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The Long-Lost Soviet Production of The Lord of the Rings

In the final months of the Soviet Union's existence, filmmakers there produced a TV adaptation of Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings. After all copies had been lost for thirty years, one recently resurfaced and has been uploaded to YouTube.

The Guardian reports that this 1991 film was the final and best delivery of Tolkein's story in Soviet history:

The first Soviet samizdat translation of The Fellowship of the Ring was produced in 1966, more than a decade after Tolkien’s book of that name was published. And the first published translation came out in the Soviet Union in 1982, although its sequels, The Two Towers and The Return of the King, were not released until years later.
In 1985, Leningrad Television aired its first version of Tolkien’s work, a low-budget adaptation of The Hobbit featuring ballet dancers from what is now the Mariinsky theatre and a moustachioed narrator standing in for Tolkien. The abridged production, titled The Fantastic Journey of Mister Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit, skips over the trolls and elves in an hour-long romp that was long believed to be the only finished Tolkien adaptation produced during the Soviet Union.

-via Geekologie


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