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The Lord of the Rings:
The Fellowship of the Ring
Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by Peter Jackson
Barrie M. Osborne
Tim Sanders
Fran Walsh
Written by Fran Walsh
Philippa Boyens
Peter Jackson
Novel
J. R. R. Tolkien
Starring Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen
Liv Tyler
Sean Astin
Cate Blanchett
John Rhys-Davies
Billy Boyd
Dominic Monaghan
Orlando Bloom
Christopher Lee
Hugo Weaving
Sean Bean
Ian Holm
Andy Serkis
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Editing by John Gilbert
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) December 10, 2001 (2001-12-10)
(United Kingdom premiere)
December 19, 2001 (2001-12-19)
(United States)
December 20, 2001 (2001-12-20)
(New Zealand)
Running time 178 minutes
Country New Zealand
United States
Language English
Budget US$ 94 million
Gross revenue US$ 870,761,744[1]
Followed by The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Set in Middle-earth, the story tells of the Dark Lord Sauron, who is seeking the One Ring. The Ring has found its way to the young hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood). The fate of Middle-earth hangs in the balance as Frodo and eight companions form the Fellowship of the Ring, and journey to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor: the only place where the Ring can be destroyed.

Released on December 19, 2001, the film was highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike, especially as many of the latter judged it to be the most sufficiently faithful adaption of the original story out of Jackson's film trilogy. It was a major box office success, earning over $870 million worldwide, and the second highest grossing film of 2001 in the U.S. and worldwide (behind Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) which made it the 5th highest grossing film ever at the time. Today it is the seventeenth highest-grossing worldwide film of all time. It won four Academy Awards and five BAFTAs, including Best Film and Best Director BAFTA awards. The Special Extended DVD Edition was released on November 12, 2002 and is now discontinued. In 2007, The Fellowship of the Ring was voted number 50 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 greatest American films. The AFI also voted it the second greatest fantasy film of all time during their AFI's 10 Top 10 special.

Contents

Plot

The foreword, spoken by Galadriel, shows the Dark Lord Sauron forging the One Ring in order to conquer the lands of Middle-earth. A Last Alliance of Elves and Men is formed to counter Sauron's forces at the foot of Mount Doom, but Sauron kills Elendil, the High King of Men. His son, Prince Isildur grabs Elendil's broken sword Narsil, and slashes at Sauron's hand, separating him from the Ring and vanquishing his army. However, because Sauron's "life force" is bound to the Ring, he is not completely defeated until the Ring itself is destroyed. Isildur takes the Ring and succumbs to its temptation, refusing to destroy it. He is later ambushed and killed by orcs, and the Ring is lost in a river. The Ring is found by the hobbit Sméagol thousands of years later, who takes it underground for five centuries, giving him "unnaturally long life" and transforming him into the creature Gollum. Since the Ring is bound to Sauron, it has a will of its own and wants to be found. Therefore, the Ring consciously leaves Gollum in its quest to be reunited with Sauron. However, it is instead found by the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, much to the despair of Gollum. Bilbo returns to his home in the Shire with the Ring, and the story jumps forward in time sixty years.

At his 111th ("eleventy-first") birthday, Bilbo leaves the Ring to his nephew and adopted heir Frodo Baggins. After a ride to the Gondorian city of Minas Tirith, while searching for answers, Gandalf the Wizard soon learns it is the One Ring, and that Sauron seeks to retake it. Taking no chances, Gandalf tells Frodo to leave the Shire with the Ring and sends him to Bree with his friend and gardener, Sam, with plans to meet him there after Gandalf goes to Isengard to meet the head of his order, Saruman. Saruman reveals that the Nazgûl, or Ringwraiths, have left Minas Morgul to capture the Ring and kill whoever carries it; having already been corrupted to Sauron's cause, he then imprisons Gandalf atop Orthanc. Gandalf is then forced to watch as Saruman orders his orcs to destroy the forests surrounding Isengard to build weapons of war and create an elite Orc army called the Uruk-hai.

