334 user 77 critic

Lord of the Rings (1978)

The Lord of the Rings (original title)
1:20 | Trailer
The Fellowship of the Ring embark on a journey to destroy the One Ring and end Sauron's reign over Middle-earth.


Ralph Bakshi


Chris Conkling (screenplay), Peter S. Beagle (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,437 ( 358)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





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)


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


Fantasy Beyond Your Imagination See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


André Morell and Philip Stone appeared in Barry Lyndon (1975). That movie was narrated by Sir Michael Hordern, who voiced Gandalf in the BBC Radio production of The Lord of the Rings. See more »


When Gandalf comes into Bag End after Bilbo seals the envelope, the door is open to the left with the doorknob on the right. But when Frodo opens it to see Gandalf and let him in, the door now opens to the right with the doorknob on the left side. See more »


[on what to do with the Ring]
Frodo Baggins: [brightly] I'll give it to you, Gandalf!
[Gandalf looks horrified]
Frodo Baggins: You're wise and powerful! Will you not...
Gandalf: [anguished] No! Do not tempt me! I would wish to turn it to good, and it cannot be used so! Meaning to be kind, I would become as terrible as the Dark Lord himself. Do not tempt me!
Gandalf: I shall have need of such strength so soon.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The voiceover at the end of the film has been changed for recent home video releases. The original voiceover, heard at the freeze-frame directly before the closing credits simply stated "This is the end of the first part of the history of the War of the Ring." (At the time, a second film was planned, but the studio refused to fund the film's budget.) The new voice-over, as heard on late 1980s TV broadcasts and recent DVD releases as the film comes to its stunning climax, states, "The forces of darkness were driven forever from the face of Middle Earth by the valiant friends of Frodo. As their gallant battle ended, so, too, does the first great tale of the Lord of the Rings." See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera (1991) See more »


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

User Reviews

Uninvolving but not a total loss
4 September 2015 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Ralph Bakshi's attempt at bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's epic tale to the screen years before Peter Jackson is a valiant effort that falls short for more reasons than the obvious. Many purists will no doubt complain about what's been left out or the depictions of some characters. Others will say that the story ends abruptly and, since there was never a part two, it leaves the movie feeling incomplete. Still others will talk about the uneven mixture of traditional animation and rotoscoping. All of those are valid complaints but not major ones for me. Granted, I saw the Jackson films already so there was a certain degree of comparison that was inevitable, however unfair that may be. I'm certainly not going to slight the movie for not being able to compete with something made decades later with a budget over twenty times what this had (for the first movie of the trilogy alone). I'm also not going to nitpick what was left out or who didn't look like they should because the Jackson series gave fans a gazillion hours of footage of to cover almost every base. The animation is good for the era and I generally appreciate Bakshi's use of rotoscoping. The man was an artist, not an assembly-line animator like most at the time, and that should be praised.

The main problem I had with this is that it is not as emotionally involving as the Tolkien story demands. It's a story that deserves a deeper treatment than what we have here. That came later with Jackson, thankfully, but the lack of emotional resonance in this version is a major flaw. I also wish the music score wasn't so unexciting and forgettable. I've read that Bakshi originally wanted to use Led Zeppelin music. At first that sounds like a terrible idea but I can't help but wonder if that would have been so weird that it actually worked. Overall, it's a mixed bag that drags some and never really pulls you in like it should. Bakshi respects the material enough to follow it as closely as he can with the restrictions he had. He also creates some fine atmosphere and fills the movie with so many interesting visuals that it's hard to dismiss it entirely.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:



USA | UK | Spain


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 »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$626,649, 19 November 1978

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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