The Lord of the Rings
film trilogy (based on the three-volume book by J. R. R. Tolkien) is an excellent choice for your next outdoor movie film-series! The films are the fifth highest grossing film series of all time (behind Harry Potter, James Bond, Star Wars, and Shrek), and is highly critically acclaimed with the winning of 17 academy awards (out of a whopping 30 nominations). The series was considered one of the most ambitious undertakings in filmmaking history, and created millions of new Tolkien fans. Here is the theatrical release trailer for the third film, Return of the King:
The three films in the series are The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003). The series features a star-studded cast with Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, and Liv Tyler as Arwen - among many others. The films follow the three films follow the hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), and a special fellowship, as they are appointed to destroy the One Ring, in order that its creator, the Dark Lord Sauron, who is threatening to take over the world with evil. The fellowship becomes divided and so Frodo continues the journey with his best friend Sam (Sean Astin) and the weasely Gollum (Andy Serkis). The series is action-packed and woven with humor, while ultimately delivering one of the best narrative adaptations to ever be on film.
The Lord of The Rings
trilogy is a great choice for your next film series, as it will bring your community out to all of the three films! The films are universally loved by almost everyone, and provide some great pre-show opportunities for entertaining and engaging your community. If you screen these prior to Halloween (or at any time for that matter), a costume contest is a great activity that will involve your community in a significant way. Prizes from local businesses could be given to the best hobbit, best elf, and best wizard! You could even have your MC dress up as the Wizard Gandolf!
These films are pretty long, so you may want to screen them later in the year when the days are shorter so you won't be finishing up at midnight. Also, remember to get your film licensing through Swank Motion Picture Inc. (unless of course you're viewing the film in your own backyard, and not inviting the general public). If anyone has screened any of the Lord of the Rings films as an outdoor movie, please post your story to the comments section below! We'd love to hear what you have to say.