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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.


Ralph Bakshi


Chris Conkling (screenplay), Peter S. Beagle (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,836 ( 40)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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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:

View content advisory »


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:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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 »

Did You Know?


Many of the actors portraying the physical parts of the characters in this movie provided the voices. Other characters, such as the Hobbits, were portrayed by animators and by Billy Barty in the live-action footage, and then voiced by other actors. The actors who played physical parts, but not voices, are credited as "Character Actors". See more »


"Minas Tirith" is consistently mispronounced as "Mine-as Tirith" rather than "Min-as Tirith". See more »


Frodo Baggins: I'm tired of looking at my cousins 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 »


Referenced in Footballers' Wives: Episode #5.3 (2006) See more »


There is an Inn
Written by J.R.R. Tolkien
Performed by Christopher Guard
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

9 April 2013 | by BlueghostSee all my reviews

Every time I see this film I grin and them grimace some. Mostly grin because it is a respectable effort at a production, but I can't help but believe that the entire tale was never meant to see the screen via Bakshi. I remember opening weekend for this thing. The theatres were packed. Sold out. Or, more correctly, overbooked. Thousands thronged the theatre. Lines ran out into the streets. You couldn't get a seat for the life of you.

And then the film ran. And people walked out wondering what it was they had just seen. You hear critics give their opinion, but you don't hear fans voicing their amazement at the visuals, but also feeling like they were sold a bill of goods.

The artistry that went into this production is half good, half b-grade material. I think this project was given to Bakshi because he knew that the full tale would not be realized by old guard Hollywood who were paranoid of a culture that harkened back to mythology and days of yore.

At the time I saw the film I had a hard time following it, even with the added narrative supplied by the characters. One moment were in location A, then the next we're in location B with some new characters. Next we're in location C confronting some event, and so on and so forth.

In short, the Tolkien tale that people wanted never had a chance to materialize. It would take thirty years and an Aussie with some filmmaking know how, a track record, and a vision to propose the project and make all of Tolkien's ring saga come to life. In the meantime Tolkien fans had this half hearted effort that had some interesting visuals on one level, but lacked a lot of care on another level. Again, it was done intentionally.

Then again Bakshi's films tend to have an unfinished quality to them. If you look at American Pop, Heavy Traffic, or Cool World, or Wizards, you'll note that the production tends to fall apart somewhat at the end. Cool World feels very rushed at the end, American Pop actually keeps nearly all of its gloss but suffers the same here and there. So it is that we don't just get rotoscoped animation, but full on tinted footage of stuntmen or actors doing things that should have been rendered by hand.

The character design is also hit and miss. The hobbits are well done, the wizards are likewise keenly crafted, but the one dwarf in the film looks like a miner from 1849 California, and not a dwarf at all, while the "elves" tend to have feline eyes for some reason. The backgrounds are interesting, however. Taking a page out of Avante-Garde 1960s and early 1970s, the "sets" for this piece are more abstract at times, and it seems to work well from time to time with the piece that's being presented. Other times it feels like a budget saver.

What to say about it in the end? All in all the film is a rushed effort, and in my opinion never had a chance from the start. My opinion is that there was probably a fear that Tolkien's tales of white heros might have been seen as socially destabilizing for a country that was just coming out of some very hefty social upheavals regarding race, politics and social status; and this falls in line with Tolkien because orcs, men, dwarfs and elves were all different races, although the orcs are the ones who are cast as the heavies. I have no direct proof of that, but one wonders how Disney Studios might have handled a similar project; which, by the way, is right up their alley (minus some of the more graphic violence).

See it once. Odds are you've already made up your mind about this film. Me, I don't have too much love for it, but it's interesting to take a look at it every few years or so.

See it once if you're curious about it.

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