It’s August Bank Holiday weekend here in London, and we decided to take advantage of the mini-break by doing something we’ve talked about for ages, namely watch all three Lord of the Rings films in their extended versions over three nights.

The Fellowship of the Ring was a huge event for me when it came out in 2001; it was our big Christmas movie outing and I remember being incredibly nervous as like so many others I had read and re-read the novels over the years – would Peter Jackson deliver? And of course to my relief he did.

I’m going to assume everyone knows the story by now, so no synopsis here. The cast includes Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen and many, many more.

So what of the theatrical versus extended version? This is only the second time that I have seen the extended version and I have to admit that it is genuinely superior to the one I saw in the cinema. I understand absolutely the need to keep the film to a sensible length for cinema audiences but the additional scenes really add depth and make for a more satisfying experience.

Things I loved about this movie = “They have a cave troll”; “Nobody tosses a dwarf”; “You shall not pass!”; “Fly, you fools, fly!”; “I pass the test. I shall diminish”; “My brother. My captain. My king”

There is nothing I dislike about this movie, but there are a couple of quibbles, inevitable when taking a much loved book and turning into a film: no Glorfindel; no barrow wights (one of my favourite bits in the book). That’s not bad, really.

Ratings stuff = some scenes may be unsuitable for young children; I should say so….

Tissue count = I managed OK for the bulk of the film, but the death of Boromir gets me every time, a good five minutes crying, tissue count in the dozens I should think.

Safety cushion = not required.

And yes, this is the cover for the theatrical version; the extended versions look lovely on the shelf, but aren’t that visually exciting.

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