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The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series)

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Title: The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, Tom Bombadil, Elrond, Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings
Collection: 1970S American Radio Programs, 1979 Radio Dramas, American Radio Dramas, Fantasy Radio Programs, Npr Programs, Radio Programmes Based on Middle-Earth
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series)

In 1979 the US National Public Radio broadcast a radio dramatization of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It was produced by The Mind's Eye and has since been made available by several different companies.

It is sometimes confused with the later BBC production in 1981, but is distinguished by the fact that the most widely circulated US edition comes in a wooden box, whether on compact discs or cassette tapes.

The cast includes Ray Reinhardt (Bilbo), James Arrington (Frodo), Pat Franklyn (Merry), Mac McCaddon (Pippin), Lou Bliss (Sam), Bernard Mayes (Gandalf and Tom Bombadil), Gail Chugg (Narrator), and Tom Luce (Strider/Aragorn). Additionally, Franklyn, McCaddon, Chugg, Reinhardt, Bob Lewis, John Vickery, Erik Bauersfeld and Carl Hague were credited for "additional voices".

The radio script of The Lord of the Rings was written by Bernard Mayes. It emphasized dialogue over description. The broadcasts totaled more than 11 hours. The budget was small and production time was limited. The cast were local theater players, and the production used stock music and homemade sound effects. The script of The Lord Of The Rings is notable for including the Tom Bombadil scenes, unlike most other adaptations of the book.

This production was popular at the time of its broadcast. It was later overshadowed by the BBC radio dramatization. The Mind's Eye also produced a six-hour adaptation of The Hobbit.

The Mind's Eye adaptation has also been identified with Soundelux, and, most recently, with Highbridge. The name changes correspond to the companies which owned the rights at different times.

The newer editions of the drama on compact disc and MP3 have a somewhat shorter running time than the original cassettes, omitting or condensing a considerable amount of dialogue and narration.

External links

  • www.sf-worlds.com article on the Mind's Eye radio adaptation
  • The different versions available - Wayback Machine Link
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