While travelling to Bree, Frodo and Sam are soon joined by fellow hobbits Merry and Pippin. After encountering a Ringwraith on the road, they manage to reach Bree, and there they meet a Man called Strider, who agrees to lead them to Rivendell. They agree only because Strider already knows about the Nazgûl and that Gandalf isn't there to guide them. After some travelling, they spend the night on the hill of Weathertop, where they are attacked by the Nazgûl at night. Strider fights off the Ringwraiths, but Frodo is grievously wounded with a morgul blade, and they must quickly get him to Rivendell for healing. While chased by the Nazgûl, Frodo is taken by the elf Arwen to the Elven haven of Rivendell, and healed by her father, Elrond. Arwen also uses her magic to cut off the pursuing Ringwraiths at the Ford of Bruinen, summoning a surge of water that sweeps the Ringwraiths away. In Rivendell Frodo meets Gandalf, who explains why he didn't meet them at Bree as planned (he had escaped Orthanc and Saruman's clutches with the help of an eagle). In the meantime, there are many meetings between various peoples, and Elrond calls a council to decide what should be done with the Ring. Elrond warns against keeping the Ring in Rivendell for long, knowing that the Elven realm could come under attack from both Mordor and Isengard. The Ring can only be destroyed by throwing it into the fires (that is, lava) of Mount Doom, where it was forged. Mount Doom is located in Mordor, near Sauron's fortress of Barad-dûr, and the journey to it will be incredibly dangerous. Frodo volunteers to take the Ring to Mount Doom as all the others argue about who should or shouldn't take it. He is accompanied by his hobbit friends and Gandalf, as well as Strider, who is revealed to be Aragorn, the rightful heir to the throne of Gondor. Also travelling with them are the Elf Legolas, the Dwarf Gimli and Boromir, the son of the Steward of Gondor. Together they comprise the Fellowship of the Ring.

The Fellowship set out and try to pass the mountain Caradhras, but they are stopped by Saruman's wizardry. At Gimli's insistence, they decide to seek safety and travel under the mountain through the Mines of Moria. They discover that an attempt by Gimli's cousin Balin to colonize it has failed. They are attacked by Orcs and a Cave Troll, and encounter a Balrog, an ancient demon of fire and shadow, at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. Gandalf confronts the Balrog on the bridge, allowing the others to escape the subterranean realm, while he falls with the creature into the abyss below.

The group flees to the Elven realm of Lothlórien, where they are sheltered by its rulers, Galadriel and her husband Celeborn. While resting, Boromir tells Aragorn about the troubles afflicting the land of Gondor and the people's desire to see a strong King rescue it from destruction. He also states that he and Aragorn once shall ride to the city as "The Lords of Gondor". Frodo meets Galadriel, who tells him that it's his destiny to handle the Ring and ultimately destroy it. Before they leave, Galadriel gives Frodo the Phial of Galadriel, and the other members also receive gifts from them. Taking the straight path to Mordor, they travel on the River Anduin towards Parth Galen.

After landing at Parth Galen, Boromir tries to take the Ring from Frodo, believing that it is the only way to save his realm. Frodo manages to escape by putting the Ring on his finger and vanishing. Aragorn encounters Frodo, but unlike Boromir, Aragorn chooses not to take the Ring. Knowing that the Ring's temptation will be too strong for the Fellowship, Frodo decides to leave them and go to Mordor alone. Meanwhile, the rest of the Fellowship are attacked by Uruk-hai, who Saruman had ordered to hunt down the Fellowship and take back the Ring. Merry and Pippin, realizing that Frodo is leaving, distract the orcs allowing Frodo to escape. Boromir rushes to the aid of the two hobbits but is mortally wounded by the orc commander Lurtz. Before he can finish Boromir, however, Aragorn arrives and decapitates Lurtz after a swordfight. Boromir regrets having attempted to steal the Ring, but is forgiven by Aragorn, who promises him that he will not allow Gondor to fall into ruin. Heartened by Aragorn's words, Boromir accepts Aragorn as his king before he dies. Merry and Pippin are captured prompting Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas to begin their pursuit of the orcs with the intent of rescuing the hobbits, leaving Frodo to his fate. Frodo returns to the banks of the river with the intention to row across and approach Mordor from the North. However he has doubts as to whether he has made the right choice and whether he can accomplish his task. He is inspired by Gandalf's previous words of advice that come to him in that moment. Before Frodo can depart, Sam arrives and swims out after Frodo, insisting that he too has made a promise - to go with Frodo and to look after him. Together they cross the river and climbing the hills on the far shore they look out upon the land of Mordor far away.

Cast

The principal characters of The Fellowship of the Ring from left to right: (Top row) Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Boromir, (Bottom row) Sam, Frodo, Merry, Pippin, Gimli.

