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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Elijah Wood  Actor Ian McKellen  Actor Viggo Mortensen  Actor Sean Astin  Actor Orlando Bloom  Actor

PG13

MPAA Rating: PG13
Contains:Violence,Scary Moments

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Theatrical Release Date: 2003 12 17 (USA)

UPC: 794043692925

Studio: New Line Home Video

MPAA Rating: PG13   Contains:[Violence, Scary Moments]

Summary: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King brings Peter Jackson's mammoth adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic to a close in suitably epic fashion. Instead of starting just where the previous film left off, however, it goes far back in time to the moment the tormented creature Gollum first came to possess the One Ring. In this flashback, actor Andy Serkis (who voiced Gollum and performed his movements onset prior to the final CGI effects) finally gets to appear onscreen, portraying Gollum's former self, Sméagol. This disturbing scene serves as a potent reminder that the Ring seeks to corrupt even the well-intentioned Frodo (Elijah Wood), who is increasingly struggling with the dark power of the Ring himself. Thus, the film returns to the present, following Frodo, Sam (Sean Astin), and Gollum as they journey ever closer to the foreboding land of Mordor. They pass by the terrifying dark city of Minas Morgul, watching as the dreadful army of the Witch King sets out for the human strongholds in Gondor, and move on to the rocky stairs to Cirith Ungol, where an even darker enemy lies in wait. Meanwhile, the rest of the Fellowship reunites in Rohan, having defeated the wizard Saruman on two different fronts, at Helm's Deep and Isengard. They are not together for long, though, since the hobbit Pippin (Billy Boyd) gets into trouble, making it necessary for him and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to hastily depart for Minas Tirith, capital of Gondor. Once there, they find the steward of Gondor, Denethor (John Noble), in an unstable mental state and the city preparing for battle against the amassing forces of Sauron. Denethor unwisely sends his only remaining son, Faramir (David Wenham), back into bloody battle to prove himself. He returns nearly dead, sending Denethor over the edge of sanity.

In another realm, elf Arwen (Liv Tyler) begins her journey to immortal life in the Grey Havens, on her way to leave Middle-earth -- and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) -- forever, but has a vision that causes her to once again reconsider her decision. Back in Rohan, the men are preparing to ride to Gondor's aide. Éowyn (Miranda Otto) desperately wants to join the men in battle, but her uncle, King Théoden (Bernard Hill), orders her to stay and defend Rohan if necessary. The hobbit Merry (Dominic Monaghan) also desires to ride with the men, but is denied due to his small size and inexperience. Aragorn is met there by the elf Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who brings him the re-forged Sword that was Broken (in the ancient battle with Sauron) and urges him to take a different route to Gondor. Heeding Elrond's advice, Aragorn, along with elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), takes a cavernous path through the mountains, where they meet ghoulish ghosts who betrayed Aragorn's ancestors and are doomed to eternal unrest unless they fulfill their broken oaths by aiding him. All but Frodo, Sam, and Gollum will meet on the massive battlefield of the Pelennor before the gates of Minas Tirith. The former three instead engage in a battle of wills between each other and the One Ring as they head toward the fires of Mount Doom to destroy it. Released in December 2003, The Return of the King topped even its massively successful trilogy predecessors at the box office, and went on to garner a whopping 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture -- winning in all the categories in which it was nominated and tying the record of total awards won with Ben-Hur and Titanic. ~ Dana Rowader, Rovi

