his time. I think he would have done as PJ did - cast solid character actors for the most part - actors who aren’t already too well-known. He would have cast with and against type. But in the studio heydey he would have had to cast stars in the ‘lead’ roles. Unfortunately there is a dearth of female roles in tLotR; in the 30s & 40s the lead actress’ name was billed before the lead actor’s in the credits; the women were the big stars then. And since I don’t know the ‘bit’ players very well and you wouldn’t recognize their names either, I’ll just cast from the actors he worked with that we know fairly well. Given today's special effects technologies anything is possible, so he <I>might</I> have cast like this:<P>·Jean Arthur (she just glows!) as FRODO - requiring a bit of a re-write?!<BR>·Jimmy Stewart as SAMWISE (obviously)<BR>·Lionel Barrymore as GANDALF<BR>·Gary Cooper (Longshanks himself) as STRIDER/ARAGORN<BR>·Clark Gable as BOROMIR<BR>·With what would have been a breakthrough bit of casting - Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson as PIPPIN<BR>·No one comes to mind as MERRY<BR>·Again, a blank for LEGOLAS – but it’s a bit part! <BR>·Ditto for GIMLI!! <BR>·Thomas Mitchell as BILBO<BR>·Claude Rains (smooth) as SARUMAN<BR>·Cary Grant as ELROND<BR>·Greer Garson as GALADRIEL, of course<BR>·Katharine Hepburn - typecasting – as GLORFINDEL <BR>·Claudette Colbert, or possibly Myrna Loy as ARWEN<BR>·Spencer Tracey as THÉODEN <BR>·No one comes to mind for ÉOMER either<BR>·Barbara Stanwyk – one of Capra’s favourites - as ÉOWYN<BR>·Peter Lorre (slimy) as WORMTONGUE (he'd make a great GOLLUM too)<BR>·Ronald Colman as FARAMIR<BR>·This is a really tough one – I had thought of maybe Edward Arnold as TOM BOMBADIL – but I don’t know if he could smile continuously –or at all!!!<BR>·Donna Reed as GOLDBERRY<BR>·Edward Everett Horton as TREEBEARD – his eyes are right, I think – now if he could just SLOW DOWN - a LOT!<BR>·Walter Brennan as THE GAFFER<BR>·Gloria Grayhame as ROSIE<BR>·Raymond Massey as DENETHOR<BR>·Henry Travers as BARLIMAN BUTTERBUR<BR>·Frank Faylen & Ward Bond as NOB & BOB <BR>·Jim the Crow would be featured as one of the <I>crebain</I>!!! <P>Only fooling: Capra's alternate title to The Lord of the Rings might have been <I>You Can’t Take It With You (Well, Maybe You Can – Depending On Which Jeweller Made It)</I>. <p>[ May 05, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]

05-04-2002, 06:10 PM
hmm, i think iwould have liked to have seen that capra version!!!!<P>how about ridley scott? he could do an entire gorgeous movie on the battle of helm's deep!

05-04-2002, 07:44 PM
I don't think that I would give it to a director from the past, because you need someone who has knowledge of special effects. This movie thrives on special effects (Balrog, Troll, Moria, etc.) and this could have easily been destroyed by bad special effects. I don't know who I would pick, though I agree that Ridley Scott could have made an incredible scene out of the Battle at Helm's Deep.

05-05-2002, 06:01 PM
I agree with Peter Jackson that special effects technology had always been the stumbling block preventing anyone (himself included) from seriously considering doing this project until now. <P>So "let's pretend" that all film directors of any time period get the full use of WETA Workshop and WETA Digital. Afterall, that's just technology (TOOLS), not artistry or vision (what you want to say and how you use the tools to say it). [This from the Director's viewpoint. The people who work for WETA are artists and craftspersons in their own right.]<P>That way we can have an 'intellectual' discussion. Really, I'm looking to find some other film-buffs on the Downs. Feel free to get verbose. TELL ME ABOUT RIDLEY SCOTT!!! How would he film Helm's Deep? Shots, lighting, pacing, editing, whatever. Analagous scenes from his other films? Details, please. I would like to LEARN from anyone who cares to share. <P>I've only seen 3 of his movies: Alien, Thelma & Louise, and G.I. Jane. (His 'girl-movies', I guess.)<P>For starters, would Ridley Scott have cast Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn? <BR>Orlando Bloom as Legolas?<BR>Ian Holm as Bilbo?<BR>Trick questions? <p>[ May 05, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]

05-05-2002, 09:50 PM
Interesting thread, Lostgaeriel.<P>It's hard to imagine many of the great directors of the past attempting Lord of the Rings, mainly because most classic works of fantasy or "children's classics" were immediately handed over to animators. Aside from "The Blue Bird" and "Wizard of Oz", I'm hard pressed to come up with many live-action fantasy films. I suppose the difficulties of creating the special effects was one of the main reasons, though frankly I think most American directors just would not "get it."<P>A few that come to mind are:<P> Victor Fleming (G.W. the W., Oz), for the obvious reasons. With MGM's money behind him, he would not be afraid to attempt the massive sets and FX the film requires. But I can see him making it too bright, clean, and filming it all on sound stages. And of course, there would be musical numbers, and cloyingly cute hobbits.<P>King Vidor - (War and Peace, Oz), about the same pros and cons as Fleming. <P>William Wyler - (Wuthering Heights, Friendly Pursuasion), I feel he would be one of the few directors that would stay true to the themes of the book, and would let the humanity of the fantasy characters shine through. In fact, I can see some comparisons in the Hobbits and their struggles with the Amish portrayed in "Persuasion", as they fought against the influences of the outside world. Wyler is respectful towards his characters, and doesn't let them go over the top, so to speak, so I could see giving him a shot at "Rings". I also think he would choose the best cast out of all the directors mentioned. <P>Stanley Kubrick - He did a fine job with Spartacus, as far as portraying the era, and the majesty of ancient Rome. He'd certainly do a bang-up job with the darker elements of the book. But I really don't think he would "grok" Frodo.<P>Richard Lester (3 Musketeers, 4 Musketeers) -I love Lester's sword epics, and he certainly would do a good job of showing the grittier elements of the cultures of Middle-Earth. He'd make some excellent casting choices, too. But his sly nods and winks, while fun, might be too offensive to Tolkien fans. I certainly can't see J.R.R. appreciating a Richard Lester version of LoTR. <P>Maybe we should look at farther afield:<P>Ingmar Bergman - (The Seventh Seal, The Magic Flute) - He certainly wouldn't be afraid to tackle the project. Anyone who would attempt to bring an opera to film certainly wouldn't be afraid to tackle Middle Earth. He'd definitely leave Tom Bombadil in the film. He'd have some wonderful elves, too!<P>Akira Kurosawa - (The Seven Samurai, Ran, Hidden Fortress) Bingo! The perfect director to do LoTR! Nobody could capture the grandeur and humanity of the book like Kurosawa. And By Golly, if he needed to do three 4-hour films to portray the entire book, he'd do it! And can you imagine the wonderful cast he would assemble? And the settings he would use? Helm's Deep by Kurosawa? Yes! I bet Tolkien would even like a Kurosawa "Lord of the Rings". <P>Thanks again, Lostgaeriel. That was fun!<p>[ May 05, 2002: Message edited by: Birdland ]

05-05-2002, 11:12 PM
Great reply, Birdland! That’s what I was looking for. Lots of food for thought. Thank you!<P>I had thought that MGM would have been the only studio that could afford to do it (in the studio days). That was one reason I doubted that Capra could do it - Columbia was just too poor. (Capra was one of their money makers.) And as much as I love MGM musicals, I shudder to think how they would have mangled LOTR - too sweet and too brightly coloured. Maybe horrid even if MGM did it without music. <P>Victor Fleming (Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Joan of Arc, Treasure Island) I’m not really familiar with his work, but there’s enough fantasy in his resumé.<P>King Vidor – I’ll have to take your word on it. I’ve only seen his Kansas scenes from Oz.<P>William Wyler does have real potential - I watched Friendly Persuasion again last nite on TVOntario. His range is so vast - The Big Country, The Heiress, Mrs. Miniver, The Roman Holiday, Funny Girl. I've seen all of the films that we've mentioned, but never made the connection, so I still don't know his work very well. Must watch again.<P>Yeah, Richard Lester could definitely do the sword-fighting stuff. As for sly nods and winks, I think Peter Jackson was guilty of far too many of those himself.<P>Of Stanley Kubrick's work I've seen Spartacus, Clockwork, 2001: A Space Odyssey and parts of Barry Lyndon and Dr.Strangelove. 2001 tells me he could also do the 'magical' and 'wonderful' elements of LOTR too. A little concerned that the movie(s) would never actually be finished on time or at all. For a career that spanned almost 50 years, he didn’t make many films. <P>I must sheepishly confess that I've never seen any of Ingmar Bergman’s or Akira Kurosawa's films. I know I should. All I know is that The Magnificent Seven is based on The Seven Samurai. Subtitles are not my favourite thing. (Note to self: reserve videos from public library.)<P>I wonder if the idea of narrow film categories such as 'live-action fantasy' are a (modern) construct not necessarily applicable to many directors past or present. The best film-makers like to tell stories. Period.<P>Now I'm thinking of Ron Howard. Let me think that over and get back to you with my ideas there.

05-06-2002, 06:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>I must sheepishly confess that I've never seen any of Ingmar Bergman’s or Akira Kurosawa's films.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>Never seen Kurosawa!??? Oh, you are in for a treat! Though I admit watching subtitled movies on the small screen is not my favorite thing to do, either. If you're near a college campus or a big city where you'd have the chance to see him on the big screen, grab the chance. Kurosawa is wonderful!<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> wonder if the idea of narrow film categories such as 'live-action fantasy' are a (modern) construct not necessarily applicable to many directors past or present. The best film-makers like to tell stories. Period.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I think it could be applicable. As I remember, fantasy stories were treated as "children's films" for most of cinematic history (please give me some example if I'm forgetting something!). The only other "alternative reality" films I can think of is Sci-Fi, and those were usually relegated to the B studios, or the Saturday Matinee serials. It wasn't until the 60s that we started looking at the subject of science fiction films with an adult eye, and I almost believe that Rod Sterling's Twilight Zone deserves the credit for that. He opened the door for film studios to consider giving these kind of films a serious (i.e. "big budget") treatment.<p>[ May 06, 2002: Message edited by: Birdland ]

05-06-2002, 06:33 AM
Ron Howard - (Splash, Cocoon, Willow), Eh, maybe. His approach to fantasy is too big-eyed gee-whizzy for me. He just doesn't have the scope. Characters are too cardboard cut out for my taste, and he's too guilty of "cuteness".

The Half-Hobbit
05-06-2002, 11:54 AM
This might be sacrilege, but Sam Raimi is my all time favrorite director...I would give a limb or major organ to see his take not on LotR, but maybe the Hobbit . It would surely be interesting, and hilarious. Of course, Bruce Campbell would have a role, I could see him as a very sarcastic Beorn, or maybe he could be Bard the Bowman "Hey, Smaug! This is my BOOMSTICK!" <BR>If you haven't seen it, the boomstick comes from Army of Darkness...which I recommend if you're into funny, campy horror flicks.<p>[ May 06, 2002: Message edited by: The Half-Hobbit ]

