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Re: [mythsoc] re. Star over Mordor

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  • John D Rateliff
    ... Yes. ... Yes (with Hynkel also played by Chaplin). ... Yes. Not as great as CITY LIGHTS or MODERN TIMES, but v. much a masterpiece. --JDR
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 12, 2008
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      On Nov 12, 2008, at 6:49 PM, WendellWag@... wrote:
      > I have a couple of nitpicks with this. First, what do we know
      > about the
      > composition of the section of The Lord of the Rings where Sam sees
      > the star over
      > Mordor? Was that written after The Great Dictator was released?

      Yes.

      > Second, the barber and the girl wouldn't think about Hitler, since
      > the character
      > equivalent to Adolf Hitler in the movie was called Adenoid Hynkel.

      Yes (with Hynkel also played by Chaplin).

      > Incidentally, this is a great movie, and you should all see it.

      Yes. Not as great as CITY LIGHTS or MODERN TIMES, but v. much a
      masterpiece.

      --JDR
    • John D Rateliff
      ... I don t have any external evidence that Tolkien ever saw the Chaplin film. It s definitely possible, and I d argue it s v. probable, given the similarity
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 12, 2008
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        On Nov 12, 2008, at 2:37 PM, Doug Kane wrote:
        > John, I'm curious to know whether you are basing your supposition
        > that this scene in that classic film might have been a direct
        > inspiration for Tolkien's writing that sequence purely on the
        > extreme similarlity between the two scenes, or whether you have any
        > indication that Tolkien actually saw/was impressed by the film?

        I don't have any external evidence that Tolkien ever saw the Chaplin
        film. It's definitely possible, and I'd argue it's v. probable, given
        the similarity between the scenes. If so, it's a good example of
        Tolkien's ability to pull details out of unlikely sources.
        --JDR
      • Lynn Maudlin
        In a funny little piece of self-foot-shooting, I failed to post this to the list yesterday: Not to answer for John, but don t you think that s a fairly human
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 13, 2008
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          In a funny little piece of self-foot-shooting, I failed to post this
          to the list yesterday:

          Not to answer for John, but don't you think that's a fairly human
          response? In a time of trouble and uncertainty to look up and see the
          stars as timeless (well, *more* timeless than we are) and therefore a
          sign of hope, of endurance?

          -- Lynn --


          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:
          >
          > John D. Rateliff wrote:
          >
          > > Another strong parallel, and possible direct inspiration, for Sam's
          > > seeing the Star over Mordor comes in Charlie Chaplin's THE GREAT
          > > DICTATOR [1940], which includes a scene in which the barber (Chaplin)
          > > and the girl hide on a roof top from storm troopers, see a star in
          > > the sky high above, and think about how its permanence and purity
          > > will outlast even Hitler's reich. Unfortunately, it's been too long
          > > since I've seen the film to be able to give any details.
          >
          > John, I'm curious to know whether you are basing your supposition
          that this scene in that classic film might have been a direct
          inspiration for Tolkien's writing that sequence purely on the extreme
          similarlity between the two scenes, or whether you have any indication
          that Tolkien actually saw/was impressed by the film?
          >
          > Doug
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Doug Kane
          ... I do think it is a fairly human response. At the same time, the scene in the film as described by John has a remarkably similar feel to the scene in LOTR.
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 13, 2008
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            Lynne Maudlin wrote:

            > Not to answer for John, but don't you think that's a fairly human
            > response? In a time of trouble and uncertainty to look up and see the
            > stars as timeless (well, *more* timeless than we are) and therefore a
            > sign of hope, of endurance?

            I do think it is a fairly human response. At the same time, the scene in the film as described by John has a remarkably similar feel to the scene in LOTR. It does seem fairly remarkable to me that two such similar scenes would be developed independantly in two such different works within a relatively short period of time. Not impossible, but unlikely. Which is why I asked whether John had any information that further supported the idea that Tolkien had actually seen the film and had been influenced by it (being the knowledgable guy that he is). But, of course, he has already answered that question.

            Doug


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Lynn Maudlin
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 1:06 PM
            Subject: [mythsoc] Re: re. Star over Mordor


            In a funny little piece of self-foot-shooting, I failed to post this
            to the list yesterday:

            Not to answer for John, but don't you think that's a fairly human
            response? In a time of trouble and uncertainty to look up and see the
            stars as timeless (well, *more* timeless than we are) and therefore a
            sign of hope, of endurance?

            -- Lynn --

            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:
            >
            > John D. Rateliff wrote:
            >
            > > Another strong parallel, and possible direct inspiration, for Sam's
            > > seeing the Star over Mordor comes in Charlie Chaplin's THE GREAT
            > > DICTATOR [1940], which includes a scene in which the barber (Chaplin)
            > > and the girl hide on a roof top from storm troopers, see a star in
            > > the sky high above, and think about how its permanence and purity
            > > will outlast even Hitler's reich. Unfortunately, it's been too long
            > > since I've seen the film to be able to give any details.
            >
            > John, I'm curious to know whether you are basing your supposition
            that this scene in that classic film might have been a direct
            inspiration for Tolkien's writing that sequence purely on the extreme
            similarlity between the two scenes, or whether you have any indication
            that Tolkien actually saw/was impressed by the film?
            >
            > Doug
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >





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