Category: Fantasy

Awards: Best Director – San Francisco Film Critics Circle Best Picture - Drama – null Best Director – null Best Score – null Best Song – null Best Song – null Best Song – null Best Director (Runner-up) – National Society of Film Critics Best Director – Directors Guild of America Best Director – Los Angeles Film Critics Association Producer of the Year – Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year – Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year – Producers Guild of America Best Ensemble – Screen Actors Guild Best Adapted Screenplay – Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay – Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay – Writers Guild of America Best Art Direction – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Costume Design – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Costume Design – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Editing – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Makeup – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Makeup – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Score – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Song – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Song – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Song – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Visual Effects – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Visual Effects – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Visual Effects – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Visual Effects – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Adapted Screenplay – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Adapted Screenplay – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Adapted Screenplay – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Ensemble Acting – National Board of Review Best Director – Toronto Film Critics Association Best Picture – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Director – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Screenplay – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Screenplay – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Screenplay – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Original Score – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Cinematography – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Cinematography – American Society of Cinematographers Best Picture – American Film Institute Best Picture – New York Film Critics Circle Best Picture – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actor – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Song – Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Score – Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Director – Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Supporting Actor – Chicago Film Critics Association Best Song – Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Song – Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Picture - Drama – Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Features: cc "The Quest Fulfilled: A Director's Vision"
"A Filmmaker's Journey: Making The Return of the King" National Geographic special: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Featurettes created for lordoftherings.net: "Aragorn's Destiny," "Minas Tirith: Capital of Gondor," "The Battle of Pelennor Fields," "Samwise the Brave," "Éowyn: White Lady of Rohan," "Digital Horse Doubles"
Original theatrical trailers and TV spots
The Lord of the Rings trilogy supertrailer
A special look at Electronic Arts' The Lord of the Rings series of video games
DVD-ROM content: Exclusive online content

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Format: DVD

Release Date: 05/25/2004

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Cinemascope

Audio: DDS2.0 Dolby Digital w/ 4 channels, DD-EX Dolby Digital Surround EX (simulated 6.1)

Runtime: 200 Minutes

Sides: 2

Number of Discs: 2

Language(s) English

Subtitles: English,Spanish

Region: USA & territories, Canada

Chapters: Side #1 -- The Return of the King
1. The Finding of the Ring
2. Journey to the Cross-Roads
3. The Road to Isengard
4. Return to Edoras
5. Gollum's Villainy
6. The Palantir
7. Arwen's Vision
8. The Reforging of Narsil
9. Minas Tirith
10. "The Deep Breath Before the Plunge"
11. Minas Morgul
12. "The Board Is Set..."
13. Osgiliath Invaded
14. The Lighting of the Beacons
15. Théoden's Decision
16. The Fall of Osgiliath
17. The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
18. Allegiance to Denethor
19. The Parting of Sam and Frodo
20. The Sacrifice of Faramir
21. Marshalling at Dunharrow
22. Andúril - Flame of the West
23. Aragorn Takes the Paths of the Dead
24. "No More Despair"
25. Dwimorberg - The Haunted Mountain
26. The Muster of Rohan
27. The King of the Dead
28. The Siege of Gondor
29. Shelob's Lair
30. Grond - The Hammer of the Underworld
31. The Tomb of the Stewards
32. Breaking the Gate of Gondor
33. The Choices of Master Samwise
34. Denethor's Madness
35. The Ride of the Rohirrim
36. The Pyre of Denethor
37. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
38. "A Far Green Country"
39. The Nazgûl and His Prey
40. The Black Ships
41. Shieldmaiden of Rohan
42. Victory at Minas Tirith
43. The Passing of Théoden
44. Oaths Fulfilled
45. The Tower of Cirith Ungol
46. The Last Debate
47. The Land of Shadow
48. The Black Gate Opens
49. "I Can't Carry It for You... but I Can Carry You"
50. The Last Move
51. Mount Doom
52. "The Eagles Are Coming!"
53. The Crack of Doom
54. Sauron Defeated
55. The End of All Things
56. The Fellowship Reunited
57. The Return of the King
58. Homeward Bound
59. The Grey Havens
60. End Credits

