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Thread: Would JRR Tolkien approved the films

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I don't think so...
Nope, I'd be rolling in my grave by now.
That's really hard to say. As far as places are concerned I think the film has it down pat. The Shire, Bree and The Prancing Pony, Rivendell, Moria were all fantastic and more glorious and fantastical than I even imagined. And Lothlorien was absolutely awe inspiring.

As far as characters, that's a little tougher. I think Gandalf, Bilbo, Sam, Arwen (her increased roll aside) Gimli and Legolas, Aragorn, and Galdriel were all great. There are some issues with the other characters but I think all in all, they are fairly minor issues.

Where changes in the plot and story are concerned I think JRR Might have had some real beefs but, just liked fans, postAuthorIDs often expect the impossible in interperatations of their novels. There are many exceptions however. I've seen many film adaptions where the postAuthorID wrote the screenplay, or at least had a great deal of input in the making of the film, and there were changes made that were far more drastic than anything we've seen in FotR.

Anne Rice went on a crusade against Interveiw with the Vampire telling fans of the book to boycott the film and blah blah blah, primarily because of the choice of Tom Cruise as Lestat, but also for other reasons. She took out full page ads in major newspapers all over the country trashing the movie. Then she saw the film ...and absolutely adored it. Having read the book and seen the movie I can tell you, they were far from identical. Lestat even flies in the film which he most certainly could NOT do in Interveiw. His ability to fly came long after the events in the first book...

Anyway, the point is, some postAuthorIDs understand that they have to make changes to the novels when they adapt them for film. Many others are satisfied if the overall themes and feel of their works are left intact, which, in the case of FotR, I think they were.
As to which type Tolkien would have been, who can say?

If you want to see examples of true hatchet work, go read any Dean Koontz novel, and then go see its film adaption! Koontz described every movie version that's been made from his books as "the spawn of hell" and he's absolutely right. They bear little to zero resemblance to the originals. The Watchers is a good example. Excellent book, ridiculous movie.
I'm with Prog on this one. Thumbs Up Smilie

In fact I think ole JRRT Angel Smilie would simply be filled with awe after seeing the movie:
My dreams have come to life. I imagined it was like that, but the detail--My Lord, but it was great. And to think I wrote those books ever so long ago, and that they are still being read; will wonders never cease? *
*The above quote was brought to you without resorting to any s’ance, medium, spirit guide, or other hokum; merely from the imagination of one of Tolkien's lowly fans. Smile Smilie
Shaking Head Smilie Sorry Plastic, I am with Prog and Grondy on this one. JRRT Angel Smilie would really be amazed that people are still reading and appreciate his work. Big Smile Smilie Yes, there were changes, not all I agreed with, but like Prog said the overall themes were left in tact, and the places were awe inspiring. The statues of the kings at the end of the movie, were amazing. I personally loved the movie.

[Edited on 3/9/2002 by MelliotSandybanks]
Ahh, Argonath, the Gates of Kings! Who didn't gasp when those gigantic statues appeared on the movie screen? Every time I went to see the movie in the theater (4 or 5 times I believe) a murmur went through the audience at that scene. Wow! Super Wow Smilie
I am sure it must be difficult for any postAuthorID to see his work put on the big screen if he has not had any involvement. The dynamics of the story changes because you have the interpretation of the director, which may not be what the postAuthorID intended or how the reader has related to the story. Tolkien loved to use the term applicability so his reader had the freedom to apply any implied allegory to his own environment. What we end up with in a movie, be it the PJ version or Saul Zaentz, is probably not what the postAuthorID intended. Although the film is extremely well done and fits many people’s vision of ME, I do not think JRR Tolkien would have approved. He really did not like modern technology as it was during his time. What makes us think he would like today’s technology? Much of PJ’s ME has been created using today’s technology and I am not sure Tolkien would have been comfortable with that. Of course, I would like to think Tolkien would have approved LOTR but I sincerely doubt that he would.

[Edited on 4/9/2002 by Rednell]

[Edited on 4/9/2002 by Rednell]

