6.2/10
26,475
322 user 69 critic

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Trailer
1:19 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,675 ( 205)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Return of the King (TV Movie 1980)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two Hobbits struggle to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom while their friends desperately fight evil Lord Sauron's forces in a final battle.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Orson Bean, John Huston, Theodore Bikel
Wizards (1977)
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

On a post-apocalyptic Earth, a wizard and his faire folk comrades fight an evil wizard who's using technology in his bid for conquest.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus
Fire and Ice (1983)
Animation | Fantasy | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In this animated tale, a tiny village is destroyed by a surging glacier, which serves as the deadly domain for the evil Ice Lord, Nekron. The only survivor is a young warrior, Larn, who ... See full summary »

Directors: Ralph Bakshi, Tom Tataranowicz
Stars: Randy Norton, Cynthia Leake, Steve Sandor
The Hobbit (1966)
Animation | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A homebody hobbit finds himself going on a quest to save a dwarven treasure from a dragon in this loose adaptation of the classic novel.

Director: Gene Deitch
Stars: Herb Lass
Fritz the Cat (1972)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A hypocritical swinging college student cat raises hell in a satiric vision of various elements on the 1960s.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Skip Hinnant, Rosetta LeNoire, John McCurry
American Pop (1981)
Animation | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music in the 20th century.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Mews Small, Ron Thompson, Jerry Holland
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Guard ... Frodo (voice)
... Gandalf (voice)
Michael Scholes ... Sam (voice)
... Aragorn (voice)
... Merry (voice)
... Pippin (voice)
... Bilbo (voice)
Michael Graham Cox ... Boromir (voice) (as Michael Graham-Cox)
... Legolas (voice)
David Buck ... Gimli (voice)
... Gollum (voice)
Fraser Kerr ... Saruman (voice)
... Theoden (voice)
Michael Deacon ... Wormtongue (voice)
... Elrond (voice) (as Andre Morell)
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

RalphBakshi.com

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Edit

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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(5.1) (L-R)| (Dolby 5.1) (5.1) (L-R)

Color:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The late Ruth Gay and Jere Rae Mansfield played the ladies at The Prancing Pony. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Merry: Mind yourself, we're supposed to be escaping in secret!
Pippin: Mind yourself, don't get lost.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Severe, Psychotronic 70's Cinema
14 June 2010 | by See 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.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 322 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial