[imagesource: YouTube / The Guardian]
If you’re in the business of spending close to an entire day glued to your telly screen, you can do a great deal worse than watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Yes, I’m sure the books are better, but Peter Jackson did a pretty fine job of bringing them to life, and if you watch all three films, that’s in excess of 11 hours ticked off.
You’re seriously after more? Add in a viewing of The Hobbit trilogy, and you’re looking at another eight hours or so.
I will assume diehard fans have done both, but here’s something extra that you probably haven’t come across before – a Soviet television adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.
The Guardian reports:
The 1991 made-for-TV film, Khraniteli, based on Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, is the only adaptation of his Lord of the Rings trilogy believed to have been made in the Soviet Union.
Aired 10 years before the release of the first instalment of Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy, the low-budget film appears ripped from another age: the costumes and sets are rudimentary, the special effects are ludicrous, and many of the scenes look more like a theatre production than a feature-length film.
We shall begin with a snippet, to set the scene:
The growling as the ring is worn was an interesting touch.
After airing just once on Leningrad Television, the film disappeared, and those who have searched for it over the years have been sorely disappointed.
Then, without warning or fanfare, Leningrad Television’s successor, 5TV, posted the film to YouTube last week:
“Fans have been searching the archives but had not able to find this film for decades,” wrote World of Fantasy, a Russian-language publication that has written about adaptations of Tolkien’s work.
“There should be a statue to the person who found and digitised this,” one commenter posted.
The film was uploaded in two parts, and I have cycled through both without watching them in full.
It really is quite something, and I would encourage you to do the same.
English subtitles make it better, so here’s a step-by-step on that front:
It may help somewhat with understanding what the hell is actually going on, but don’t expect everything to fall into place.
Here’s part one:
And here’s part two:
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