This video re-awakened one of my alternate history fantasies: Tolkien publishes the Lord of the Rings in the Thirties to immediate acclaim. The film rights are bought by Hollywood with the condition that Tolkien has script approval. Tolkien relunctantly travels to Hollywood during the filming where an epic, and comedic, struggle ensues as Middle Earth and the Golden Age of Hollywood come into mortal combat.
Tolkien actually received a serious film proposal in 1957. Although nothing came of it, his comments about it are instructive, some of which are set forth here.
Hollywood of the Thirties could do fantasy well, the Wizard of OZ is a prime example, but I doubt if the budgets and time constraints of the day could have done justice to the theme, but it would have been fun watching them try. Naturally, Cecil B. Demille would have been called on to direct, with a very youg Orson Welles, scheming, along with most of the rest of Hollywood, to be a part of the biggest picture of 1938! Suggestions as to casting are welcome in the comboxes.