Search - Secrets of Middle-Earth - Inside Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" (4-Pack) on DVD

Secrets of Middle-Earth - Inside Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" (4-Pack)
Secrets of Middle-Earth - Inside Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
Actor: J.R.R. Tolkien
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Documentary
NR     2003     4hr 0min

Discover the secrets of Middle-earth on a unique journey into the heart of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. With amazing new insights into Tolkien by international authorities, this four-disc set takes you deeper into t...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: J.R.R. Tolkien
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Fantasy, Documentary
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/11/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 4hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Misinformation Galore- -Do Not Buy
D. Kamionkowski | 09/16/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"The only thing this series revealed to me was the ignorance of the producers on the subject of The Lord of the Rings. I was left with the distinct impression that they either have not read the trilogy or did so many years ago. The number of inaccuracies in plot and setting exposition is astonishing, leaving one with the impression that this was (yet another) attempt to cash in on the resurgence in Tolkien mania that Peter Jackson's rendition has created. Here are some examples of blatant errors:

1) Their synopsis states that Pippin met up with Frodo and Sam at Bucklebury Ferry, leading me to conclude that the edition they read was missing the two chapters detailing Frodo, Sam and Pippin's adventures on the way from Bag End to the Ferry. It is Merry that they meet up with shortly before reaching the Ferry (of whom they made no mention).

2) Their graphical mapping of Gandalf's path from Bree to Rivendell bypasses Weathertop completely, despite Gandalf's battle with the Nazgul which Strider and the hobbits saw from far off.

3) They claim Frodo's vision of Glorfindel as a shining figure at the Fords was due to the fact that he was wearing the Ring, when the text indicates that he was not wearing the Ring.

4) In the most obvious and glaring error, in the 2nd DVD, they describe Minas Morgul in a way that indicates that they have confused it with the Tower of Cirith Ungol. Their description of Minas Morgul places it on the eastern slopes of the Ephel Duath, inside Mordor, when anyone familiar with the story knows that it is on the western slopes of the Ephel Duath, outside of Mordor. Their physical description of it, as well as reference to Sam's thoughts upon seeing it, match the Tower of Cirith Ungol, of which they make no mention.

The impact of these errors is compounded by narrator Graham McTavish' incessant mispronunciations of place and character names, which was striking in a production that spent so much time discussing the influence of Tolkien's linguistic pursuits on his development of Middle-earth.

Call me nitpicky if you will, but you would think that a production which purports to such authoritativeness would do a better job on basic plot and setting details. I was struck by how many fewer "authorities" were involved in the Two Towers DVD than were included in the Fellowship DVD, suggesting the possibility that some become aware of the illegitimacy of the project and disassociated themselves from it. Note as well that the Tolkien hiers have not sanctioned this production, and it is easy to see why.

I'm only glad that I didn't buy this, but rather viewed a copy on loan from our local public library: thus, all I have invested in this series was the 3 hours to watch and the additional 10 minutes spent writing this review as a public service.

Avoid this production- -if you are an aficionado, you will be disgusted by the constant mistakes, and if you are seeking to become an aficionado, you will be misinformed and will require the purchase of other more authoritative works to disabuse you of the misconceptions perpertrated by the producers of this series."
Secrets of the 4-DVD Pack: Buy only THE HOBBIT
Peng, Po Chih | 02/24/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

