Welcome to the ICM Forum. If you have an account but have trouble logging in, or have other questions, see THIS THREAD.
NOTE: Board emails should be working again. Information on forum upgrade and style issues.
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 22 released November 17th * EXCLUSIVE * We Are Mentioned in a Book!!! Interview with Mary Guillermin on Rapture, JG & More)
Polls: Favourite Movies (Results), 1998 (Results), DtC - Ratings (Apr 26th), Coming of Age (Apr 30th)
Challenges: Doubling the Canon, Animation, Middle East
Film of the Week: Moya lyubov, May nominations (Apr 30th)

Lost Soviet Lord of the Rings TV Movie Discovered

Post Reply
morrison-dylan-fan
Posts: 1321
Joined: February 6th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

Lost Soviet Lord of the Rings TV Movie Discovered

#1

Post by morrison-dylan-fan »

A Soviet television adaptation of The Lord of the Rings thought to have been lost to time was rediscovered and posted on YouTube last week, delighting Russian-language fans of JRR Tolkien.

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.

The score, composed by Andrei Romanov of the rock band Akvarium, also lends a distinctly Soviet ambience to the production, which was reportedly aired just once on television before disappearing into the archives of Leningrad Television.

Few knew about its existence until Leningrad Television’s successor, 5TV, abruptly posted the film to YouTube last week [part one | part two], where it has gained almost 400,000 views within several days.

“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.

Earlier adaptations and even translations of Tolkien’s work in the Soviet Union were hard to come by, with some convinced that the story of an alliance of men, elves and dwarves fighting a totalitarian eastern power had been blocked by the censor.

But another suggestion for the sparsity of translations was that Tolkien’s intricate plot and linguistic invention made it difficult to translate into Russian without either adulterating the original or leaving Soviet audiences without any idea of what was happening.

Nonetheless, the schlocky adaptation appeared to scratch a nostalgic itch for many who watched it.

“It is as absurd and monstrous as it is divine and magnificent. The opening song is especially lovely. Thanks to the one who found this rarity,” wrote another. In the opening song, Romanov sings a rough translation of Tolkien’s description of the origins of the rings of power, of which three are given to the elves, seven to the dwarves, and nine to mortal men, doomed to die.

The Soviet version includes some plot elements left out of Jackson’s $93m blockbuster, including an appearance by the character Tom Bombadil, a forest dweller cut from the English-language version because he was too long-winded and failed to move the plot forward.

The first Soviet samizdat translation of The Fellowship of the Ring was produced in 1966, more than a decade after Tolkien’s book of that name was published. And the first published translation came out in the Soviet Union in 1982, although its sequels, The Two Towers and The Return of the King, were not released until years later.

In 1985, Leningrad Television aired its first version of Tolkien’s work, a low-budget adaptation of The Hobbit featuring ballet dancers from what is now the Mariinsky theatre and a moustachioed narrator standing in for Tolkien. The abridged production, titled The Fantastic Journey of Mister Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit, skips over the trolls and elves in an hour-long romp that was long believed to be the only finished Tolkien adaptation produced during the Soviet Union.

According to World of Fantasy, a 1991 animated version of The Hobbit called The Treasure Under the Mountain was scrapped, leaving only six minutes of footage that is available online.

Jackson’s adaptation of the trilogy was a hit in Russia. Many young Russians watched a version dubbed by the translator Dmitry Puchkov under the pseudonym Goblin, which was notable for its expletive-laden reinterpretation of the text. In that version, Frodo is called Fyodor Mikhailovich, Legolas has a pronounced Baltic accent, and Aragorn yells “Whoever doesn’t hit [an orc] is an ass,” as his archers let their arrows fly during the defence of Helm’s Deep.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... r-30-years


Part one:
Part two:
User avatar
Coryn
Posts: 1607
Joined: December 5th, 2018, 2:53 pm
Contact:

#2

Post by Coryn »

I guess I'm the biggest Tolkien fan on the forum so I was of course excited about the news.
Someone in the comments pointed out every scene so you can see what it looks like.

Also, this movie is only 10 years older than the Peter Jackson one :)
I saved Latin, what did you ever do ?
User avatar
Coryn
Posts: 1607
Joined: December 5th, 2018, 2:53 pm
Contact:

#3

Post by Coryn »

Shot for shot remake, can't believe Jackson got away with this fraud

Image

Image

Image

Image
I saved Latin, what did you ever do ?
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 2691
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#4

Post by Torgo »

Thank you very much for posting this, wouldn't have noticed else :)
psychotronicbeatnik
Donator
Posts: 1923
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Oregon
Contact:

#5

Post by psychotronicbeatnik »

I heard rumours about this about 20 years ago but had totally forgotten about it figuring it might never be seen here. Thanks for the alert!

:cheers:
User avatar
kongs_speech
Posts: 1353
Joined: April 4th, 2020, 10:32 pm
Location: FL
Contact:

#6

Post by kongs_speech »

I'm happy for the legion of Tolkien fans out there and I hope y'all have fun with this. I'm a casual, so I'll stick with the Jackson flicks. For my own personal interests, though, if a lost film had to be found, I wish it had been some Murnau or maybe Ariang. :D
🏳️‍⚧️
Quartoxuma wrote: A deeply human, life-affirming disgusting check whore.
Image
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 2691
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#7

Post by Torgo »

kongs_speech wrote: April 6th, 2021, 12:31 am if a lost film had to be found, I wish it had been some Murnau or maybe Ariang. :D
The extreme oddity about this LotR also lies in the fact that it isn't some century-old flick or from a country to be underdeveloped (in terms of the movie industry and preservation), but Russia. From 1991! Made for TV! And that still so many people would be interested in that.

Oh, btw, this is the IMDB entry for Khraniteli. 4.1 at 8 votes. Neat.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 2691
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#8

Post by Torgo »

Anyone started a KG pot on subtitles yet? :ermm:
Post Reply