Oh, and I'm glad the Scouring of the Shire was cut out. THANK GOD. No, I don't care about the Hobbits that much. LOTR was great for its epicness and immersion. I don't need to be immersed in their little country life. Thank you PJ for cutting out Tolkien's childhood nostalgia.
Eh, that really seems weird to me... It's like loving Starwars for the aliens to the exclusion of all else. The thing about the Lord Of The Rings was that the Hobbits are
the central feature, it's as simple as that. All the battles and heroics are generic and derivative. If you really like that stuff their original forms are much
better- in literature and film.
I recall another bad adaption- Royal Flash!
It was an adaption of George MacDonald Fraiser's second book in his Flashman series, about the bastard, bully coward Flashman and his exploits as an army officer after Tom Brown's School days.
The story of Royal Flash is a bit of a spoof on The Prisoner of Zenda where a royal personage is impersonated by the hero because of some scheming by others... It's a theme pretty common in pop-culture generally, which is why they chose to make a film out of the second book instead of the first- thinking that might make people more familiar and comfortable with it.
George MacDonald Fraiser himself helped to adapt the story for the big screen, which just goes to show that the original creators of a thing are no better than anyone else at transferring their story to different forms (Douglas Adams did poorly with his movie too). The chief failing of the film was a bowdlerisation of the main character. ALL of the fun of Flashman is that he's an unremitting BASTARD
and a coward of a man, who still manages to come out on top anyway in spite of himself, like Blackadder at his best (season 2). The novels are full of pulpy told sex, violence, and VERY bawdy comedy told against a background of intricately, academically researched historical detail. In a film that should have been made for adult audiences, this PG Flashman doesn't even swear, there's not a tit to be seen, and his bastardly cowardly acts are pretty much non-existent since everything he does is pretty much 100% self defence and justified.
The comedy was broad slapstick stuff, since the director was the same guy who did HELP with the Beetles.
There were some gloriously good actors like Oliver Reed as Otto Bismark, Malcolm McDowell as the title character Flashman and Alan Bates as the evil conniving Rudy, but with such a limited film there wasn't much they could do, even though they all did their best.
Royal Flash was mainly just a very long extended farce movie with great costumes and some fantastic sets (much of it was shot on location in castles in Bavaria).