1. Main film (50 minutes)
2. Tolkien Biography (5m)
3. The Hildebrandt Brothers (9m)
4. Music: instrucmental (5m)THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
1. Main film (59m)
2. Tolkien Biography (5m)
3. The Hildebrandt Brothers (5m)
4. Music: "Out of the Inn" (5m)THE TWO TOWERS
1. Main film (59m)
2. Tolkien Biography (5m)
3. The Hildebrandt Brothers (9m)
4. Music: "Helm's Deep" (6m)THE RETURN OF THE KING
1. Main film (58m)
2. Tolkien Biography (5m)
3. The Hildebrandt Brothers (5m)
4. Music: "Goodbye Alone" (6m)Overview:
The only selling point of this product is probably the several rarely seen video documentary and photos of Tolkien himself and his children. If you are a collector of these, you'll be happy with THE HOBBIT (and only with THE HOBBIT.)Tolkien Biography:
As you can see from the content, the 5-minute Tolkien biography film is included in all 4 DVDs. It's not too bad; you get the authorities: Tom Shippey, Rayner Unwin, Humphrey Carpenter, and Father John Tolkien. You get to see some Tolkien photos, and hear what must have been said over and over again. So, it's really nothing new. This short film is basically a compilation of interviews that were taken years before, perhaps much earlier, because in the film these gentlemen still have much hair:) If you have the movie DVDs, they would appear much different.Main films:
The main films in each DVD are like a walk-through summary of the book. You get 5 "Tolkien historians" explaining the
"significance" of why Tolkien wrote this or that. But this is ultimately boring and has nothing you've never heard of. (If you have the movie DVDs, you have heard enough. And if you have seen "Beyond the Movie" from National Geographic and hated those historians, then you'll hate these guys as well.)The Hildebrandt Brothers:
The WORST thing about the DVDs is definitely the Hildebrant Brothers (some artists like Alan Lee) talking about their paintings. The interviews are taken indoor with the old brothers sitting next to each other on a couch, and when they talk they are just constantly interrupting each other (ie: "yeah, you know, yeah, right, you know?"), and all you get is just some annoying mindless rumbling!! Terribly conducted presentation.Muisc of Middle-earth:
The less annoying material is the music performance by a band called "Mostly Autumn". It's mostly instrucmental, except for ROTK, inspired by Middle-earth, recorded live in a mini-concert in 2001 in London.Conclusion:
Whether you are a newbie looking for insights, or a collector of Tolkien documentary, just get THE HOBBIT DVD and you'll be happy."
Urrrmmmm ... no.
Kris Oller | California, USA | 01/08/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I'm gonna have to back up D. Kamionkowski and jp9999 on this one. Don't get this (I made the mistake of getting it, and I now tell friends that I'm trying to convert into Ringers to stear clear).

The one for THE HOBBIT was the only good one of the bunch. That DVD actually felt like they researched the book they were looking into, and words were consistantly pronounced correctly. And frankly, I liked the narrator on that one much better than the narrator on the LotR side. This one actually seemed as though he was a fan (or was really good at coming across as one).

The three for LotR whoever, are very lacking. D. Kamionkowski already pointed out some of the plot points that were incorrect, but what really got me was the mispronouncation of words. What really gets on my nerves is when people use incorrect syntax or grammer, or they mispronounce words, and this set drove me straight up the wall. The narrator kept pronouncing words that began with the letter "c" as though it were pronounced like an "s", instead of pronouncing it like a "k" (which Tolkien said to do in the appendix). It gets really irritating when you hear it pronounced "Selaborn" and "Sirith Ungul", and it should be pronounced "Kelaborn" and "Kirith Ungul". And what's even more fun than that is the pronouncation of "Minis Tirith". Whenever you get the voiceover, it's pronounced correctly (with the first "i" in "Minis" pronounced as a short "i"), and then, when he's actually in front of the camera it's pronounced incorrectly (with the "i" pronounced long). I ended up wanting to scream at the screen, "Just pick one!! If you're going to pronounce it wrong, then pronounce it worng ALL of the time!!"

Overall, it really did feel like they didn't check their facts before this set was made and really wanted to cash in on the new-found popularity of LotR."
AWESOME for fans of the books & artwork
tiedyemomma | NW WI, USA | 07/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you are a Tolkien book geek you will love these dvd's! These documentaries are a bit dry, but the prolific shots of the Brothers Hildebrandt's artwork is a treat for any fan of their Middle Earth works. They step you through the books, relating Tolkien's influences at the time and drawing connections between his symbolism and imagery. This is a scholarly piece and not to be considered simply "entertaining." If your fandom does not extend far past the recent movies, you may not find these very interesting at all. BUT if you have been a fan forever (or recently, but are now obsessed with the Books) you will find it an excellent viewing. True geeks will probably not find a lot of "new" information inside, but the interviews and the detailed play-by-play will keep you watching anyhow.In Summary: If you have read all of the books (not just the Trilogy) and have ever had to stop and drool at a brothers Hildebrandt coffee table book, this is a definite must see! If you loved the movies, but aren't up for a bunch of literary scholars sitting around gabbing, pass it by."