5.7/10
3,330
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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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

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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

Orson Bean, John Huston, and Brother Theodore all return to their roles from 'The Hobbit (1977)(TV)'. Paul Frees had to replace Cyril Richard, who had died shortly after The Hobbit was aired. André Morell, who played Elrond in The Lord of the Rings (1978), also died shortly after its release. 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

Orcs: Where there's a whip there's a way, left right, left right. Where there's a whip there's a way, left right.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Hobbit (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

Where There's a Whip....
15 June 2002 | by espeegee_2000See all my reviews

Although I quite enjoyed the Rankin-Bass kiddified version of `The Hobbit', this one just leaves something to be desired. All in all, it was just generally weak. Perhaps it was the huge gaps left out of the plot? The cheesy, twangy-wow-chicka rock music soundtrack? The Old-Western-state-the-obvious narration that won't stop yammering? Well, this family friendly rendition of the latter half of LOTR is still heaps better than the Bakshi 'Lord of the Rings', but isn't an amazing feat of filmmaking, either. The animation is choppy and TV quality, and the sound is awful. (though that's excusable, as it was a made for TV movie from 1980.) Everything else though, is passable.

Visually it isn't too bad, as everything is quite stylized and neat looking. Gandalf, in particular, looks quite good. But yes, it's oversimplified, and yes, it is filled with lots of corny songs. But wasn't the book filled with songs as well? Tolkien never mentioned anything about slap-bass or singing orcs, but actually including music helps in keeping with the original work. At least it should, in theory. Nice effort, anyway.

Biggest problems with this movie would have to be Merry and Pippin. Whereas in Ralph Bakshi's LOTR, they were actually tolerable - cute even. (Though that may be pushing it.) To Bakshi's credit, in his movie only one of the hobbits was mega-homely. However, in this version, both Merry AND Pippin have been given a severe thrashing with the ugly stick. Merry (same voice as Shaggy) has a face made from glued-together potatoes, and Pippin is an ape wearing clothes. His voice is like a piece of glass scraping against another piece of glass.

Besides that though, this movie is bearable, watch-able even. There are some `so bad it's funny' moments, (especially some of the songs) but there are also moments when it's very loyal to the action/dialogue of the book. It's good and bad at the same time - hence so many mixed reviews. Probably kids would enjoy it more than an adult viewer, although even kids would agree that this version is pretty watered-down and lame. 5 / 10, tops.


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