Ralph Bakshi version

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:58 pm

Merlin is one of my favourite things in it, I love his delivery of lines-




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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Radaghast on Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:02 pm

Interesting. To me, his performance seems the most stilted. Also, not really sure about his shiny skullcap scratch

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Anyway, let me just say I'm glad Boorman never got his hands on LotR.
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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:12 pm

Im glad Boorman never got LotR's either- he had some pretty weird ideas, but I do like his Excalibur.
I think with Merlin its certainly a very deliberately stylised performance but I find it carries for me just the right mix of otherworldy and undertones of sparkly humour.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:37 pm

I loved Merlin too. He is stagey and hammy but strangely hypnotic and truly Pagan. I really liked that film a lot and the music was powerful. The aesthetics are typically of the late 70s but its beautiful in parts, the scene with Lancelot with Guinevere in the wood was straight out of a Preraphaelite painting.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Eldorion on Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:03 pm

Bluebottle wrote:Jackson and co found a way. Though they did it through simplifying them, removing deviations and depth and making them into straight forward action epics. A posibility I don't think Tolkien had contemplated when signing away the rights. Him being more afraid of their disneyfication. And that is probably also the reason Christopher Tolkien has had such a strong reaction to them.
I think that's a really good point.  PJ and Co. took the story in a very different way than Tolkien feared they might, but I rather doubt that would have been much comfort to him had he seen them. Razz
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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Eldorion on Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:10 pm

Radaghast wrote:Anyway, let me just say I'm glad Boorman never got his hands on LotR.
Yeah, the list of bizarre things in Boorman's treatment are rather mind-boggling. It would easily have been the worst -- from an adaptational standpoint at least -- of any Tolkien movie (except maybe the Soviet Hobbit).

To PJ's credit, he put his foot down to a number of proposed changes earlier in the film. He initially worked on LOTR with Miramax, intending to make two films, but they wanted to cut it down to one for budgetary reasons. Among Miramax's suggestions for shortening the film were axing two of the Hobbits, cutting Saruman, and combining Gondor and Rohan into a single kingdom with Eowyn as Boromir's sister.

PJ, for as many problems as he has with Tolkien's themes and the details of his characterization, is at least able to get the major beats of the story down. He's always been better with the more surface-level elements of adaptation, but that's still way better than what could have been. Laughing
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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Radaghast on Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:18 pm

Yeah, it doesn't warm me up to the PJ films more, but Boorman's ideas definitely prove it could have been far worse.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Elthir on Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:45 pm

I like the use of Orff's O Fortuna in Excalibur... before a lot of other people used it anyway.
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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by malickfan on Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:48 pm

Has Boorman's script been published anywhere online?

I don't recall any mention of it in Letters...

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Eldorion on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:03 pm

As far as I'm aware the complete script is not available online, but you can read extensive selections from it.

http://cinetropolis.net/the-great-unmade-john-boormans-the-lord-of-the-rings/
http://www.thetolkienforum.com/showthread.php?16196-John-Boorman-s-70s-script (this link has all of the above and more)
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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by halfwise on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:13 pm

Radaghast wrote:I supposed it does help be familiar with the book. But I don't care for the camera style or the performances.
Yeah, I've never watched Excalibur partly because every time I see a short clip I want to pull my hair out at how horrible it is. The thought of more than 10 minutes makes my toes curl. Funny, the Sword and the Sorcerer was made about the same time with almost the same style, but I actually enjoy it. I think because they are making up their own story I don't mind it, while anything to do with King Arthur has to be damn good or it just comes across as pretentious twaddle to me. Sort of like bad movies about Jesus are unwatchable.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by malickfan on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:25 pm

Eldorion wrote:As far as I'm aware the complete script is not available online, but you can read extensive selections from it.

http://cinetropolis.net/the-great-unmade-john-boormans-the-lord-of-the-rings/
http://www.thetolkienforum.com/showthread.php?16196-John-Boorman-s-70s-script (this link has all of the above and more)
Thanks Eldo! Very Happy

*Edit...I feel slighty sick reading this...it's so weird I can't even begin to process whether I would hate it or be simply perplexed:


A path leads them out of the swirling petals into a field covered with mushrooms. The HOBBITS are delighted. They set to, picking and eating them as fast as they can. They begin to laugh and giggle, becoming rather unsteady on their feet. They lurch on their way with contented smiles on their faces. The world looks a little misty, different.

