>From Jeremy RobinsonAlmost all of the questions arising in recent posts about the movie and the
book can be answered by looking at Tolkien's 'Letters'. Fascinating reading,
because Tolkien explains everything clearly and carefully, time after time.
Especially intriguing is letter no. 210, where Tolkien lists all of the things
wrong with the first attempt (around 1957-58), to film 'LOTR'. It's
illuminating to consider Tolkien's complaints in the light of the most recent
adaption from New Line.
Here's an extract:
'Z... has intruded a 'fairy castle' and a great many Eagles, not to mention
incantations, blue lights, and some irrelevant magic (such as the floating
body of Faramir). He has cut the parts of the story upon which its
characteristic and peculiar tone principally depends, showing a preference for
fights; and he has made no serious attempt to represent the heart of the tale
adequately: the journey of the Ringbearers. (pp. 270-1)
So much of what Tolkien says about Morton Grady Zimmerman's 1958 script bears
on the 2001 movie - on the Black Riders, Gandalf, orcs, trees, seasons,
weather, etc. It's clear that the NZ filmmakers took on board a lot of what
Tolkien said in his letters. On the other hand, they ignored other things (for
ex, the screeching of the Black Riders, the orcs, the Balrog's noises, the
emphasis on fights and monsters).