cast lists for the Rings trilogy are shown as "in credit order"but appear to be in alphabetic order, especially 'Two Towers' & 'Return'

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cast lists for The Two Towers and The Return of the King
are in alphabetic order, and not in "credits order" as stated
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Rex Benson

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Posted 6 years ago

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Giancarlo Cairella, Official Rep

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Although this might seem like a technicality, the entry is correct. The listing is in credits order, because the end credits of the film display entries in alphabetical order.

In order to clarify this, I'd better explain the difference between credits order and alphabetical order.

When we say that a listing is in credits order, we mean that we are listing the entries in the same order as the most complete credit listing in the film (usually the one in the end credits), no matter what the order is. If the end credits are in alphabetical order, then that's how they are going to appear; if they are in order of appearance, that's how they'll be listed on our page too etc.

When we say that a listing is in alphabetical order, it means that we don't have an order in place for those entries, so the system will automatically list them based on their last name.

The difference is that the first order is manually chosen, while the second is automatically determined.

You may think that for films that have a cast list in alphabetical order the two would be the same, but that's not necessarily true. Let's say that a film from 1987 had three actors named Joe Handsome, Edna Purple and Johnny White and that the on-screen end credits displayed list their roles in alphabetical order, like this:

Cast:
Joe Handsome ... The Hero
Edna Purple ... The Lady
Johnny White ... The Bad Guy

Now, let's say that Johnny White changed his professional name to Johnny Depp after he made that film. Now everyone knows him under the new name, he's a big star, so he's listed as Johnny Depp everywhere.

If our listing on our site said "in credits order' you would see something like this:

Joe Handsome ... The Hero
Edna Purple ... The Lady
Johnny Depp ... The Bad Guy (as Johnny White)

But if our listing said "in alphabetical order" the listing would be displayed like this:

Johnny Depp... The Bad Guy (as Johnny White)
Joe Handsome ... The Hero
Edna Purple ... The Lady

In the first example we have a listing that is supposed to be in the same order as the credits of the film (which were in alphabetical order); so the order reflects the order other end credits on the film itself; the second listing is in true alphabetical order, based on the current names of the performers, so Johnny Depp appears first even though in the actual film (which was in alphabetical order at the time) he was listed last.

I hope that made sense. The short version is that 'in credits order' means 'as they were listed in the actual film, which may or may not be in alphabetical order'
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Emperor, Champion

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The only spanner I'd throw in the works is that Johnny Depp would have been previous called Joe Handsome.