05-06-2002, 12:19 PM
Hi again, Birdland.<P>Well, I was thinking more in terms that MOST films are fantasy when you get down to it. Gone with the Wind for example - historical melodrama or pure fantasy? Stagecoach - classic western or fantasy? Casablanca - war/adventure/love story or fantasy? <P>Movies ask us to suspend our disbelief the moment we sit down in front of the screen. Where should we draw the line on makeup and prosthetics? Elf ears vs. Alec Guinness' false nose as Fagin? What about pyrotechnics? Star Wars Deathstar explosion vs. gunfights in westerns or the burning of the backlot posing as Atlanta? And animation or digital effects? The Balrog vs. Jerry the Mouse dancing with Gene Kelly in Anchors Away? The craft gets better, but it has always been applied to all genres.<P>To me 'special effects' is not a genre. (I know YOU didn't say that. But some people do.) And there is far too much pigeon-holing of movies into types. This is done for market segmentation, demographics and advertising when all the public wants to know is 'what is the story about?'. <P>I think Peter Jackson was brilliant enough to know that The Lord of the Rings had to be shot and played 'for real' or it wouldn't work. It is a story. For it to touch us, it must become real. As real as any movie can be.<P>As for Ron Howard (Parenthood, Gung Ho, Nightshift) I was thinking more of how the director of Apollo 13 could create suspense when we all knew the story already. Handy when you're making a film of say The Lord of the Rings and want to stay TRUE to the BOOK! (I read Jim Lovell's book Lost Moon before I saw the movie.) And his sweeping landscapes and the grittily realistic yet fantastical adventure of Far and Away seems to show that he would be up to the task. (It IS a fairy tale if you watch carefully. I think it's one of his best.)<P>I'm also considering John Huston (The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; The African Queen; The Man Who Would be King; Key Largo; Heaven Knows, Mr. Alison).<p>[ May 06, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]

05-06-2002, 12:43 PM
Welcome to the discussion, The Half-Hobbit!<P>Who is Sam Raimi? ... (quickly searches on <A HREF="http://www.IMdb.com" TARGET=_blank>www.IMdb.com</A>) ... Ah! Director of Spider Man (1 & 2), Producer/Exec Prod. of Hercules and Xena. Interesting and valid choice.<P>Would you like to expand on this some? What would the battle scenes in LOTR look like? Would Aragorn or Eowyn sommersault into the air before they strike their enemies?<p>[ May 06, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]

05-06-2002, 01:00 PM
More ideas to flesh out:<P>John Ford? (Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, My Darling Clementine, How Green Was My Valley, The Grapes of Wrath, Young Mr. Lincoln, Rio Grande, Mister Roberts, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Searchers, etc.)<P>George Stevens? (A Damsel in Distress, Gunga Din, Penny Serenade, Talk of the Town, The More the Merrier, Shane, Giant, A Place in the Sun, The Diary of Anne Frank, etc.) Did his movies change in tone when he returned from World War II? Or was it just that screwball comedies went out of style?<P>Hmmm. Is The Lord of the Rings a ‘western’?<p>[ May 18, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]

05-06-2002, 02:12 PM
I know he wouldn't do it if he wasn't allowed to completely rewrite the story, but could you imagine Lucasfilm's adaptation of LOTR?<P>I agree with everyone else that PJ has done an incredible job, but imagine for a second that George Lucas DID win the rights and agreed to be at least as faithful as Jackson has been to the books. Wow.<P>First of all, the casting. <BR>Mark Hamill as Bilbo (I'm not kidding...)<BR>Sean Connery as Gandalf<BR>Breckin Meyer as Frodo<BR>Ian McDirmad as Saruman<BR>Robbie Coltrane as Bombadil (this is my dream, so back off)<BR>Kevin Spacey as Elrond<BR>Mel Gibson as Aragorn<BR>Frank Oz as the voice of Gollum<BR>That's a good start...<P>Anyway, on to cinematography. You know that George would nail the sentimentality. Sweeping Williams score rises and falls dramatically as a wide angle shot of Frodo and the lads looking on the Shire for the last time fills the screen... Sad, sweet (yet hope-tinged) music plays as Sam stays by his master's bedside in Rivendell, with a glimpse of Gandalf and Elrond holding council outside the door... Aragorn, weeping, pulling the stricken Frodo from the edge of the chasm in Khazad-Dum, then composing himself and leading the fellowship out of Moria... Boromir, with tear-streaked face, sitting stunned after Frodo's disappearance...<P>Well, I could write more about the battles and all (maybe I will later), but right now my philosophy of religion final isn't being studied for, so I'd better get to that.<P>Eru's Child

