Film: The Lord of the Rings: Part 1. The Fellowship of the Ring

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Film:

The Lord of the Rings

Series: Part 1. The Fellowship of the Ring
Director: Peter Jackson
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: New Line Home Entertainment

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is an epic adventure of good against evil, the power of friendship and individual courage. The saga centers around an unassuming Hobbit named Frodo Baggins who inherits a Ring that would give a dark and powerful lord the power to enslave the world. With a loyal fellowship of elves, dwarves, men and a wizard, Frodo embarks on a heroic quest to destroy the One Ring and pave the way for the emergence of mankind.

Reviews

Amazon.com

As the triumphant start of a trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring leaves you begging for more. By necessity, Peter Jackson’s ambitious epic compresses J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings, but this robust adaptation maintains reverent allegiance to Tolkien’s creation, instantly qualifying as one of the greatest fantasy films ever made. At 178 minutes, it’s long enough to establish the myriad inhabitants of Middle-earth, the legendary Rings of Power, and the fellowship of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and humans—led by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the brave hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood)—who must battle terrifying forces of evil on their perilous journey to destroy the One Ring in the land of Mordor. Superbly paced, the film is both epic and intimate, offering astonishing special effects and production design while emphasizing the emotional intensity of Frodo’s adventure. Ending on a perfect note of heroic loyalty and rich anticipation, this wondrous fantasy continues in The Two Towers (2002). —Jeff Shannon

Barnes and Noble

J.R.R. Tolkien’s fabled Ring trilogy, originally published in the 1950s, set a new standard for fantasy fiction—and its Oscar-winning live-action adaptation does the same for movies of the sword-and-sorcery genre. Perhaps the most eagerly awaited fantasy film of all time and nearly five years in the making, The Fellowship of the Ring captures the spirit of Tolkien’s Middle-earth saga far more faithfully than its millions of fans dared hope. (Ralph Bakshi offered an animated adaptation in 1978, but to a much less rousing response.) The story begins as elderly hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) relinquishes possession of his most valuable keepsake, a golden ring possessing magical powers, to his youthful heir, Frodo (Elijah Wood). Charged with casting the ring into the fires from which it was forged, the young hobbit begins an arduous trek across Middle-earth, accompanied by a sturdy band that includes his best friend, Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin), the mercurial wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the haunted warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), and the blustery dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), among others. Opposed by treacherous sorcerer Saruman (Christopher Lee) and the demonic emissaries of the Dark Lord, Sauron, this continuously embattled Fellowship makes its way slowly toward the cruel land of Mordor. Studded with remarkable action sequences enhanced by state-of-the-art computer effects, Fellowship is a veritable feast for eye and ear. Director Peter Jackson shot the film in his native New Zealand, where he found stunning, picturesque locations in which to set his scenes. These marvelous natural settings combine with the beautifully crafted sets, costumes, makeup, and props to convincingly bring Tolkien’s mythical world to life. The actors, one and all, play their roles as if they were born to them; even such briefly seen stars as Cate Blanchett (elf queen Galadriel) and Liv Tyler (elf maiden Arwen) perform with panache. Fellowship departs from the sacred texts in a number of ways, but Jackson’s movie replicates the trilogy’s first book faithfully. A rousing adventure-fantasy that will delight Tolkien devotees and newbies alike, this is truly an unforgettable film—one that will yield new pleasures with each viewing, and which therefore belongs in every video collection. Ed Hulse

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Score composer Howard Shore has informed this first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy with his distinctly modern sensibilities. Revolving loosely around a brief, heroic brass theme, this epic is infused with a powerful rhythmic thrust and a musical range that encompasses centuries (from the Renaissance pastoralism of “Concerning Hobbits” to the fiery, Prokofiev-influenced drama of “A Knife in the Dark”). Key to the score’s sense of mystery and magical place are the rich choral passages that are interspersed throughout, some so ominously gothic…

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For over fifty years, J.R.R. Tolkien”s peerless fantasy has accumulated worldwide acclaim as the greatest adventure tale ever written. No other writer has created a world as distinct as Middle-earth, complete with its own geography, history, languages, and legends. And no one has created characters as endearing as Tolkien”s large-hearted, hairy-footed hobbits. Tolkien”s The Lord of the Rings continues to seize the imaginations of readers of all ages, and this new three-volume paperback edition is designed to appeal to the youngest of them.

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elvensmiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, still it remained lost to him…

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