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The Lord of the Rings (1978)

PG  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Fantasy  |  15 November 1978 (USA)
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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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Guard ...
Frodo Baggins / Mr. Underhill (voice)
William Squire ...
Gandalf The Grey / Gandalf The White / Narrator / Dwimmerlaik - The Witch-King of Angmar (voice)
Michael Scholes ...
Norman Bird ...
Michael Graham Cox ...
Boromir - Son of Denethor (voice) (as Michael Graham-Cox)
Legolas Greenleaf - Son of Thranduil / Déagol - Smeagol's Cousin (voice)
David Buck ...
Peter Woodthorpe ...
Gollum / Smeagol (voice)
Fraser Kerr ...
Saruman The White Sorcerer / Narrator (segment "Epilogue") (voice)
Philip Stone ...
King Theoden / Uglúk - Uruk-Hai Captain (voice)
Michael Deacon ...
Grima Wormtongue - Saruman's Spy / Grishnákh - Mordor Orc Captain (voice)
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


Come to Middle-earth, a world beyond the furthest reaches of your imagination. 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 the first shot of the orc attack in Moria, Legolas' bow is tall with spiral tips (which he uses throughout the movie). In the very next shot, two seconds later, it is much smaller, with the regular curved tips of a straight-limb longbow. See more »


[a crow abruptly caws and takes off into the sky]
Frodo Baggins: Because of Gollum! Oh, Gandalf... what am I to do? What a pity that Bilbo didn't kill that vile creature when he had the chance.
Gandalf: Yes, it was pity. Pity and mercy.
See more »


Edited from Alexander Nevsky (1938) See more »


Music by Leonard Rosenman
Words by Mark Fleischer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A misfire for Bakshi, that much is certain
8 September 2002 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

I won't dwell on the purists' outrage over Bakshi's liberties with story or characters. For the most part, they are correct. I'm certainly not coming to the filmmaker's defense, but in the context of the material's density, animation technology of 1978, et al., this guy really took a swing at bringing this thing to the silver screen.

Sadly, the film wasn't that good. Much of the animation was disjointed, and most of the backgrounds were crudely drawn and failed to create the correct atmosphere that one gets from reading the book. I will say, though, that I have always liked the rotoscoping, in particular that of the orcs. There is something exceedingly frightening about the way they are displayed, something today's CGI characterizations seems to miss. Bakshi used this technique in his other works as well, particularly in Wizards, which is a better, if different, film than his version of LotR. But mixing purely-drawn characters (hobbits) with those that are rotoscoped (orcs) just didn't look right here.

I must agree with some others who assert that some of the frame direction and scene selection is oddly similar to Peter Jackson's version of late. And if Jackson was influenced by at least SOME of the look of Bakshi's film, then what's the harm?

If you want to be dazzled, this version of LotR probably won't rouse you. There's many more misses than hits. But it isn't as bad as many would have you believe. If it weren't a Tolkien adaptation, I think it would be received much better.

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