Suddenly they are in a field of buttercups. Naked children run and play among the golden flowers. The HOBBITS blink and grin and MERRY belches.

They run over a hill and into a flock of sheep, which opens up to let them through and closes behind them again.

Now they are in a vast ploughed field. And there are perhaps fifty scarecrows, very nasty faces and scraggy arms fluttering in the wind. They hurry on, somewhat sobered.”


New material for the dwarf Gimli came from Pallenberg's fondness for the character. "I remember liking him a lot. I knew quite a bit about Wagner's operas and the German literature. I was sympathetic to him, and I tried to work him in wherever I could. I believe it was I who came up with idea where they bury Gimli in a hole, throw a cape on him, and beat him up to utter exhaustion to retrieve his unconscious ancestral memory." This ancient knowlege allows Gimli to know the word for entering Moria, and to find insights about the ancient dwarf kingdom.



Frodo first uses the Ring when the hobbits encounter a group of men working in a field. The men have been told that a reward is being offered for capturing a Halfling, and Frodo teases them, saying, “Oh, I’m a Hobbit of the Shire. Am I the Halfling you desire?“ Then he somersaults through the air, putting on the Ring as he does so. Afterwards, Frodo excuses himself to Sam: “It just got itself to slip itself on.”

Aragorn makes his first appearance when the wraiths attack. He fights them with both halves of Narsil: the hilt-less half has a makeshift handle of leather. The wraiths fight with lances and scimitars.

All four of the hobbits ride with Aragorn on his horse to the Ford.

Actual Elves appear from behind the wall of water unleashed on the wraiths.

The “Palace of Rivendell” is made of crystal.

In the great hall, Frodo, unconscious, is lain naked and covered with leaves on a large, round crystal table. Arwen is assigned the task of removing the fragment of the wraith’s lance from Frodo’s shoulder, and she does so with a knife. Arwen is “about thirteen years of age.” The surgery is delicate in that it is, as Gandalf says, “a struggle, a test of strength, between the power of Sauron and the power of the Elves.” During this scene, Gimli - at Elrond’s behest - stands poised, ready to chop off Frodo’s fading arm should Arwen fail.

Elrond is bearded.

Sauron, Elendil, Gil-galad, Saruman, Gandalf, Déagol, Gollum and Bilbo are all portrayed in the kabuki-like play mentioned earlier in this thread. (The actor who plays Sauron is described as “a combination of Mick Jagger and Punch.&#8221 Additionally, the play features one representative juggler for each of the three races of Middle-earth. Each performer handles a number of juggling rings equal to the number of Rings of Power that was entrusted to the race he represents. Throughout the play, a dog, which symbolizes fate, plays with a ball that is decorated by an encircling gold ring. The ball symbolizes the Ring itself.

As the Fellowship travels south, a flashback to Rivendell reveals Arwen (yes, Arwen) presenting the hobbits with elven-cloaks and lembas. There are no other gifts given or requested.

Arwen is something of a spiritual guide to the Fellowship -- a sort of guardian angel. She makes two appearances soon after the Fellowship leaves Rivendell. The first is brief: she shows herself to the Company from afar. The second takes place as Aragorn and Boromir come to blows over the fate of Narsil. (Boromir wants to take it to Minas Tirith. Aragorn refuses, and Boromir snatches away one half of the sword.) When their blades meet, Arwen appears, declaring that they shall each bear one half of the sword. They bow, presenting the blades. She kisses the swords, drawing blood. She then kisses each of the men. Both men are moved; and Boromir, weeping, kisses Aragorn, cementing a blood bond.

