July 29 in Sci-Fi History: One Ring to Start Them All

Contributed by
Jul 29, 2017, 8:30 AM EDT

It was on this day in 1954 that J.R.R. Tolkien published The Fellowship of the Ring. This was, of course, a follow-up to The Hobbit, which he'd published 17 years prior.

And then, give or take 50 years later, the big huge Peter Jackson movie versions turned up.

But it's not like there weren't some earlier attempts at cinematic adaptation. Notably this one:

Look, people are going to be making money from Tolkien's books for years, including his estate ... but he was actually a pretty interesting dude. This interview from 1960 is a fascinating look into how he felt about the books and world he created.

Also, in 2011, Cowboys & Aliens premiered. Based on the 2006 graphic novel, the film version was a no-brainer. And yet ...

It had everything, including Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. And yet it somehow just didn't work. It was beat in theaters by the damn Smurfs, and it maintains about a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes. Let's chalk it up to a good try overall.

Tomorrow: Flight of the Navigator.