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Old 03-07-2019, 11:47 AM   #1
Inziladun
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Tolkien Tolkien Bio-pic

All right, I know I'm not the only one who's heard about the upcoming Tolkien biography film, and seen the trailer. So, how does it look? More importantly, how does it feel?

On first glance, I'm put in mind of a cross between Dead Poets Society and Pearl Harbor.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:48 PM   #2
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Guarantee: they will de-emphasize his intense religious belief to the vanishing point.

Good odds that they'll have the TCBS all serving in the same unit on the Somme, and one will die in Tolkien's arms.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:53 AM   #3
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Guarantee: they will de-emphasize his intense religious belief to the vanishing point.
I agree, unless it's to point to the "forcible" conversion of Edith.

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Good odds that they'll have the TCBS all serving in the same unit on the Somme, and one will die in Tolkien's arms.
I'd like to think they wouldn't shoehorn Hollywood tropism into an ostensible biography, but you never know...
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:21 PM   #4
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I agree, unless it's to point to the "forcible" conversion of Edith.
Or to portray Father Francis as a bigoted, tyrannical ogre. And probably a pedophile.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:36 PM   #5
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Couple of points re: the second trailer

Why cast an actor who looks nothing whatsoever like Tolkien? Christ, they could at least have dyed his hair blonde.

Why cast an American as Edith? And even if she can successfully pull off RP (which she speaks in the trailer)- Edith spoke Brum her entire life

Although they do put Wiseman in naval uniform, the idea of the 4 TCBS in uniform together doesn't work (Tolkien delayed signing up until after graduation).

Why would Tolkien have a vision of a Black Rider in this timeframe? His imagination was entirely in the First Age.

One also gets what looks like an image of JRRT charging across No Man's Land with an SMLE and Bayonet. Tolkien was a signals officer, he didn't "charge" anywhere and all he carried for weaponry was a Webley Mk VI revolver.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
Why would Tolkien have a vision of a Black Rider in this timeframe? His imagination was entirely in the First Age.

One also gets what looks like an image of JRRT charging across No Man's Land with an SMLE and Bayonet. Tolkien was a signals officer, he didn't "charge" anywhere and all he carried for weaponry was a Webley Mk VI revolver.
You're certainly right here - if Tolkien 'saw' anything on the Somme, it was a fair city in ruins, dragons of steel and thunder, and brave heroes tumbling with craven cowards to the same inevitable end. I'm still hoping we get a glimpse of the Fall of Gondolin - but it's not much of a hope.

I'm kind of inclined to rendering the idea in art, so... do you happen to know what Tolkien would have had on him as equipment etc when going over the top? I assume he didn't carry phones, lamps, flags, and pigeons with him at all times, though I'm willing to be proved wrong...

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Old 03-14-2019, 05:31 PM   #7
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Tolkien wouldn't have worn very much in terms of gear: far less than a ranker. His khaki wool service uniform - with necktie(!) and a peaked cap: steel helmets wouldn't be authorized for officers for over a year. His revolver, on a lanyard around his neck. Possibly a whistle, although I doubt it as he wasn't a platoon leader. Pigeon cages and other gear would have been toted by ORs, but he might well have carried a Very (flare) gun himself. Probably an electric torch (flashlight).

Phones? Not hardly. Nobody was going to be laying phone lines across no-man's land (not that they'd last uncut out there anyway). And man-portable wireless sets, even Morse code, weren't yet a thing in 1916. Flares, semaphore flags, pigeons and runners: pretty much what Wellington had.

Although actually I don't believe Tolkien himself ever went over the top. John Garth or someone could correct me, but I believe his station was with battalion HQ in the forward trench line, and mostly concerned with receiving orders from Brigade via phone and wireless (which had to stay put). One of the major reasons both sides' offensives until 1918 might get into the enemy forward trench system but then peter out, was that once they went over the top higher echelons in their own trenches had no damn idea what was happening.

This is one reason why I keep emphasizing the extent to which the plot of the LR turns on people- especially Sauron - having to act on the basis of spotty, garbled and almost always stale information.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:21 PM   #8
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I've actually been looking forward to this.
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