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The Lord of the Rings (1978)

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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.

Director:

Ralph Bakshi

Writers:

Chris Conkling (screenplay), Peter S. Beagle (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,881 ( 2,039)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Guard Christopher Guard ... Frodo (voice)
William Squire ... Gandalf (voice)
Michael Scholes Michael Scholes ... Sam (voice)
John Hurt ... Aragorn (voice)
Simon Chandler ... Merry (voice)
Dominic Guard ... Pippin (voice)
Norman Bird ... Bilbo (voice)
Michael Graham Cox Michael Graham Cox ... Boromir (voice) (as Michael Graham-Cox)
Anthony Daniels ... Legolas (voice)
David Buck David Buck ... Gimli (voice)
Peter Woodthorpe ... Gollum (voice)
Fraser Kerr Fraser Kerr ... Saruman (voice)
Philip Stone ... Theoden (voice)
Michael Deacon Michael Deacon ... Wormtongue (voice)
André Morell ... Elrond (voice) (as Andre Morell)
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Storyline

A young Hobbit known as Frodo has been 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 three warriors including Gandelf, Aragorn and Boromir. But it's not going to be an easy journey for the Fellowship of the Ring, on the ultimate quest to rid the Middle-Earth of all evil! Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

RalphBakshi.com

Country:

USA | UK | Spain

Language:

English | Sindarin

Release Date:

15 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$626,649, 19 November 1978, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$30,471,420, 31 December 1979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (5.1) (L-R)| Dolby Stereo (Dolby 5.1) (5.1) (L-R)

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cel animation was produced and shot for this film, but was cut out at the last minute. Only a few brief segments of the film were drawn from scratch, with much of the film rotoscoped, and some sequences combining non-rotoscoped live-action footage with animation. See more »

Goofs

Saruman is called "Saruman the White" and "Saruman of Many Colors", yet throughout this movie he is dressed entirely in red. See more »

Quotes

Aragorn: [Aragorn arguing with the innkeeper] There no one else for them take up with except a fat innkeeper who only remembers his name because people shout it at him all day.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version screened on British TV in the 1980s contains more music than the recently-released VHS and DVD version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rocket Boy (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Severe, Psychotronic 70's Cinema
14 June 2010 | by AylmerSee all my reviews

As a kid I was quite astonished with the dark and gloomy tone of this film, especially in comparison to Rankin/Bass's take on the same material around the same period. Also at the time I didn't really care for the animation, which I found to be rather cold and creepy (having no idea it was rotoscoped or even what rotoscoping was). However as the years have gone by and the Jackson adaptations come and gone, I feel more and more drawn to this rare piece of absolutism as I would a painting by Vincent Van Gogh or Salvadore Dali.

Bakshi always had a flair for adult-oriented animation, and finally with this he found a subject befitting of his style. Lord of the Rings is some overall dark, intriguing material in comparison with The Hobbit and really was deserving of something imaginative and stylistic as only Bakshi's team could deliver. Most everything comes together quite well here with the bizarre rotoscoped animation, the characterizations, the voice performances, and Leonard Rosenman's supercharged score (one of his career best, up there and quite similar to his work on THE CAR and RACE WITH THE DEVIL). It's rather unfortunate that funding ran out and the project had to be hurriedly wrapped, quite a similar heartbreaking story as to what happened with his previous year's WIZARDS.

The film is clearly unfinished in many regards. The most heinous act it commits is to end right in the middle of a major action scene with absolutely no resolution to speak of! Even ignoring its abbreviation of the books, one has to admit that narratively this film is a complete disaster. I can't imagine the marketing for this movie honestly claiming it to only be the first half of the book trilogy brought to screen. Needless to say I'd be surprised if angry audiences didn't get up and boo at the screen en masse back in 1978 witnessing perhaps the biggest cheat or, dare I say even, "rip off" in cinematic history.

Similarly this film has a very rough feel to it in terms of animation and pacing and is entirely inconsistent. Things begin fairly polished and kid-friendly but get darker, drearier, more violent (with some surprisingly graphic gore), and sloppier as the film goes on. By the end we get the vast majority of the film not even properly animated and more or less just treated film material with undercranked smoke and clouds filling in the for the background plates. It's quite similar to the bizarre psychedelic cost saving measures Bakshi made when he took over the second season of the animated 60's "Spiderman" cartoons. This whole Joseph Conradian experience of a descent into hell is pretty overwhelming, oppressive, and possibly even emotionally scarring for young viewers, but it's something I've strangely come to love about this film over time.

Yes, dare I say it, I just love this movie. You can't deny that it has its share of magical moments like Frodo's escape from the Wraiths, Gandalf opening the doors to Moria, and the showdown with the Balrog. Much like David Lynch's DUNE it created a vivid, creative, and whole-hearted realization of a world out of the severe butchery its source material. There's a small, artistic, and very personal loving feel given to this movie which I found lacking in Jackson's trilogy. Bakshi and his overworked team of animators may not have created the best film ever, but they did a lot with the little they had. I just wish they'd been able to see it through.


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