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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition) (2003)

Elijah Wood , Ian McKellen , Peter Jackson  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,430 customer reviews)

Price: $41.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Blu-ray Two-Disc Platinum Edition $7.99  
DVD Two-Disc Widescreen Theatrical Edition $5.00  
  Platinum Series Special Extended Edition $41.99  
Other Special Extended Edition [VHS] $11.44  

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Frequently Bought Together

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition) + The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition) (2002) + The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Two-Disc Widescreen Theatrical Edition)
Price for all three: $49.99

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin
  • Directors: Peter Jackson
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (DTS ES 6.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2004
  • Run Time: 250 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,430 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000634DCW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,584 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

DISCS 1-2: The Feature:
  • A new version of the third installment includes 50 minutes of never-before-seen footage incorporated into the film. (approx. 250 minutes)

DISCS 3-4: The Appendices:
  • Disc Three: The Appendices Part Five - The War of the Ring
  • Peter Jackson Intro
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: The Legacy of Middle-earth
  • From Book to Script:
    • From Book to Script: Forging the Final Chapter
    • Abandoned Concept: Aragorn Battles Sauron
  • Designing and Building Middle-earth
    • Designing Middle-earth
    • Big-atures
    • Weta Workshop
    • Costume Design
  • Design Galleries 2,123 images
    • The Peoples of Middle-earth (galleries with docent audio)
    • The Realms of Middle-earth (galleries with docent audio)
    • Miniatures (galleries with docent audio)
  • Home of the Horse Lords
  • Middle-earth Atlas: Tracing the Journeys of the Fellowship: interactive map
  • New Zealand as Middle-earth: interactive map with on-location footage
  • Disc Four: The Appendices Part Six - The Passing of an Age
  • Elijah Wood/Sean Astin/Billy Boyd/Dominic Monaghan intro
  • Filming The Return of the King
    • Cameras in Middle-earth
    • Production Photos (gallery) - 69 images
  • Visual Effects
    • Weta Digital
    • The Mûmakil Battle: demonstration/interactive feature
  • Post Production: Journey's End
    • Editorial: Completing the Trilogy
    • Music for Middle-earth
    • The Soundscapes of Middle-earth
    • The End of All Things
  • The Passing of an Age
  • Cameron Duncan
    • Cameron Duncan: The Inspiration for "Into the West"
    • "DFK6498" short film
    • "Strike Zone" short film
  • Easter eggs: Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn interview Peter Jackson (2004 MTV Movie Awards), Dominic Monaghan interviews Elijah Wood posing as a German journalist
  • All four discs are DVD-ROM enabled, featuring a link to lordoftherings.net and access to exclusive online features

  • (c)MMIII New Line Productions, Inc. (c)MMIV New Line Home Entertainment, Inc. (tm)Tolkien Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The WINNER of 11 Academy Awards* including BEST PICTURE is now 50 minutes longer! This extended version of the epic conclusion of The Lord of the Rings trilogy includes new score by Howard Shore and over 350 new digital effects shots.


Amazon.com

The greatest trilogy in film history, presented in the most ambitious sets in DVD history, comes to a grand conclusion with the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Not only is the third and final installment of Peter Jackson's adaptation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien the longest of the three, but a full 50 minutes of new material pushes the running time to a whopping 4 hours and 10 minutes. The new scenes are welcome, and the bonus features maintain the high bar set by the first two films, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers.

What's New?
One of the scenes cut from the theatrical release but included here, the resolution of the Saruman storyline, generated a lot of publicity when the movie opened, as actor Christopher Lee complained in the press about losing his only appearance. It's an excellent scene, one Jackson calls "pure Tolkien," and provides better context for Pippin to find the wizard's palantir in the water, but it's not critical to the film. In fact, "valuable but not critical" might sum up the ROTK extended edition. It's evident that Jackson made the right cuts for the theatrical run, but the extra material provides depth and ties up a number of loose ends, and for those sorry to see the trilogy end (and who isn't?) it's a welcome chance to spend another hour in Middle-earth. Some choice moments are Gandalf's (Ian McKellen) confrontation with the Witch King (we find out what happened to the wizard's staff), the chilling Mouth of Sauron at the gates of Mordor, and Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) being mistaken for Orc soldiers. We get to see more of Éowyn (Miranda Otto), both with Aragorn and on the battlefield, even fighting the hideously deformed Orc lieutenant, Gothmog. We also see her in one of the most anticipated new scenes, the Houses of Healing after the battle of the Pelennor Fields. It doesn't present Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) as a savior as the book did, but it shows the initial meeting between Éowyn and Faramir (David Wenham), a relationship that received only a meaningful glance in the theatrical cut.


