Bogart as Frodo? Did WB Produce a film version of LOTR 10 years before it was released?!
Thanks to a reminder from our Facbeook friend Marcye, and the great folks from Tolkien Sarcasm Page, this oldie but goodie is worth revisiting after almost 10 years! Yes, the story is rather condensed and a bit different, but that is what we've come to expect from Hollywood adaptations right? We particularly enjoy the 'Moria' sign...Enjoy! [Credits]
I love the little ad about buying stamps and war bonds at the end!
[In reply to]
Way too funny! The voices were awesome! “Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?” “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
That site has to be one of the oldest Tolkien-related sites on the net! I did an interview with the man who made it, O. Sharpe, back in 2002 and thought I'd share here:
The Tolkien Sarcasm Page is the creation of O. Sharp, a Tolkien fan of 35 years who lives in Seattle and works in theatre as a stagehand. The award winning site is a favorite of those in search of some Tolkien humor. Today, O. Sharpe answers some questions.
Celedor: Happy summer! We're in the middle of all this Tolkien-mania now. But your site has been around for longer than the movie project. Did you expect so much to be happening with Tolkien when you created the Sarcasm Page?
O. Sharp: I certainly had no inkling that Peter Jackson was preparing to spend millions of dollars on a Tolkien project while I was spending thirty or forty dollars on mine. :) Had I known, though, I don't think the site would have proceeded any differently; the site's humor has grown mainly from the subtleties of the books, and those have gone on unmarred by this latest surge of interest, just as they went on through the upsurge of interest in Tolkien during the late sixties. Fans come and go. The book, though, will outlast all of us.
Celedor: Has interest in your site changed any the last year or two?
O. Sharp: For the most part, it's going along pretty much as it has been for years; the recent Tolkien mania hasn't wrought too many changes, though the site was unexpectedly swamped with hits when the first movie opened. I will admit, though, that the movie hype prompted me to hurry up with my own version of the movie and that was a good thing, because I got great enjoyment out of putting it together. There's also a certain smug satisfaction about getting the entire trilogy down to a running-time of eight minutes and fifty-one seconds.
There's also a part of the site which has a synopsis of Lord of the Rings, and that became unusually popular with the press... but perhaps the less said about that, the better. :) :)
Celedor: A favorite feature of your site for a lot of people is the mock Lord of the Rings Board Game. In fact, I've heard that some have actually constructed the game. Did you design it to actually be played?
O. Sharp: I put it together mainly for humor, of course, but when I was writing the page I made a deliberate effort to keep the rules playable. Doing that made the game plausible, and so made the joke more worthwhile (I felt). That seems to have worked, because a number of people have written to me to tell me they've made copies of the board, the playing-pieces, and the cards. One person even made up an extra copy of his version and mailed it to me! The cards he printed up have some delightfully idiosyncratic artwork on them. He did an amazing job. There was also a letter from someone who did game-testing for the Avalon-Hill game company, who made a copy of the game, played it with friends, and mailed in his suggestions. My favorite suggestion was this: "Beer helps". :)
So the game turned out to be quite playable. That had some unexpected consequences, though; I started hearing from people who were convinced it must be real, and were hell-bent and determined to buy a copy. "Where are they available?" they'd ask. "I called Toys 'R Us and they said they'd never heard of it." For a long time I had a form-letter I sent out to people explaining that the page was a parody of Tolkien marketing and not an actual game. Some people actually got pretty hostile when they found out. *shrugs* People.
Celedor: What is your favorite part of the site?
O. Sharp: *grin!* That seems to change every time I work on the site. Right at the moment my favorite page is the Automatic Disclaimer Generator. The pages I had the most fun putting together, though, came about as a result of the board-game; after I'd mailed off one too many copies of the form-letter explaining that it was meant to be a joke, I decided to change the situation by simply creating the company that supposedly "made" the board-game and referring people to that.
Thus was the Melkor Bradley site born.