Before filming began on October 11, 1999, the principal actors trained for six weeks in sword fighting (with Bob Anderson), riding and boating. Jackson hoped such activities would allow the cast to bond so chemistry would be evident on screen as well as getting them used to life in Wellington.[2] They were also trained to pronounce Tolkien's verses properly.[3] After the shoot, the nine cast members playing the Fellowship got a tattoo, the Elvish symbol for the number nine, with the exception of John Rhys-Davies, whose stunt double got the tattoo instead.[4] The film is noted for having an ensemble cast[5], and some of the cast and their respective characters include:

  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins: A hobbit who inherits the One Ring from his uncle, Bilbo Baggins. He is mostly accompanied by his best friend and fellow hobbit, Samwise Gamgee. Elijah Wood was the first actor to be cast on July 7, 1999.[6] Wood was a fan of the book, and he sent in an audition dressed as Frodo, reading lines from the novel.[7] Wood was selected from one-hundred-and-fifty actors who auditioned.[8]
  • Sean Astin as Samwise "Sam" Gamgee: A Hobbit gardener and friend of Frodo. When caught eavesdropping, Sam is made to become Frodo's companion and from then on becomes very loyal. Astin, then a father of one, bonded with the eighteen-year old Wood in a protective manner similar to Sam and Frodo.[2]
  • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn: Dubbed Strider, he is a Dúnedain ranger and the heir to the throne of Gondor. He travels with the Fellowship on their journey to Mordor. He is unsure of whether to become King following the failure of his ancestor, Isildur, to destroy the Ring. Nicolas Cage turned down the role because of "family obligations",[9] whilst Vin Diesel, a fan of the book, auditioned for Aragorn. Stuart Townsend was cast in the role, before being replaced during filming when Jackson realized he was too young.[7] Russell Crowe was considered as a replacement, but he turned it down after a similar role in Gladiator.[7] Producer Mark Odesky saw Mortensen in a play and it was Mortensen's son, a fan of the book, who convinced him to take the role.[2] Mortensen read the book on the plane, received a crash course lesson in fencing from Bob Anderson and began filming the scenes on Weathertop.[10] Mortensen became a hit with the crew, method acting by patching up his costume[11] and carrying his "hero" sword around with him offscreen.[2]
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey: An Istari wizard and mentor to Frodo, who helps him decide what to do with the Ring. He becomes the leader of the Fellowship after it is decided to take the Ring to Mount Doom and destroy it. Sean Connery was approached for the role, but didn't understand the plot,[7] while Patrick Stewart turned it down as he disliked the script.[12] Before being cast, McKellen had to sort his schedule with 20th Century Fox as there was a two-month overlap with X-Men.[8] He enjoyed playing Gandalf the Grey more than his transformed state in the next two films,[4] and based his accent on Tolkien. Unlike his on-screen character, McKellen did not spend much time with the actors playing the Hobbits, instead working with their scale doubles.[2]
  • Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck: A Hobbit and a friend of Frodo. He helps him find a ferry to escape the Nazgûl, travels with the Fellowship on their journey to Mordor, along with his best friend Pippin. Monaghan was cast as Merry after auditioning for Frodo. Together with Peregrin Took (see below), he serves as a comic relief in the trilogy.[7]
  • Billy Boyd as Peregrin "Pippin" Took: A Hobbit who travels with the Fellowship on their journey to Mordor, along with his best friend Merry. He is loyal but a prankster, often being a nuisance for Gandalf. Together with Meriadoc Brandybuck (see above), he serves as a comic relief in the trilogy.
  • Sean Bean as Boromir: A prince of the Stewards of Gondor, he journeys with the Fellowship towards Mordor, although he is tempted by the power of the Ring. He feels Gondor needs no King, but becomes a friend of Aragorn. Bruce Willis, a fan of the book, expressed interest in the role, while Liam Neeson was sent the script, but passed.[7]
  • Orlando Bloom as Legolas: Prince of the Elves' Woodland Realm and a skilled archer who accompanies the Fellowship on their journey to Mordor. Bloom initially auditioned for Faramir, who appears in the second film, a role which went to David Wenham.[7]
  • John Rhys-Davies as Gimli: A Dwarf who accompanies the Fellowship to Mordor after they set out from Rivendell. He is initially xenophobic towards Elves, but changes his attitude in the course of the story, particularly after meeting Lady Galadriel. Billy Connolly was considered for the part of Gimli.[7] Rhys-Davies wore heavy prosthetics to play Gimli, which limited his vision, and eventually he developed eczema around his eyes.[2]
  • Christopher Lee as Saruman the White: The fallen head of the Istari Order, who succumbed to Sauron's will via his use of the palantír. After capturing Gandalf, he creates an army of Uruk-hai to find and capture the Ring from the Fellowship. Lee is a major fan of the book, and reads it once a year. He has also met J. R. R. Tolkien.[10] He originally auditioned for Gandalf, but was too old.[7]
  • Sala Baker portrays Sauron: The main antagonist and title character of the story, who created the One Ring to conquer Middle-earth. He lost the Ring to Isildur, and now seeks it in order to initiate his reign over Middle-earth. He cannot yet take physical form, and is spiritually incarnate as an Eye.
  • Hugo Weaving as Elrond: The Elven master of Rivendell, who leads the Council of Elrond which ultimately decides to destroy the One Ring. He lost faith in the strength of Men after witnessing Isildur's failure 3,000 years before. David Bowie expressed interest in the role, but Jackson stated, "To have a famous, beloved character and a famous star colliding is slightly uncomfortable."[8]
  • Marton Csokas as Lord Celeborn: An Elf and the co-ruler of Lothlórien along with his wife Galadriel.
  • Cate Blanchett as Galadriel: An Elf and the co-ruler of Lothlórien along with her husband Lord Celeborn. She shows Frodo a possible outcome of events in her mirror and gives him the Light of Eärendil.
  • Liv Tyler as Arwen: An elf, Arwen escorts Frodo to Rivendell after he is stabbed by the Witch-king. She is the daughter of Elrond and Aragorn's lover, to whom she gives the Evenstar necklace. The filmmakers approached Tyler after seeing her performance in Plunkett & Macleane, and New Line Cinema leaped at the opportunity of having one Hollywood star in the film.[7] Tyler came to shoot on short occasions, and bonded most with Bloom.[2]
  • Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins: Frodo's uncle who gives him the Ring after he decides to retire to Rivendell. At Rivendell, he gives Frodo a mithril mail-shirt and his own sword, Sting, which can detect the presence of nearby orcs by emitting a bluish glow. Holm previously played Frodo in a 1981 radio adaption of The Lord of the Rings, and was cast as Bilbo after Jackson remembered his performance.[7] Sylvester McCoy was contacted about playing the role, and was kept in place as a potential Bilbo for six months before Jackson went with Holm.[13]
  • Lawrence Makoare as Lurtz: The commander of Saruman's orc forces who leads the hunt for the Fellowship as they head to Mordor.
  • David Weatherley as Barliman Butterbur: Owner of the Inn of the Prancing Pony
  • Martyn Sanderson as the Gatekeeper of Bree

