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

10 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Nov 11, 2003)
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$54.99 $45.90

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Editorial Reviews

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 these great books than ever before. Using the latest advanced mapping techniques and the fantastic art of the brothers Hildebrandt, these magical programs bring the lands and folk of Middle-earth spectacularly to life and reveal the intricate themes and influences that shaped this extraordinary epic. EXTRA FEATURES: The Brothers Hildebrandt and the Art of Middle-earth. Mostly Autumn: Music Inspired by the Lord of the Rings.Tolkien: His Life and Work DISC ONE Inside Tolkien's The Hobbit DISC TWOI nside Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring DISC THREE Inside Tolkien's The Two Towers DISC FOUR Inside Tolkien's The Return of the King

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • Secrets of Middle-Earth: Inside Tolkien's "The Hobbit"
  • Secrets of Middle-Earth: Inside Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring"
  • Secrets of Middle-Earth: Inside Tolkien's "The Two Towers" (aka A Visual Guide)
  • Secrets of Middle-Earth: Inside Tolkien's "The Return of the King"

Product Details

  • Actors: J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DI86S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,480 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

152 of 155 people found the following review helpful By D. Kamionkowski on September 16, 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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133 of 137 people found the following review helpful By JeffreyP on February 24, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
1. Main film (50 minutes)
2. Tolkien Biography (5m)
3. The Hildebrandt Brothers (9m)
4. Music: instrucmental (5m)
1. Main film (59m)
2. Tolkien Biography (5m)
3. The Hildebrandt Brothers (5m)
4. Music: "Out of the Inn" (5m)
1. Main film (59m)
2. Tolkien Biography (5m)
3. The Hildebrandt Brothers (9m)
4. Music: "Helm's Deep" (6m)
1. Main film (58m)
2. Tolkien Biography (5m)
3. The Hildebrandt Brothers (5m)
4. Music: "Goodbye Alone" (6m)
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.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Kris Oller on January 8, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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