[Edited on 4/9/2002 by Valedhelgwath]
Red you have a good point and I never would have thought about that aspect of it. Thank you for the new insight. I did not know that JRRT did not like technology. Well, I definitly learned something new today. Smile Smilie
I should not say that Tolkien disliked all technology, he certainly did come to appreciate the typewriter. However, factories and machines were destroying the environment and that was what upset him. He tried driving a car but, after his first accident, gave that up.
I don't think J.R.R. Tolkien would of approved of the films, I could also be completely wrong here but did he not make a statement about how he would hate to see his books made into a film? Tongue Smilie
Now that you mention it Taz, I think I do remember reading that somewhere. I'd like to think that he would change his mind if he saw FotR, but I know that's not likely as he seemed to be one of those 'quite set in his ways' types. I don't think that this should put any of the fans off of the film though. I mean really, I think the movie has done a great service to all of Tolkien's works by bringing them to the attention of a whole new generation. Actually, two or three whole new generations, depending on how you do the math. I must confess, while I had for many years intended to read LotR, it wasn't until I heard they were making the films that I figured I'd better get my butt in gear and start reading. Otherwise, I'd probably still be procrastinating ...and missing out!
You're right Taz. He did, he was always worried they'd make some godawful Disney-ish adaptation of it.
You people are all forgetting that Tolkien was a cantankerous, stick in the mud English Professor, and probably, as with all us English, very resistant to change. However much YOU like the movie, JRR himself is almost certain to have hated it. Doesn't his family's refusal to be associated with it give you a clue?
Well said Pman Thumbs Up Smilie
Somewhere in my readings about Tolkien, I did read that he would not like to see his works put into film. However, he did sell the film rights in 1969 for just ’10,000. So he must have assumed from that transaction, a film would be made. But he was set in his ways and would likely have avoided seeing the film. And, as did his son, voiced his disapproval.
1969 for just ’10,000

I can't explain as to why he sold the rights (it makes no sense to me) however we must remember that ’10,000 in those days was worth quite a bit more than it is today.

I can only hope that knowing what I do of Mr Tolkien, it is more likely that the reason for him selling the rights was not for that of greed but more likey a need for money as to continue his writings. Or at least I hope so.
It was indeed due to lack of cash, he only sold the filmrights out of neccessity, and said so at the time, as he really didn't like the idea of somebody else fiddling about in his world. (I've got the exact quotes in an old paper somewhere, but I can't be bothered to dig it all out now)
Indeed, you are correct, Plastic. It was because he was in serious need of cash. He also sold the original LOTR manuscript to (and I could be wrong on this,as I am relying on an unreliable memory) to a Welshman, William Ready who took them to the USA. I will try to find my reference to this.
My conclusion sticks - JRR would not have approved the films.
I actually got this information from a book originally, but I did find a URL link:

[Edited on 4/9/2002 by Rednell]
Well he surely wouldn't have approved of the two Rankin-Bass abortions; however, I like to assign him a little more flexibility, and think that had he seen PJ's version in his dotage, he might have had a change in heart. Smile Smilie

I do not choose to think of him as a cranky bitter old curmudgeon; one Elrond is enough. Big Smile Smilie
Nope, I think he would have hated it. If we can spend so many threads complaining about different parts of it, it must be much worse if you had invented the world and characters. And they did leave out Tom......
Somewhere way back in the archived news, you should find a story titled "Tolkien himself not keen on movie" which I put up way back before the damn film had even come out I think. Should go some way to ending this argument I think. Smile Smilie
Found it... here you go.
nuff said. Smoke Smilie
Hmm... from the sound of it, Tolkien disapproved of everything that wasn't made by his own two hands and thus not putting cash in his pockets. Of course I'm not saying that's how it really was, but that is how it sounds...

I, for one, am glad he sold out...and sold out cheap to boot.
I think you are being a little hard on our dear Tolkien, Prog. He didn't really sell out cheap for that was a fair chunk of change at the time. It must have been very difficult for him to cope with the fame that his writings brought his way. He received a tremendous amount of fan mail, often asking for explainations about certain events or characters in ME. Some were critical and afterall, this was his world, his creation. I wonder if postAuthorIDs today get that kind of a response. He was most comfortable in the company of his literary friends, the Inlkings not under the glare of the admiring public.
That being said, if he had not sold the film rights, we would not have experienced the wonderful film adaptation by PJ. Big Smile Smilie
I suppose I reacted too harshly. I sorta took offense to the article as a Tolkien fan and and an American but I know what I said was really unfair. I'm sure it wasn't easy for a man of Tolkien's simple tastes and lifestyle to suddenly become an international celebrity. And I'm also sure that he understood that many Americans interperated his works as they were intended. No, I don't really think Tolkien was a sellout. And no, I don't really think he was a greedy money-monger. I was reacting without thinking, as I sometimes do, Ignore Smilie and I must apologize.
It is ok, being an american, I kinda took offence to it too.
You people are all forgetting that Tolkien was a cantankerous, stick in the mud English Professor, and probably, as with all us English, very resistant to change. However much YOU like the movie, JRR himself is almost certain to have hated it. Doesn't his family's refusal to be associated with it give you a clue?

D*mn right you are there, Plastic.

And I think if I would have written LOTR, I don't think I would like any film either. It's just because in your imagination it's always different from any film they make of it. And being the writer, I think watching a film about my own world through the eyes of someone else would irritate me a lot.
I agree, how could you like seeing something you had created and thought perfect, being changed just to get better audiences - increasing Arwen's role and missing out Tom as far as I can see had no purpose but to get more people to like the film yet the film is just a shadow of the book.
Well hi there Rosie! Been a while isn't it? Welcome back! Smoke Smilie
Thanks Tom and I everyone it's been a long summer.
Although I think JRRT would have hated the film I still can't wait to see the next one although I am slightly worried at seeing Arwen about I'm sure she shouldn't be.
Yeah, I'm with Rosie & Tommy on this. JRRT would have hated the d*mn thing. Wouldn't blame him either.
IMHO, Tolkien would have hated the plots of the film(s). Authors in general hate any kind of tampering with their "baby".

