(originally found online from here)
From an interview with Peter Jackson I read, he was *contractually obligated* to provide a 2 hour cut, but the PTB liked the 3 hour cut enough to let it stand.
That puts the fear of God in me: FotR in two hours. "Abridged" is a weak word to describe that result. The three-hour version is already sliced up, just what can you delete from /it/?
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
Frodo: Hi, Gandalf!
Gandalf: Bilbo, give him your ring.
Bilbo: Okay. Bye!
Gandalf: See you at the pub, Frodo.
Merry: (pops up out of nowhere) Eeeek!
Pippin: (ditto) Eeeek!
Sam: Ha ha, can't catch us now!
Tom Bombadil: Hello little friends!
Frodo: No time for you, weirdo.
Tom Bombadil: (disappears)
Saruman: See, all I had to do was cross out "Good" on my business cards and write "Bad," and I'm all set.
Gandalf: I never saw /that/ coming.
Saruman: Excuse me while I tend to my vast army of evil orcs and war machinery which were in plain sight.
Gandalf: Alas, if only he had imprisoned me at the top of a high tower without walls or ceiling so that he could not prevent a giant eagle from rescuing me, instead of in the canonical dungeon deep underground. Oh, wait.
Frodo: (whispering) Keep a low profile.
Pippin: (loudly) And don't mention your real name, right?
Merry: (loudly) Or the ring either, right?
Strider: Right. Don't mention the ring. (laughs) It's okay, I'll save you.
Pippin: (whining) Are we there yet?
Nazgul: Bwa ha ha ha. Give us the ring, little worm.
Frodo: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names-
Sam: Hmm, looks like swords work too.
Strider: Go away, bad men!
Nazgul: The five of us must flee, for we are outnumbered by this one Ranger!
Frodo: Wow, we're in Rivendell!
Merry: That was easy.
Pippin: Don't knock it.
Sam: Elves are cool!
Elrond: Get the hell out of my place, I don't need trouble.
Gimli: You can't throw them out while I'm here!
Legolas: Same for me!
Elrond: Right, all of you wankers leave now.
Gandalf: But I just got here.
Boromir: I'll just invite myself along. No real reason. Certainly not because I have larceny on my mind. Nope.
Strider: Look, they fixed my sword! (swish) Wheeeee!
Frodo: Such beautiful scenery. The green grass and leaves are so-
Pippin: Where the hell did all this snow come from?
Gandalf: Don't blame me. Who knew that mountains could be cold on top?
Gimli: Told you we should go through the mines.
Strider: Let the dwarf have his way.
Legolas: Fine, whatever, just open the door.
Gimli: Ummm, I have no idea how to get inside.
Boromir: What a bunch of dicks.
Gandalf: Of course! (applies C4 to the problem)
Sam: Such magic.
Merry: Ooooo, dead dwarf over here!
Gimli: Boo hoo.
Pippin: HEY MONSTERS, COME AND GET US!!
Orcs: Oh good, we were getting hungry. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to keep an army fed in these abandonded mines?
Orcs: This is definitely putting a damper on our relationship.
Strider: Alas, the Ring-bearer has perished! Our quest has failed!
Frodo: Just kidding. I did the slide-blade-between-arm-and-chest trick while I was standing in profile to y'all. Pretty funny, eh?
Balrog: Dammit, I was sound asleep. That really ticks me off.
Gandalf: We are so doomed.
Strider: Not if we run away! (does so)
Boromir: First good idea you've had. (follows)
Hobbits: (already in the lead)
Gandalf: (trailing) It matters not! You cannot outrun the demon!
Legolas: We don't have to . . .
Gimli: . . . we just have to outrun *you*.
Balrog: Your ass is mine, wizard. (drags Gandalf down with him)
Strider: Woe is upon our company, that Gandalf has fallen!
Frodo: I'm over it.
Sam: Yeah, let's go, there's no food here.
Legolas: Wondrous are these woods!
Gimli: And full of cutthroat elves.
Celeborn: We were told of your coming. Well, "warned" is more accurate.
Galadriel: I know you better than you know yourselves.
Sam: You've got nothing better to do with your time?
Galadriel: Wake up, Frodo, and look in the mirror.
Frodo: Geez, can't a guy get some sleep around here? What mirror are you babbling about, there's just this birdbath full of water.
Galadriel: But it shows magic pictures of things that may or may not be!
Frodo: I'm guessing you're a day trader. Here, you take the ring.
Galadriel: I will not. (hangs her head) I lost the instructions.
Frodo: Great, I'm still stuck with it.
Celeborn: Check-out time!
Pippin: (singing) Row row row your boat, gently down-
Gimli: Shut the hell up. Seven hours of that is enough.
Strider: All this beautiful scenery is giving me a very bad feeling.
Boromir: Give me the ring. THE END
Frodo: Notice as I put it on that it not only makes me invisible, it also apparently teleports me away from your clutches.
Boromir: Arrrrrgghhh! I'm just trying to save my kingdom! Where is a rake I can step on, that it might strike my head? Ah, this will do nicely. (whack)
Frodo: Best thing for me to do now is head for the most dangerous place in the world.
Sam: Works for me. (they leave)
SuperOrcs: Kill kill kill!
Merry: Help, help, Auntie Em! (waves his tiny sword pathetically)
Pippin: Christ, look at the size of these guys, we're dead meat.
Boromir: Fear not, little hobbits, I shall blow my special horn and we shall be rescued by soldiers . . who are . . hundreds . . of . . miles . . away . . guess we are pretty stuffed after all. (dies)
SuperOrcs: Kill kill kill!
Legolas: Look at my form. Damn, I'm good.
Gimli: I'm environmentally friendly --- blood makes the grass grow.
Strider: Looks like Frodo got away. Well, there's no chance in hell I'm going to step one foot closer to Mordor, so let's go the exact opposite direction.
Yeah, that's about two hours.