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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition) [Blu-ray] [2003]

4.6 out of 5 stars 538 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Andy Serkis
  • Directors: Peter Jackson
  • Writers: Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Entertainment in Video
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Dec. 2012
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (538 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009SIS13I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,263 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

It is time. For Frodo to overcome the wickedness of Gollum, the horrifying attack of the colossal arachnid Shelob and the soul-twisting allure of a ring that resists destruction. For Aragorn to take up the sword of his forebears and the crown of his birthright. For the mighty clash that wizard Gandalf calls "the great battle of our time". And for the inspired culmination of the films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's literary classic. For the third time, a Rings movie was a Best Picture Academy Award nominee and for the first time it claimed that prize (plus 10 more). The King deserves its crown.


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 him 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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The Theatrical release suffered through being long but disjointed, with fractured and at times jarring story-telling.
The restored scenes in this extended cut make for a more satisfying and coherent narrative, and bring us closer to Tolkien's original work.
Stand out extra scenes are:
Saruman's last stand; a conflation of the original, but a great scene, faithful to the themes and spirit of the scene in the book. This gives the closure the Saruman story deserved.
Aragon draws the eye of Sauron: this serves to partly explain Denethor's madness, but not as specifically as the book does.
The Mouth of Sauron: A truly revolting and effective creation.
The Mimis Tirith battle scenes are also extended, and we get to see that revolting Orc Captain get his deserts. He just vanishes from the Theatrical version.
As for the documentary features, there's a wonderful, inspiring documentary on Tolkien and the book, intelligent and illuminating.
The next feature is also good, looking at some of thr processes involved in filming the unfilmable. There's a fascinating look at a scene that never was, but we see here storyboarded, where Sauron appears to Aragon in his original Angelic form, before taking on his 'Dark Lord' form to do battle.
There's more, enough detail to satisfy the most obsessive fan. This is a good value dvd package, an essential cut of what until now has been a very flawed release.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this is a great film, not yet out on dvd. when it is released it will be released in its theatrical version so please be aware that there will be a 4 disc special edition out later in the year and WILL be worth waiting for
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is going to be excellent. Including around 50 minutes of extra footage this is going to be the ultimate Lord Of The Rings film.
The Extended Cut DVD includes scenes such as:
- Extended Isengard scene, this is in the book with Saruman speaking to Gandalf from the Tower. He then fires a shot of flame from his staff at Gandalf the White - I'm sure he survives!!!
- Extended Battle scenes, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields is extended in this version with more battle scenes, such as the Orcs using a battering ram on the Gates to the city pf Minas Tirith, Nazgul attacks, etc.
- Extended Witchking scene, this is the scene where Gandalf faces the Witchking on his Fell Beast. This is the must see of the whole DVD!!!
- Black Gate extended scene, this features the Mouth of Sauron scene as in the book. Showing the Mithril chain mail coat to the Entourage of Gandalf, Aragorn, etc.
Must have DVD get it now for the complete Lord of the Rings experience!!!
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Format: DVD
A year after the final theatrical version surfaced in the cinema, the Lord Of The Rings trilogy comes to its FULL conclusion with the release of the Extended Edition of Return Of The King.
A couple of things for fans of the books to hear. Even at 4 hours running time, the Scouring Of The Shire doesn't make it into the film ... in fact the entire film from the closing scenes of Mount Doom onwards remain as they were in the cinema.. Also push aside those 'too many endings' scoffs, the story was never meant to conclude with the climax of the big battle. Delve into the appendix of Return Of The King and you find that the Fellowship's lives are documented right up to their deaths or parting from the realm of Middle Earth. The War Of The Ring was but a very small part in the history of the world and it was fitting to see in conclude back where the story began.
What a conclusion this series had too! The Two Towers saw a siege with 10,000 attackers throw themselves upon Helms Deep, Return Of The King sees 600,000 attackers in the crucial battle of the world. So many stories intertwine, with Aragorn eventually facing his destiny as the King Of Gondor, Gandalf preparing the city of Minas Tirith for the oncoming assault against the wishes of the deranged steward Dethanor, and most importantly Frodo, Sam and Gollum's final stretch to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring.
Of most interest with this DVD is whats 'new'.
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Format: DVD
Antipodean director Peter Jackson here proves beyond doubt that he's picked up Spielberg's mantle as the director most competent at blending dazzling special effects with convincing emotional drama. The third part of Jackson's opus sees the One Ring return to Mordor in the hands of a Hobbit, while the hordes of Gorgoroth sweep into the realm of man in their tens of thousands. Bad Taste this ain't.

This is the boldest of the three movies in that it necessarily must take the most risks in depicting Tolkien's universe. It's a delicate balancing act. For instance, some will love the Jackson of old re-emerging for the Paths of the Dead sequence, while others will resent its Temple of Doom comedy-horror stylings. Legolas skipping up the leg of an olyphaunt and then sliding down its trunk as it falls: fanboys loathe that stuff; the kids love it. But thankfully, due to Return of the King's structure - a series of action scenes built around Gandalf's (Ian McKellen) dreadful narration - one doesn't have to wait long until the next set-piece arrives. And we're spoiled for choice. Gandalf, for example, doesn't only narrate - he also, exhilaratingly, sweeps onto the plain of Pelennor to ward off the Nazgul with a blinding shaft of light. Shelob doesn't disappoint; Weta have created a memorable monster who tickles the neck-hairs of Tolkien devotees and unsuspecting arachnophobics alike (I had not yet read the novel at this point...). And the lighting of the beacons, erupting from far snow-capped peaks, calling to Gondor under the bellowing strains of Howard Shore's aptly triumphant score, might be the single most rousing sequence in movie history. It's the ignition of hope, a glimmer of unbridled joy before the darkness descends.
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