05-06-2002, 09:06 PM
Oooooh! John Huston! "The Man Who Would Be King" is one of my favorite movies, with one of my favorite actors. But for some reason I can't picture Sean Connery as one of the character in LoTR. Certainly not Gandalf. Perhaps Theoden. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Well, I was thinking more in terms that MOST films are fantasy when you get down to it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>Well that's why they call it the Dream Factory, Lost. But Tolkien's work does fit into a certain catagory, and up until the late 70s, I don't think most studios were capable of seeing the potential of attempting to film the book. <P>LoTR was published in 1955, but who do we have showing an interest in it? Walt and Ringo. The take by most studios and producers seemed to be that it was either a 'kiddy book", or a Magical Mystery Tour, that would be filmed with the appropriate "Puff the Magic Dragon" references to keep it up-to-date. No wonder Tolkien didn't want anyone touching his work! <P>What was needed was a generation of film makers who had been exposed to the Golden Age of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and could look at work as serious fiction.<P>It would be interesting to know who else besides the Beatles and Disney inquired into doing the book, but I doubt that you would find too many "serious" film makers. At least not in America.<p>[ May 07, 2002: Message edited by: Birdland ]

05-07-2002, 07:29 AM
A David Lynch version would be hysterically funny. Also, Russ Meyer could have done an intriguing job.<P>

05-07-2002, 07:58 AM
I know that this is kind of random, but Hitchcock would have gotten every nuance correct. He would have been able to emotionally trap the audience and effortlessly bring attention to whatever small detail he put in with the same grace as Tolkein did in the books. I know Hitchcock didn't do much fantasy or historical work. I think he was a smart enough man to either pull it off himself or employ a group of people well-versed in the genre to help him out.

05-07-2002, 08:00 AM
SAM RAIMI the guy who directed SPIDERMAN and THE XENA SERIES...heh heh heh<P>I'm sure he'd cast Michael Hurst as Galadriel and Ted Raimi as Pippen.<BR>

The Half-Hobbit
05-07-2002, 02:05 PM
I hadn't thought of him, but Ted would be perfect as Pippin! <BR> Battle scenes would probably feature a lot of interesting choreography, and witty wordplay while not actually being very accurate as far as actual figting goes.<BR>I wonder if he would try to fit the oldsmobile into it? Maybe PJ has a trademark car too, and that's what people keep seeing in the cornfield scene.

05-07-2002, 02:25 PM
Did I miss something, or has no one mentioned Spielberg yet?<BR>As much as I have enjoyed <I>Jurassic Park</I> and as much as I wept during <I>Schindler's List</I>, I think he would have inadvertently sucked the depth and richness out of the story. We would end up with a cinematic feature that would be mostly brawn, some brains, and very little soul. <BR>Harrison Ford as Aragorn, Haley Joel Osment (sp?) as Frodo, and Gandalf (played by Anthony Hopkins, or someone) would probably tell the Balrog to "smile, you b*tch."<BR>Then again, Jude Law would probably be Legolas...Hehehehehe. Not that I'm not, uh, satisfied with the current choice.

05-09-2002, 09:30 AM
I read on the other thread about a Blackadder version of LOTR.... in the movie directed by Rowan Atkinson, he would bring in the entire cast and lunacy of BlackAdder and Bean.<P>Atkinson as Aragorn, Frodo, Saruman and Elrond all by himself...he could do it.<P>Booming Brian Blessed as Gandalf and Denethor(Perfect)<BR>Miranda Richarson as Galadriel (the hysterics would rock)<BR>Baldrick(the actor) as Bilbo and Gimli.<BR>Percy(the actor)as Legolas.<BR>Flash??(the actor) as Boromir.<P>All those germantype guys as Orcs.<P>

05-09-2002, 04:00 PM
Hi Child of Eru!<P>Thanks for your comments on George Lucas. I think you’ve nailed it. Looking forward to your continued discussion when you’re done studying for your exam.<P>Hi again Birdland!<P>I like 'The Man Who Would be King', too. Lots of elements in common with LOTR - as a film. Sean Connery as Theoden? Yeah, that might work. Obviously he favoured Bogey! As Aragorn?! <P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> But Tolkien's work does fit into a certain catagory, and up until the late 70s, I don't think most studios were capable of seeing the potential of attempting to film the book. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Oh. Gee. Is The Lord of the Rings a ‘fantasy’ book? For 30 years I’ve never thought of it that way. Honest. I always thought of it as just fiction. Period. Books labelled ‘science fiction’ or ‘fantasy fiction’ always made me suspect that it might be ‘inferior fiction’ since they needed that crutch. (I read mostly non-fiction.)<P>I always thought of it as a possible movie. A big, long, action-packed movie with Robert Redford as Aragorn. (Swoon!) So, if in the past most directors, producers and studios overlooked The Lord of the Rings as a property, it was because they had blinders on – they pigeon-holed – categorized – assigned a genre to everything. It’s not enough to think ‘outside the box’; think with no boxes at all. Did I say that? Sorry.<P>Hey Stephanos! <P>Can't say that I've ever seen David Lynch's work - previews never really appeal to me - I don't get it, I guess. I'm not familiar with Russ Meyer, and I'm tired of doing all the work of looking up the info. so come back and elaborate if you want.<P>Hi NinjaFerret!<P>Yeah, Hitchcock would have story-boarded to the nth degree. And the framing of the shots would be amazing - works of art in their own right. Would he have tried for a segment of uncut action as in 'Rope'? Just to show off his skill? I think PJ shot the teapot scene in Bag End just to show off the seamlessness of the Hobbit-size / Gandalf-size effects. I agree, too, that smart directors know how to hire experts and delegate.<P>Hi there Lush!<P>I was waiting for someone to mention Steven Spielberg. Not my favourite for some reason. Strange, 'cause I like most of the films of his that I've seen. (Hated Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I'd be afraid his version of LOTR would be like that.) Maybe there's something in his work reaching my subconcious that bugs me. Too perfect? Maybe. Envy of his genius? Probably. But he has the credentials for LOTR. You're probably right about the casting - too mainstream, too big name, too predictable, too expensive.<P>Hi Cimmerian!<P>Well, I had never considered Rowan Atkinson as a director for LOTR. Probably because he has only one directing credit (Comic Relief, 1986). He’s an actor/writer/producer - pretty much in that order. When I started the topic I just assumed we’d be talking about other KNOWN and PROVEN directors! (Don't assume!) But hey, if anyone wants to tell us how their cousin Bob, the plumber, would direct the movie, by all means! <P>Perhaps you were really impressed by Black Adder directors Martin Shardlow, Mandie Fletcher, and Richard Boden? And FYI: The actor who portrays Baldrick is Tony Robinson. Tim McInnery plays Percy. And I have no idea who the character ‘Flash’ is, so I can’t tell you the actor’s name.<p>[ May 09, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]

05-10-2002, 05:46 AM
Thank you for all that information, does wonders for my knowledge. You must be up to your elbows in research books and info websites.....<P>I am just a hillbred barbarian looking for a few laughs mow and again!

05-17-2002, 10:01 PM
Hi Cimmerian!<P>Thanks for 'lite'-ning up the thread! <P>As for being up to my elbows in movie books and websites, I'm not. (I'm just old!) <P>Most everything I learned about movies I learned from Elwy Yost ('Speed' screenwriter Graham Yost's dad) who hosted <A HREF="http://snam.tvo.org/index.html" TARGET=_blank>TVOntario's Saturday Night at the Movies</A> for 25+ years. I grew up watching (and still watch) those movies (2 each week - now 3) plus the most fantastic interviews between. He interviewed everyone who ever worked in Hollywood - actors, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, editors, producers, choreographers, film critics, film historians, etc. They talked about how movies are made, why certain scenes were filmed the way they were, they compared films and directors, and told all the funny behind-the-scenes anecdotes. They still use those interviews on TVO for 'filler' and occasionally on Bravo, I think.<P>The Internet Movie Database is invaluable for checking details. <A HREF="http://www.imdb.com" TARGET=_blank>www.imdb.com</A> <P>I watch <A HREF="http://www.bravotv.com/series/actorsstudio/frames/index_ad.html" TARGET=_blank>Inside the Actors Studio on Bravo!</A> regularly, too.<p>[ May 29, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]