If you want to completely immerse yourself in Peter Jackson's marvelous and massive achievement, only the extended edition will do.

And for those who complained, no, there are no new endings, not even the scouring of the Shire, which many fans were hoping to see. Nor is there a scene of Denethor (John Noble) with the palantir, which would have better explained both his foresight and his madness. As Jackson notes, when cuts are made, the secondary characters are the first to go, so there is a new scene of Aragorn finding the palantir in Denethor's robes. Another big difference is Aragorn's confrontation with the King of the Dead. In the theatrical version, we didn't know whether the King had accepted Aragorn's offer when the pirate ships pulled into the harbor; here Jackson assumes that viewers have already experienced that tension, and instead has the army of the dead join the battle in an earlier scene (an extended cameo for Jackson). One can debate which is more effective, but that's why the film is available in both versions. If you feel like watching the relatively shorter version you saw in the theaters, you can. If you want to completely immerse yourself in Peter Jackson's marvelous and massive achievement, only the extended edition will do.

How Are the Bonus Features?
To complete the experience, The Return of the King provides the same sprawling set of features as the previous extended editions: four commentary tracks, sharp picture and thrilling sound, and two discs of excellent documentary material far superior to the recycled material in the theatrical edition. Those who have listened to the seven hours of commentary for the first two extended editions may wonder if they need to hear more, but there was no commentary for the earlier ROTK DVD, so it's still entertaining to hear Jackson break down the film (he says the beacon scene is one of his favorites), discuss differences from the book, point out cameos, and poke fun at himself and the extended-edition concept ("So this is the complete full strangulation, never seen before, here exclusively on DVD!"). The documentaries (some lasting 30 minutes or longer) are of their usual outstanding quality, and there's a riveting storyboard/animatic sequence of the climactic scene, which includes a one-on-one battle between Aragorn and Sauron.

One DVD Set to Rule Them All
Peter Jackson's trilogy has set the standard for fantasy films by adapting the Holy Grail of fantasy stories with a combination of fidelity to the original source and his own vision, supplemented by outstanding writing, near-perfect casting, glorious special effects, and evocative New Zealand locales. The extended editions without exception have set the standard for the DVD medium by providing a richer film experience that pulls the three films together and further embraces Tolkien's world, a reference-quality home theater experience, and generous, intelligent, and engrossing bonus features. --David Horiuchi


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
461 of 498 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A miraculous accomplishment October 20, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Peter Jackson proved me wrong when I said, like many people, that Lord of the Rings would be a bust: Spielberg-adventure at best, Lucas-disaster at worst. Had I known Tolkien's classic was in the hands of the guy who directed Heavenly Creatures, I would have been more optimistic. As it turns out, my expectations were completely overturned. In some ways the films are actually better than the books, especially in terms of emotional power. Competent actors, amazing cinematography, and a brilliant music score combine to offer us Middle-Earth as we'd never imagined it.

Fellowship of the Ring is the most polished film, with its elegant episodic pacing. We start in the idyllic world of the hobbits and flee with Ringwraiths hot on our heels; we rest in Elrond's sanctuary and plunge into Moria; we come out grieving and console ourselves in Galadriel's safe (yet unsettling) dream-wood, and then wind up surrounded by Uruk-hai. This is a quintessential fantasy road-journey containing three episodes within an episode, each beginning in a haven and followed by a dark journey. The pacing is flawless, and the plot unfolds to a perfect beat.

Two Towers is the ambiguous film. It's excellent (or at least the extended version is) but structured in a way that the hobbits become sidelined by the Rohan story. As they are the soul of Tolkien's epic, we feel slightly nonplussed at their consignment to B-storylines. Ironically, the film is a showcase for cgi characters Gollum and Treebeard, who manage to steal the show from within these storylines.