For a couple of months I spent leisurely evenings hand-painting gameboards and boxes, sculpting game pieces, and inventing sales pitches for lunatic games based on the great works of literature - "Anna Kareninanopoly" being my personal favorite. :) It was incredibly relaxing; I had a remarkably good time creating them all. I then photographed the completed games, assembled the web-pages, and began referring people to that site whenever they asked where they could buy the Lord of the Rings Board Game. It seems to have worked - by the time they've filled out the order form, most people seem to have realized that it's not meant to be taken too seriously.
Everything on the site was, in some fashion, fun to put together, but I have the best memories, and the most satisfaction, from creating and assembling the Melkor-Bradley pages.
Celedor: A year ago The London Times published an article about Cate Blanchett. They said, "For the uninitiated, Galadriel is the good sister of the evil but beautiful Queen Beruthiel, who imprisons the Fellowship of the Ring in the forest of Lothlorien. In the book, Galadriel frees them from her sister's clutches." What whacked out source did they use for that load of B.S?
O. Sharp: Aiya! I had a feeling this would come up. :) Suffice it to say that a net I cast out for small fish ended up catching whales. :)
Some years ago, when rec.arts.books.tolkien was beset by students who had book-reports due, I put together a synopsis of Lord of the Rings which was, in every detail, completely inaccurate: Gandalf had a twin brother, Glorfindel joins the Fellowship and attacks Frodo, Faramir becomes the true King of Gondor, and so forth... and, yes, Galadriel has an evil sister named Beruthiel. It got many a laugh, and so I put a copy onto the Tolkien Sarcasm Page. After eight years it still gets laughs, and to this date I've never heard of any student actually using it for a report.
But then the pre-release publicity and press began for Peter Jackson's film... and somebody at the Sunday Times, evidently not having read the book, and having (I'm sure) a deadline to meet, went to the Internet to do some quick research before writing their article about Cate Blanchett... and evidently they ran with the first synopsis they could find, which (as it turned out) happened to be mine! The poor devils! It makes you wonder about the quality of reporting we get with all our other news media, doesn't it?
A couple of other newspapers evidently did their research the same way; I know the Toronto Star of Friday, 7 December 2001 also had a Beruthiel reference, as well as a couple other suspicious phrases. But perhaps the oddest catch was Michael Nagula, author of the German book Tolkiens Welt. It's all about Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings, it is (from what I'm told by people with more fluent German) heavily borrowed from other sources, and - in the first edition, at least - it lifted and published my entire synopsis, claiming it was the actual story! When people who had actually read Tolkien began complaining, the publisher, Knaur, rushed out a new edition of the book (though the new copies still have "Originalausgabe" - "Original Edition" - on the back cover!) and offered to trade the new "corrected" copies for the old. I find it unbelievable that someone would write - and succeed in publishing - a so-called scholarly work about Tolkien without even having read Tolkien; but it seems someone has. Say what you will about the synopsis, but at least I knew it was a joke when I wrote it! :)
Celedor: What do you think of Peter Jackson's "Fellowship of the Ring"?
O. Sharp: On the whole I thought it was very, very well done - though I have a few issues with his portrayal of some of the characters, most particularly Galadriel, and Gimli's line about "Nobody tosses a Dwarf" almost caused me to toss my lunch. :) I'll be interested in seeing the director's cut when it gets released, not to mention the other two movies. Granted, of course, there will be things that annoy the hell out of me when I see them - but so far, at least, I think the work and the attention to detail he's given the project has paid off.
Celedor: Do you have any ideas or plans for the future of the Sarcasm Page?
O. Sharp: Right now I'm hoping we can get the E-Text project completed - it's been proceeding at a slow pace for a couple of years now, and we're getting fairly near the ending. Just as the Synopsis page was a snare to catch those who were doing homework without reading, the E-Text is a snare to catch those who want to download an electronic text of Lord of the Rings without buying the book. It's a very odd project, and has taken several years longer than we anticipated. I'd like to think, though, that nobody will mistake it for great literature. :) After that's complete, though, I think I may lean back and wait for a while before the next update; it'll give Mr. Jackson a chance to finish his films, and perhaps those will inspire some new material. :) :)