I do think that he would have appreciated the landscapes, sets and characterisations. He has been quoted as saying (I dont know exactly where), that pictures/paintings based on fictional characters can help "amplify" a story. I think he would have loved the time and the detail that went into the sets for Hobbiton, Rivendel, Moria and Lorien. I think he would have liked the protrayal of Aragorn as a rugged, weatherbeaten type (if not of the 'he turned from that path long ago' bit). And who couldnt have loved Liv T. made up as Arwen? And Galadriel and Celeborn. The all looked fantastic. I also think he would have to have liked the Balrog and the orcs.

I am not sure about Frodo and Sam. I think both of them were way too attractive for the Professor's taste, however much we enjoyed them.

What a shame that we will never know. Sad Smilie

I'm not so sure whether that is such a crying shame... After all, if we knew everything JRR thought about sth or meant by sth, we wouldn't have much left to discuss, would we. And I think some of us would be rather disappointed. I mean, now we can discuss whether the Balrog has wings yes or no. It can be a yes or a no. But imagine if it's a definate yes. (or no) Some will agree, some won't. Now none of us know for certain, and it's fun to discuss it. IMHO that is. Smoke Smilie
Of course it's fun to discuss these things or else we wouldn't be here!!!! Big Smile Smilie

Read this and tell me if any of your still think that JRRT would have approved the (any) movie. Why is PJ blatantly meddling with the storyline? The first one was bad enough - more like a corny soap opera than the greatest fantasy work of all time...and now this! Sad Smilie
Why do directors constantly feel the need to spice things up? Curses on him and his descendants, if this is true!
I think it is an awful idea Golly. They can't ruin the books like that. That is even worse than the Arwen stuff.
Again: if this is true, IF, mind you, then I'll kick PJ's *ss so hard he won't be able to sit down ever again without feeling it. So Angry Smilie So Angry Smilie
Lighten up guys, there was already a kind of triangle thing going on anyway, and I always thought Aragorn was a bit wet for not getting himself some Rohirrim a*se anyway.
Mad Smilie So Angry Smilie Angry Elf Smilie Lighening Smilie Exploding Head Smilie
Don't you think it's kinda weird that Aragorn who has waited for so long to marry Arwen suddenly likes a woman whom he just met? In the book he doesn't say that he is attracted to Eowyn, now in the movie they want to make as if he's torn into two?
When I posted that article yesterday I thought it might get a rise out of we Tolkien purists. Cool Smilie

I agree with Naira. Smile Smilie All Aragorn felt for ’owyn, was a sad concern for her well being. Angel Smilie It was obvious she was a tad bit over the edge, Disturbed Smilie and he didn't need any more on his plate, so he kept her at arms length. Real heroes need a clear mind when facing the Paths of the Dead, they can't get entangled in the emotional problems of skirts. In Love Smilie

And one more time: PJ is just trying to fill theatre seats: teenie-boppers won't go to the movie just to see some long haired guys and orcs fight in an epic battle; they want the promise of romance, I Love You Smilie relationships, and s*x. Tongue Smilie
Grondy, that is exactly what my hubby said. but I am still upset about it.
I do suppose Grondy's right here, but yet: So Angry Smilie
Grrr....I thought I had cooled down from yesterday... but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Mad Smilie So Angry Smilie Jumping Flame Smilie Angry Elf Smilie Lighening Smilie Exploding Head Smilie Dead Smilie

[Edited on 18/9/2002 by Ungoliant]
Oh please NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Hasn't the book been meddeled with enough!!! I don't think I can watch Eoywn, one of the most intriguing characters be ruined in this way.
I think it's very sad if this is the only way that PJ can think to fill the seats surely the story is gripping enough as it is.
Grrrrrrrrrr Mad Smilie So Angry Smilie So Angry Smilie Lighening Smilie Angry Elf Smilie
I just hope there won't be too much 'romance' that other plots -Frodo/Sam/Gollum, Merry/Pippin- get shorten or cut off.
That's a very good point Naria,it's one thing enharncing some roles but not at the expense of good plots, Merry and Pippen are so adorable especially when they're with the Ents.
Good points Rosie, and naira
Aragorn wasn't attracted to Eowyn he just felt pity for her! I think you all know how I feel about that meedling pleb PJ.
An the original subject mater, Tolkien would have completly hated it!
I think hate would be to great a word, I don't think JRR would "hate" it, but rather feel sad about things left out or changed and yet other parts he maybe would like.
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