Return of the King is the most dramatic film, tragic on almost a biblical level, and certainly the most satisfying. I can understand why Elijah Wood calls it "better than one and two combined".
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180 of 192 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New scenes and unseens November 16, 2004
Format:DVD
The extended DVD of "Return of the King" is filled with many new and extended scenes that will please fans who love Tolkien's original story. The July 26, 2004 San Diego Comic Convention featured a preview of many scenes, some introduced by Peter Jackson himself. (Some of these scenes were recently featured in the sneak preview trailer at Lord of the Rings.net, although now it seems to have been removed). In reference to a couple of reviews on the board here -- if you're waiting anxiously for the Scouring of the Shire, don't hold your breath. That segment was NEVER filmed by Jackson, therefore it will NOT be included in the extended edition DVD. But there ARE plenty of great scenes to be included:

· We hear Christopher Lee's booming voice echoed over a dark screen that lightened to reveal Saruman on top of Orthanc. He warns our heroes of something festering in the heart of Middle-earth and that they will all die.

· We see Frodo and Sam in their Orc disguises joining the column of Orcs as they march out of Mordor.

· There are numerous shots of the Houses of Healing with Faramir, Eowyn, and Merry all seen.

· A lot more looks to be added to the siege of Minas Tirith, as there was a bunch of new battle footage.

· Frodo and Sam venture into the Crossroads and a few clips from that section were included.

· The Mouth of Sauron is featured pretty heavily. If you've played EA's Return of the King video game you'll recognize the scene. The Mouth of Sauron rides out of the Black Gate and presents Frodo's mithril coat to the Fellowship.

· Aragorn reveals himself to Sauron by approaching the Palantir in Minas Tirith and wields Anduril to show that the Heir of Elendil was alive.
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174 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece January 7, 2004
By A Customer
...wow. That's all I can really say for this film. It was inspirational, beautiful, heartrenching, and captivating, making this film amazing. Jackson truly outdid himself for Return of the King. The hopelessness and pain Sam and Frodo are experiencing as they struggle to destroy the Ring is so wonderfully done that you truly feel as if you are with Sam and Frodo as they struggle to climb up the mountain. The love and friendship between the two is so moving that it seriously brought tears to my eyes, and I *rarely* cry.
The acting was simply superb in this film, especially Sean Astin (Sam) and Viggo Mortenson (Aragorn). As always, Miranda Otto was wonderful as Eowyn, as were Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan as Pippin and Merry. The movie flowed exceptionally, and despite its lengthy time, there was not a moment that I wasn't captivated by Tolkien's vision of Middle-earth. One of the lines that stands out the most to me is during the moment when Sam and Frodo believe they are going to die while Mt. Doom is erupting is, "I'm glad to be with you, Sam. Here, at the end of all things." Another beautiful scene is when Aragorn, crowned as the King of Gondor, bows down to the hobbits, telling them, "You bow to no one." The heartfelt emotion expressed really does make this film the greatest of all three.
As always, the everpresent rivalry between Gimli and Legolas is there, providing comic relief. Surprisingly, Merry and Pippin do not provide any humour other than at the beginning of the film, and are a very chief point in the plot. The two are separated for the first time since the triligy began and must mature, which largely develops their character.
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WHICH ONE TO CHOOCE???
Definitely spend $64 here for all three platinum editions boxed together (about the same as buying the two disc release you are looking at). You don't need the theatrical versions anymore once you have the extended editions. The extra scenes are in no way throwaway stuff. They expand and... Read More
Jun 19, 2007 by File Gumbo |  See all 4 posts
My copy was defective.....
yeah, my copy of rotk was defective. the two towers and fellowship had the same problem though not to any great degree. rotk would skip every 15 seconds or so after a certain point. what did you end up doing?
Feb 12, 2007 by Robert |  See all 3 posts
gift set
good for you
Dec 9, 2011 by jaltruff |  See all 2 posts
Weight
I'm guessing about alot.
Jul 23, 2007 by Nela Holmes |  See all 2 posts
is this worth buying
ABSOLUTELY! The full story is wonderful. The whole new scenes enhance the story. 4h01m without the credits. The characters are all very well developed - Faramir and Eowyn (now the famous The Houses of Healing, with a beautiful new song, sung by Liv Tyler! Oh my!) found their love while the... Read More
May 2, 2006 by Antonio Cunha Silva |  See all 6 posts
Problem with Disc, was wondering if it was DVD player or Disc? Be the first to reply
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