Therefore, although I already have done the first part of the film (the money shot, Frodo running down the hill, cart scene, party scenes, etc.), I want to post this set, too, which, except for the last three (which do appear in the theatrical version), are new to my collection.
I so love to see the lighter side of Frodo. (I know you wouldn't guess it from all the suffering-Frodo sets I've done; but he suffers so well!) For this post, I browsed A Long Expected Party to see if there wasn't a nice excerpt to post with these images, but, no. Although I have enjoyed this film scene so many times I have begun to think it canon, the cart scene -- in fact, any such interaction between Gandalf and Frodo -- is a complete invention.
Interestingly, Frodo doesn't make an appearance in the book until after Bilbo has put on the Ring and vanished. Frodo's talked about, but he isn't actually in a scene. He has no scene with Gandalf until Gandalf is leaving. He has no scene with Bilbo at all. Reviewing the chapter this morning it struck me that Frodo has no scene with Bilbo until Rivendell.
In a way, this treatment of Frodo at the beginning is a rather neat device on Tolkien's part: the heir does not make his entrance in the narrative until his predecessor has literally left the stage. Even then, it is brief, but effective:
Frodo was the only one present who said nothing. For some time he had sat silent beside Bilbo's empty chair, and ignored all remarks and questions. He had enjoyed the joke, of course, even though he had been in the know. He had difficulty in keeping from laughter at the indignant surprise of the guests. But at the same time he felt deeply troubled: he realized suddenly that he loved the old hobbit dearly. Most of the guests went on eating and drinking and discussing Bilbo Baggins' oddities, part and present; but the Sackville-Bagginses had already departed in wrath. Frodo did not want to have any more to do with the party. He gave orders for more wine to be served; then he got up and drained his own glass silently to the health of Bilbo, and slipped out the pavilion.
This is the first time we really see Frodo. Tolkien makes his entrance spare, but it lingers in the reader's mind.
In a very "human" way, Frodo had been prepared to take the affair lightly, sharing in the humour of it. But we see that his feelings about Bilbo's leaving differ from what he had expected. It is as if he only understood how he felt about Bilbo after he experienced Bilbo's loss.
But he keeps his feelings to himself. He doesn't burst into tears, he does what is required of him. Only after he has seen to his guests, making sure they have everything they need, does Frodo quietly slip away.
When I think of it, his first scene is very like his last.
As usual, I have tweaked these frames for contrast and sharpness. But, because the wide-screen images also have big black bars at the top and bottom, I also cropped and re-sized them.
~ Frodo in the cart scene from the EE version of FotR:
Other Frodo screencap entries listed and linked HERE.