6.2/10
28,082
322 user 74 critic

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Trailer
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.

Director:

Ralph Bakshi

Writers:

Chris Conkling (screenplay), Peter S. Beagle (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,134 ( 614)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
The Hobbit (1966)
Animation | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 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
Fire and Ice (1983)
Animation | Fantasy | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

At the end of the ice age, an evil queen and her son are set on conquering the world using magic and warriors. The lone survivor of a crushed village fights back as does the king of Fire Keep.

Directors: Ralph Bakshi, Tom Tataranowicz
Stars: Randy Norton, Cynthia Leake, Steve Sandor
American Pop (1981)
Animation | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
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
Heavy Traffic (1973)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An "underground" cartoonist contends with life in the inner city, where various unsavory characters serve as inspiration for his artwork.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Joseph Kaufmann, Beverly Hope Atkinson, Frank DeKova
Heavy Metal (1981)
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Directors: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, and 8 more credits »
Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty
Coonskin (1975)
Animation | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Rabbit, a country-born trickster, takes over the organized crime racket in Harlem, facing opposition from the institutionalized racism of the Mafia and corrupt police.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Barry White, Charles Gordone, Scatman Crothers
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An outrageous, affectionate look at coming of age in the Eisenhower era in Brooklyn.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Richard Romanus, David Proval, Jesse Welles
Short | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The great events of the war of the ring are about to unfold and the priority for Strider and Gandalf is to keep the Ring secret. Sauron is preparing to unleash his armies and Gollum is ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Bouchard
Stars: Adrian Webster, Arin Alldridge, Patrick O'Connor
Born of Hope (2009)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Set near the end of the Third Age of Middle-earth. Arathorn takes refugees to Taurdal, the village of his father, Arador. Then as Arador begins his campaign against the gathering orc bands ... See full summary »

Director: Kate Madison
Stars: Christopher Dane, Beth Aynsley, Kate Madison
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

Come to Middle-earth, a world beyond the furthest reaches of your imagination. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$626,649, 19 November 1978

Gross USA:

$30,471,420

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,471,420
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Author J.R.R. Tolkien was friends with author C.S. Forester, and two of the Hobbit families in the Shire mentioned by Bilbo, the Bracegirdles and the Hornblowers, are a tribute to Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels. See more »

Goofs

The Dwarf Gimli is almost as tall as the human and Elven characters in this movie. Presumably the actor who played him in the live-action footage was insufficiently short, and it was considered impractical to shrink him in the rotoscoping process. See more »

Quotes

Gandalf: Long ago, in the early years of the Second Age, the great Elven-smiths forged rings of power. Nine for mortal men, seven for the Dwarf lords, three for the tall Elf Kings. But then, the dark lord learned the craft of ring making and made the Master Ring, the one ring to rule them all. With the One Ring, Middle-Earth was his, and he could not be overcome. As the last alliance of men and Elves fell beneath his power, he did not notice the heroic shadow who slipped in. It was Prince Isildur, of ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The voiceover at the end of the film has been changed for recent home video releases. The original voiceover, heard after the credits were over, stated (paraphrased), "And so ends the first part of the Lord of the Rings." (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 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Trekkies 2 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Disjointed.
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.


6 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

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed