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National Geographic: Beyond the Movie - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)

Join National Geographic for a compelling exploration of the realworld parallels to the events and characters brought to life in the epic motion picture The Lord of the Rings: The Return of... See full summary »




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Rhys-Davies ... Himself, also narrator
Elijah Wood ... Himself
Hugo Weaving ... Himself
Peter Jackson ... Himself
Ian McKellen ... Himself
Jock Ferguson Jock Ferguson ... Himself - William Wallce Re-enactor
Fiona Watson Fiona Watson ... Herself - Scottish Historian
Michael Drout Michael Drout ... Himself - Tolkien Expert
Susan Doran Susan Doran ... Herself - Oxford University (as Dr. Susan Doran)
David Loades David Loades ... Himself - Author, 'Elizabeth I'
Theodore Roosevelt ... Himself (archive footage)
Tweed Roosevelt Tweed Roosevelt ... Himself - Theodore Roosevelt's Great-Grandson
Michael Zuckerman Michael Zuckerman ... Himself - Benjamin Franklin Expert
Christopher Lee ... Himself
Tsar Nicholas II ... Himself (archive footage)


Join National Geographic for a compelling exploration of the realworld parallels to the events and characters brought to life in the epic motion picture The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Discover the legacy of history's "reluctant heroes" and their striking resemblance to the film's characters. Compare the roles of "wise counselors" like Gandalf, and powerful friendships like that of Frodo and Sam, to their historic counterparts. Thrilling film footage illustrates how historychanging events are reflected in the film's story of courage and camaraderie triumphing over impossible odds. Insights from leading historians, field experts and members of the filmmaking team make this a musthave addition to every Lord of the Rings collection!

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

National Geographic





Release Date:

12 December 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elokuva ja enemmän See more »


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


References The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

The documentary completes its objective.
14 October 2010 | by spamcreekSee all my reviews

This documentary's stated thesis is to show why the Lord of the Rings trilogy resonates with so many people. The hypothesis it presents is that many people can relate well to the themes and characters in the books/movies. It is well narrated by John Rhys-Davies, the actor that played Gimli in the movies.

The documentary then covers the major themes of the books/movies and the characters with which those themes are named. Each theme that is covered shows an example story from history that relates closely to the theme. The documentary NEVER claims that Tolkien was influenced by these real-life examples, it is merely supporting the thesis that people can relate to the themes/characters by using examples from real life.

Some reviewers seem to have the notion that this documentary is meant to show how Tolkien's life influenced the book. That notion is false. For a documentary that covers this aspect of The Lord of the Rings, see the similarly named National Geographic documentary that is two years older (IMDB page here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312999/ ).

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