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The Lord of the Rings (1978)

PG  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Fantasy  |  15 November 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 23,271 users  
Reviews: 314 user | 67 critic

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Guard ...
Frodo Baggins / Mr. Underhill (voice)
William Squire ...
Michael Scholes ...
Norman Bird ...
Michael Graham Cox ...
Boromir - Son of Denethor (voice) (as Michael Graham-Cox)
David Buck ...
Peter Woodthorpe ...
Gollum / Smeagol (voice)
Fraser Kerr ...
Saruman The White Sorcerer / Narrator (segment "Epilogue") (voice)
Philip Stone ...
Michael Deacon ...
Lord Elrond (voice) (as Andre Morell)


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


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


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

15 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 5,521,217 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(5.1) (L-R)| (Dolby 5.1) (5.1) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter Jackson first encountered The Lord of the Rings via Bakshi's film, and some shots in his live-action trilogy appear to have been influenced by it.
  • One such shot features Frodo and the other hobbits hiding from a Black Rider under a big tree root, while the Black Rider stalks above them. In his version of the sequence, Jackson uses a similar shot - although he films it from a different angle (in the book, Frodo hid separately from the other hobbits).

  • A second sequence features the camera slowly revolving around Strider and the hobbits, who stand in a circle as the Black Riders approach them on Weathertop. In his staging, Jackson also uses a similar shot - although his camera is much faster, and Strider is not among the hobbits.

  • A third similarity is the depiction of Gollum losing the ring in the prologue: both films show very similar events but the book had no such prologue and indeed it runs directly counter to Tolkien's scheme for the storyline. Another similarly staged scene is Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn's discovery of Gandalf the White.

See more »


In many, many shots throughout the second half of the movie, the blond Legolas has dark hair. The actor who played Legolas in the live-action footage on which the movie was based clearly had dark hair, and these shots were insufficiently fully converted into animation. See more »


[after Gandalf opens the door to Moria]
Legolas: So all you had to do was say friend... and enter.
Gilmi: Those were happier times...
See more »


Spoofed in King's Quest: Quest for the Crown (1984) See more »


There is an Inn
Written by J.R.R. Tolkien
Performed by Christopher Guard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Vastly Underrated Don't Listen To Tolkien Fanboys - Best LOTR Adaptation.
5 March 2008 | by (austin, texas) – See all my reviews

First of all no adaptation is ever as good as the book, especially when you're dealing with master writer like Tolkien. This ADAPTATION wonderfully synthesizes Tolkien's universe with 1970s psychedelia, aesthetics, and liberal culture. Yes - the animation and background painting is sometimes a little "rough" in its technical execution but it's beautiful none the less, and very evocative in terms of giving a unique "sense of place" to each of the scenes. Beyond the absolute uniqueness in imagery is the absolutely outstanding voice acting - acting that's FAR superior to the acting in the new live action movies. And while the cell animation might not be the most "technically proficient" animation it superbly captures the expressive bodily and facial gestures of the acting while at once not forgetting to be subtle and nuanced. The background paintings vary from traditional "fantasy" motif to outright abstraction, but the transition to abstracted settings is always motivated by the narrative and contributes greatly to the themes of the film. If you're a person who has to have extensive computer rendering in a film so that everything is visualized for you then I can see how you might not like this movie but if you enjoy superior acting, transcendental imagery, and JRR Tolkien then this film is a must see.

39 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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