6.2/10
25,397
317 user 68 critic

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

The Fellowship of the Ring embark on a journey to destroy the One Ring and end Sauron's reign over Middle-earth.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,576 ( 330)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Return of the King (TV Movie 1980)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two Hobbits struggle to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom while their friends desperately fight evil Lord Sauron's forces in a final battle.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Orson Bean, John Huston, Theodore Bikel
Wizards (1977)
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

On a post-apocalyptic Earth, a wizard and his faire folk comrades fight an evil wizard who's using technology in his bid for conquest.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Jesse Welles, Bob Holt, Richard Romanus
Fire and Ice (1983)
Animation | Fantasy | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In this animated tale, a tiny village is destroyed by a surging glacier, which serves as the deadly domain for the evil Ice Lord, Nekron. The only survivor is a young warrior, Larn, who ... See full summary »

Directors: Ralph Bakshi, Tom Tataranowicz
Stars: Randy Norton, Cynthia Leake, Steve Sandor
Fritz the Cat (1972)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A hypocritical swinging college student cat raises hell in a satiric vision of various elements on the 1960s.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Skip Hinnant, Rosetta LeNoire, John McCurry
The Hobbit (1966)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A homebody hobbit finds himself going on a quest to save a dwarfish treasure from a dragon in this loose adaptation of the classic novel.

Director: Gene Deitch
Stars: Herb Lass
Coonskin (1975)
Animation | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Rabbit, a country-born trickster, takes over the organized crime racket in Harlem, facing opposition from the institutionalized racism of the Mafia and corrupt police.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Barry White, Charles Gordone, Scatman Crothers
American Pop (1981)
Animation | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music in the 20th century.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Mews Small, Ron Thompson, Jerry Holland
Stars: Greg Hildebrandt, Tim Hildebrandt, J.R.R. Tolkien
Animation | Short | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the cheap glitter and glow of a fading Coney Island, a group of characters live out their sordid, strange lives trying to get somewhere fast - any way they can.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Omar Jones, Robert Costanzo, Tina Romanus
Heavy Traffic (1973)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An "underground" cartoonist contends with life in the inner city, where various unsavory characters serve as inspiration for his artwork.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Joseph Kaufmann, Beverly Hope Atkinson, Frank DeKova
Heavy Metal (1981)
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Directors: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, and 8 more credits »
Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An outrageous, affectionate look at coming of age in the Eisenhower era in Brooklyn.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Richard Romanus, David Proval, Jesse Welles
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Guard ...
Frodo (voice)
...
Gandalf (voice)
Michael Scholes ...
Sam (voice)
...
Aragorn (voice)
...
Merry (voice)
...
Pippin (voice)
...
Bilbo (voice)
Michael Graham Cox ...
Boromir (voice) (as Michael Graham-Cox)
...
Legolas (voice)
David Buck ...
Gimli (voice)
...
Gollum (voice)
Fraser Kerr ...
Saruman (voice)
Philip Stone ...
Theoden (voice)
Michael Deacon ...
Wormtongue (voice)
...
Elrond (voice) (as Andre Morell)
Edit

Storyline

A young Hobbit named Frodo (Guard) is thrown on an amazing adventure, when he is appointed the job of destroying the one ring which was created by the dark lord Sauron. He is assigned with warriors including Gandalf (Squire), Aragorn (Hurt) and Boromir (Cox). It's not going to be an easy journey for the Fellowship of the Ring, on the ultimate quest to rid Middle-Earth of all evil. Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From J.R.R. Tolkien's Magical The Lord of the Rings Trilogy See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(5.1) (L-R)| (Dolby 5.1) (5.1) (L-R)

Color:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point in the film's development, studio executives thought that the names "Saruman" and "Sauron" were too similar, and would confuse the audience, and decided that Saruman should be renamed "Aruman". This decision was eventually reversed, but some references to "Aruman" remain in the finished film. See more »

Goofs

In Rivendell when you first see Bilbo he is stood reciting poetry, while the other four hobbits walk into the room. In one frame you see Frodo sat in a corner playing a harp, then it returns to him entering with the other hobbits and it is an elf playing the harp. See more »

Quotes

Gandalf: He used the Ring for thieving, and to find out secrets. His own people began to despise the wretched creature and to call him Gollum. Tortured and driven by the ring, he hid in dark caves... and a deep mountain. But the ring slipped off Gollum's finger, too. And so it was that Bilbo found it during his travels with the Dwarves.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Untamed Youth (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

MITHRANDIR
Music by Leonard Rosenman
Words by Mark Fleischer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Underrated adaptation
12 February 2000 | by (Baltimore, mD) – See all my reviews

As an animated film from 1978, this is pretty good--generally well above the standard of the days when Disney hadn't done anything good in years (and Tolkien cared little for Disney anyway). It gets major points for innovative and careful camera work, applying cinematic techniques with relative success. The much-maligned rotoscoping actually works pretty well, especially with the Ringwraiths, and the opening narration. However, it is so drastically overused--possibly as a money-saving technique--that it detracts from the overall effect. The same technique that makes wraiths spooky and otherworldly doesn't fare so well in the Prancing Pony.

As for the adaptation of the story, it's actually quite good. We lose little bits here and there, minor details such as the Old Forest and Tom Bombadil, the Gaffer and the Sackville-Bagginses. We compress a few characters, such as revising Legolas as one of Elrond's household and an old friend of Aragorn's, but that's a rather wise decision for film. In books you have room to include the references to the larger world of the Elves and Middle-Earth's vast history. In film, you trade that for visuals and sound that convey the same elements in a different way. Nothing critical is truly lost here, and although I have minor quibbles about some of the changes, I'm generally pretty happy with it.

If only the dratted writers had managed to remember Saruman's name--he's frequently referred to as Aruman, a decision probably made to make him more distinct from similarly-named Sauron; it took me a second viewing before I was certain I hadn't misheard it. It's also annoying that Boromir is a bloody stage viking, and irritable from the start. However, Gandalf is excellent, and most of the rest of the voicework is excellent. If only John Hurt weren't too old to play Aragorn; I love his voice.

Of course, with the film ending at the midpoint of the story, there's a vast disappointment built in. What makes it far, far worse is the altogether miserable job done by the Rankin & Bass crew on the sequel. That they were permitted to do Return of the King after butchering The Hobbit remains a huge mystery; they seem more interested in bad songs than in proper storytelling. For all its faults, this film's heart is solidly in place and it tries very hard to accomplish a nearly impossible task. I can only hope that the upcoming series of films keeps as true to its vision...


60 of 78 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page