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The Two Towers: The Purist Edit

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The Two Towers: The Purist Edit is a fan edit of the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. When the original movie was released in cinemas, a number of die-hard fans of the Lord of the Rings novel disliked (and some hated) the changes to Tolkien's story, motivating someone to create a "purist edit."

Some of the biggest differences include: there are no elves at Helm's Deep, Faramir is indisputably a "good guy" again, the Ents don't refuse to help, Arwen doesn't appear to leave Middle-earth, and Gandalf does not exorcise Saruman from Théoden. As a result, this version is about 40 minutes shorter, but some of the "Purist" fans unhappy with the changes made by Peter Jackson to Tolkien's story believe it is superior to the original release. Some changes are cut out seamlessly while others are rough and obvious and the sound track is carefully re-synchronized, so the only way to notice the changes is to compare the Purist Edit with the original. In some places the Purist Edit completely reverses Peter Jackson's changes and reconstructs the original storyline.

Comparisons have been made between the Purist Edit and Star Wars: The Phantom Edit. While The Phantom Edit has been seen by fans as a way of removing the aspects of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace that offended many casual moviegoers, The Two Towers: The Purist Edit has appealed primarily to hardcore, die-hard fans who have taken pains to highlight the differences between the book and the movie.

Film length: 2 hours 15 minutes (theatrical release is 2 h 59 min, the extended edition DVD is 3 h 42 min).

Major changes (out of about 30):

  • The Ents do not refuse to attack Isengard
  • Elves do not come to Helm's Deep
  • Gimli no longer engages in comic relief
  • Faramir does not decide to send the One Ring to Gondor as a "mighty gift" for his father
  • Frodo does not attempt to give the Ring to the Nazgûl

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