At one point, the Fellowship is crossing a glacier in the Misty Mountains. While resting around a campfire, Wargs attack them. Wargs are “furry-white mutants of men and animals, ferociously savage.” Gandalf concocts a rather unusual method for escaping the Wargs. First he burns the hobbits’ elven-cloaks to strengthen the fire. (The roaring fire assists in warding off the Wargs.) Next he has his cohorts drink from a flask, the content of which makes them “tipsy and giggly.” Then Gandalf has them lie in the ice water flowing from beneath the fire, and he rubs their eyeballs in a circular motion. Eventually Aragorn (who has kept the Wargs at bay) joins the party. After administering to him, Gandalf drinks from the flask, and then rotates his own peepers. “The companions are caught in helpless and infectious giggles, as they drift into unconsciousness.” Finally the water freezes over them, entombing them in the glacier.
The ensuing scenes describe the glacier breaking up and the Fellowship floating down a stream. At length, they are freed from their Popsicles, and they climb onto the bank -- where Gandalf hangs his cloak up to dry, and Boromir blows water from his horn. (The script uses Legolas’ ‘Nay, time does not tarry…’ discourse to help address the issue of how much time actually has passed. The question, though, is never answered.)



When Galadriel rebuffs Boromir’s advance, Sam says, “She is a pretty flower, but she badly needs watering, she does!”


Sad Sad Shocked Shocked Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Mad Mad Mad Mad Embarassed Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Question Question Neutral What a Face Suspect No No No pale affraid affraid confused confused confused confused confused Sleep scratch scratch scratch Banghead Banghead Banghead Extremely Crabbit Extremely Crabbit Extremely Crabbit lol! Shrugging


It would have been...interesting to watch at least-the bit with the Balrog actually sounds rather inventive.


Last edited by malickfan on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Radaghast on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:33 pm

halfwise wrote:
Radaghast wrote:I supposed it does help be familiar with the book. But I don't care for the camera style or the performances.
Yeah, I've never watched Excalibur partly because every time I see a short clip I want to pull my hair out at how horrible it is.  The thought of more than 10 minutes makes my toes curl.  Funny, the Sword and the Sorcerer was made about the same time with almost the same style, but I actually enjoy it.  I think because they are making up their own story I don't mind it, while anything to do with King Arthur has to be damn good or it just comes across as pretentious twaddle to me.  Sort of like bad movies about Jesus are unwatchable.
Yeah, I saw it once when I was younger and got a headache. Then I saw everyone giving it effusive praise, so thought the fault was mine. Watched it again, and had the same reaction Neutral 
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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:34 pm

Excalibur is very theatrical and camp but its great fun to watch and there are some fantastic scenes and characters. Its a classic. Helen Mirren is great as Morgana.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:39 pm

Its very much got a theatre sense to it, and its very high romance in the way the book is.
I thought it captured the feel of the book very well, and I also liked how they handled the idea of the world changing from the pagan many gods to the one God. And that whilst Merlin represents the older world he is actively helping to destroy it by supporting Arthur.
I always thought Merlin gave off a great sense of knowing it is inevitable, being a seer, not liking it, but doing what he can to make that transition better even though he knows human fallacy will ruin it all in the end away.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:59 pm

I agree about the High Romance thing, sometimes it teeters into High Camp with Ken Russell overtones but its cool.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by RA on Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:21 pm

The Bakshi version had its moments even if they were brief.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Radaghast on Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:34 pm

Bakshi's version planted the seed for Jackson's trilogy. So it's all Bakshi's fault.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by RA on Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:57 pm

Man...

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by David H on Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:25 pm

...and JRRT started it all!  Evil or Very Mad 
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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by RA on Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:33 pm

 pale  So Tolkien was behind it all along...

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by Radaghast on Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:44 am

He was a devious genius.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by halfwise on Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:41 am

Recoveryanonymous wrote: pale   So Tolkien was behind it all along...

 lol! 

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by azriel on Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:05 am

And Boyens is JJR Tolkeins secret Love child, getting her revenge.

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Re: Ralph Bakshi version

Post by RA on Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:33 am

azriel wrote:And Boyens is JJR Tolkeins secret Love child, getting her revenge.
It all makes sense now.

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