Dana Rowader

Grander in scale, in many ways, than the first two installments of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King hosts even more amazing action scenes than the earth-shaking battle of Helm's Deep in The Two Towers. But what really sets it apart from most action and fantasy films is its ability to simultaneously focus on the emotional and the epic. Frodo and Sam's journey to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom, as epic as it may be, gains all of its weight from the friendship, love, and mutual respect shared by the two hobbits and evidenced in the bonds forged between the Fellowship members earlier in the trilogy. All of the events in the prior two films have been leading up to the conclusions in this one, and the many climaxes do not disappoint. Unfortunately, with the further divergence of the characters' paths in this installment, the filmmakers clearly struggled to keep a balance between them. The general pacing of the film is off in parts, too slow in the first hour, and too rushed later on. Many fans of the books may be frustrated by some of the decisions made in adapting the story; changes in plot and character motivations from book to screen are inevitable, but many cherished elements of the novel are missing or altered in ways that sometimes seem unneeded. Some characters, such as Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), Merry (Dominic Monaghan), and Éomer (Karl Urban), get pushed to the sidelines, only getting in a few lines here and there, and others, such as Éowyn (Miranda Otto), get hugely emotional scenes only to be essentially dropped from the story line for the rest of the picture. Aragorn (the king referred to in the title), though well-played by Viggo Mortensen, also misses out on characterization, with many of his most insightful moments missing from the film. Doubtlessly, some of these oversights will be smoothed over in the extended DVD edition of the film, which adds almost an hour more to the runtime.

Despite its flaws, The Return of the King has retained the most important element of the book: its spirit. Furthermore, the characters who are in the forefront of the story, as with the others, are wonderfully portrayed by the film's ensemble cast. Andy Serkis brilliantly takes Gollum on a downward spiral of greed, deception, and madness, and the CGI character animators have brought even more life to his appearance this time around. Elijah Wood is equally impressive in his portrayal of Frodo's deterioration, and Sean Astin, as his loyal friend and servant Sam, is heartbreakingly noble, becoming, in a way, the heart of the film. Ian McKellen, as Gandalf, continues his admirable portrayal of the wise wizard, while Billy Boyd adds depth to the newly courageous Pippin. Miranda Otto, as Éowyn, and Bernard Hill, as Théoden, deliver some of the most profound and moving moments in the film, and Liv Tyler continues her emotional portrayal of the conflicted elf Arwen. As the demented steward Denethor, John Noble brings added intensity and drama to the proceedings, and David Wenham is wonderfully subtle as his long-suffering son Faramir. But accolades must go to all involved in the making of this trilogy; it is continually impressive, from its breathtaking cinematography to its jaw-dropping special effects to its brilliant and heartfelt score. Overall, Peter Jackson has orchestrated this trilogy masterfully, and was certainly deserving of the Best Director Oscar he received. The Return of the King made history in many ways, but one of the most telling is that it became the first fantasy film to take home the Oscar for Best Picture. Surely, a large determining factor for that accomplishment was the authenticity with which the filmmakers told this story. The passion, detail, dedication, skill, and hard work that went into these films is clearly evident, and is not likely to be equaled any time soon. ~ Dana Rowader, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Peter Jackson  Director 
Peter Jackson  Producer 
Peter Jackson  Screenwriter 
Barrie M. Osborne  Producer 
Robert Shaye  Executive Producer 
Howard Shore  Composer (Music Score) 
Bob Weinstein  Executive Producer 
Harvey Weinstein  Executive Producer 
Fran Walsh  Producer 
Fran Walsh  Screenwriter 
Mark Ordesky  Executive Producer 
Stephen Sinclair  Screenwriter 
Philippa Boyens  Screenwriter 
Michael Lynne  Executive Producer 
Elijah Wood  Actor 
Ian McKellen  Actor 
Viggo Mortensen  Actor 
Sean Astin  Actor 
Orlando Bloom  Actor 
Andy Serkis  Actor 
Billy Boyd  Actor 
Dominic Monaghan  Actor 
John Rhys-Davies  Actor 
Liv Tyler  Actor 
Bernard Hill  Actor 
Miranda Otto  Actor 
Hugo Weaving  Actor 
Cate Blanchett  Actor 
David Wenham  Actor 
Karl Urban  Actor 
John Noble  Actor 
Ian Holm  Actor 
Joel Tobeck  Actor 
Sean Bean  Actor 

Country: New Zealand,USA