DVD 201 mins IMDB 8.9 (146,445 votes) top 250: #4
PG-13
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - The Return of the King
New Line Cinema (2003)
In Collection
#58

My Rating:
9

Seen It:
Yes
(2003 )
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
USA  /  English

Noel Appleby Everard Proudfoot
Alexandra Astin Elanor Gamgee
Sean Astin Sam
David Aston Gondorian Soldier 3
John Bach Madril
Sean Bean Boromir
Cate Blanchett Galadriel
Orlando Bloom Legolas
Billy Boyd Pippin
Sadwyn Brophy Eldarion
Elijah Wood Frodo Baggins
Ian McKellen Gandalf
Viggo Mortensen Aragorn
Andy Serkis Gollum
Dominic Monaghan Merry
John Rhys-Davies Gimli
Liv Tyler Arwen
Bernard Hill Theoden
Ian Holm
Alistair Browning Damrod
Marton Csokas Celeborn
Richard Edge Gondorian Soldier 1
Jason Fitch Uruk 2
Brad Dourif
Miranda Otto
Christopher Lee
Hugo Weaving

Director Peter Jackson
Producer Peter Jackson; Fran Walsh
Writer J.R.R. Tolkien; Fran Walsh; Philippa Boyens; Peter Jackson
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Musician Billy Boyd; Philippa Boyens; David Donaldson; Annie Lennox; David Long; Viggo Mortensen; Steve Roche; Janet Roddick; Howard Shore; J.R.R. Tolkien; Fran Walsh; Richard Wagner
User Credit 1 Jamie Selkirk
User Credit 2 Ngila Dickson; Richard Taylor

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

Edition Details
Barcode 794043693229
Region Region 1
Chapters 60
Release Date 2005
Packaging Keep Case
Screen Ratio Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Subtitles English; Spanish
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: DD-EX 5.1 [CC]
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround [CC]
Layers Dual Side, Single Layer
No. of Disks/Tapes 4

Features
Disc 1: Color Closed-captioned Widescreen
Personal Details
User Lookup 1 DVD Original
User Text 1 Intense epic battle sequences and frightening images. (also extended edition)
User Text 2 This Christmas the journey ends.
Links IMDB
All Movie Guide
Amazon US
DVD Empire
DVD Empire

Notes
Trivia: The Minas Tirith set was built on the same site as Helm's Deep, after the Helm's Deep scenes had been shot and pieces of Helm's Deep were altered and built on top and around the existing pieces for the Minas Tirith set. (more)

Goofs: Continuity: When Frodo and Sam are bewildered as the orc army marches out from the fortress by the bottom of the secret stair, they are lit from the bridge's direction by red and orange fiery colors. In the reverse shots of the bridge and the fortress, there is no orange light in the shot at all, only the ghostly green lighting. (more)

Quotes:
[first lines]
Deagol: Smeagol, I've got one! I've got a fish, Smeag. Smeagol!
Smeagol: Pull it in. Go on. Go on. Go on. Pull it in.
(more)

Awards: Won 11 Oscars. Another 96 wins & 62 nominations (more)