Ten years ago, today, the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premiered in Wellington, New Zealand (its very first premiere before wide release). Directed by Peter Jackson, the screenplay was written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro & Jackson. J.R.R. Tolkien, of course, is the original writing master. The cast list is extensive (lots of dwarves). Main characters are Young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Old Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm), Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), Saruman the White (Christopher Lee), Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Radagast the Brown (Sylvester McCoy), Gollum (Andy Serkis) and Smaug the Dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Bilbo Baggins is swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the wild, through treacherous lands, swarming with Goblins, Orcs, deadly Wargs, giant spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities…a simple gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-Earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
♦ Asked how many wizards there are, Gandalf says there are five, naming Saruman, Radagast and himself, then saying [that] he can’t remember the names of the other two, merely saying, “the two blues.” Their names, Alatar and Pallando, appear in the book Unfinished Tales, a collection of J.R.R. Tolkien ideas, and half-manuscripts, edited into book form by his son Christopher Tolkien. The filmmakers didn’t have rights to use material from that book, so the two blue wizards remain unnamed in this movie.
♦ The production team returned to the same shooting location for Hobbiton as they used in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The land is part of a farm, which the owners allowed to be transformed into the Hobbiton set by The Lord of the Rings production crew in the late 1990s. After filming wrapped on the first trilogy, the farm’s owners turned the land into a Tolkien tourism spot, offering guided tours of the Hobbiton set. With the crew from The Hobbit trilogy making improvements and additions to the aging Hobbiton set, the farm owners were happy to temporarily close down their tourism business, so filming could take place there again.
♦ Sir Ian Holm and Sir Christopher Lee filmed their scenes at London’s Pinewood Studios because health concerns left them uncomfortable with flying to New Zealand.
Four years ago, when I started blogging, again, I covered the second movie. ~Vic
Official Trailer Two
Forty years ago, today, the very first American Movie Awards was televised on NBC. Filmed at the Wilshire Theatre, the ceremony honored film, actors, directors, screenwriters, music, favorites and a special recognition. Co-hosts were David Frost (also Executive Producer) and Dudley Moore with Angie Dickinson as Co-Hostess. Susan Anton was a performer. Judging by what few images I could find, the trophy was designed to resemble the Empire State Building.
♦ Best Film: Rocky II
♦ Best Actor: Alan Alda (The Seduction of Joe Tynan)
♦ Best Actress: Sally Field (Norma Rae)
♦ Best Supporting Actor: Robert Duvall (Apocalypse Now)
♦ Best Supporting Actress: Meryl Streep (The Deer Hunter)
♦ Best Director: Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter)
♦ Best Screenplay: The China Syndrome
♦ Best Original Song: Every Which Way But Loose (Every Which Way But Loose)
♦ Favorite Film Star-Female: Jane Fonda
♦ Favorite Film Star-Male: Burt Reynolds
♦ Special Marquee: Clint Eastwood (Distinguished and Continuing Career)
There was another ceremony in March 1982 at a different location and a relaunch in 2013 with ceremonies in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 focusing mainly on Independent Film. I doubt there will be anymore ceremonies as the website was taken down last year. There are no videos of the event on YouTube, either.