Comparison with the source material

Jackson, Walsh and Boyens made numerous changes to the story, for purposes of pacing and character development. Jackson said his main desire was to make a film focused primarily on Frodo and the Ring, the "backbone" of the story.[14] The prologue condenses Tolkien's backstory, in which The Last Alliance's seven year siege of the Barad-dûr is a single battle, where Sauron is shown to explode, though Tolkien only said his spirit flees.[15]

The event at Weathertop was also altered, having happened on the ground in the story. When Frodo was stabbed in the book the party spent several days still travelling to Rivendell, in the movie they're found almost immediately by Arwen. The character of Glorfindel was omitted entirely from the movie, to be replaced by Arwen who also accompanied Frodo all the way to the river, unlike the book where Frodo stood against the Ringwraiths alone. She was also credited with the "white riders" at the Ford of Bruinen, when in the book it was at the hands of her father Elrond and aided by Gandalf.

Events at the beginning of the film are condensed or omitted altogether. In the book, the time between Gandalf leaving the Ring to Frodo and returning to reveal its inscription is 17 years, which is compressed for timing reasons.[16] Frodo also spends a few months preparing for his journey to Bree which is compressed to a day, to increase dramatic tension. Also compressed is the time between Frodo and Sam leaving Bag End and their meeting Merry and Pippin. Characters such as Tom Bombadil are left out to simplify the plot and increase the threat of the Ringwraiths. Such sequences are left out to make time to introduce Saruman, who in the book only appears in flashback until The Two Towers. Saruman's role is enhanced: he is to blame for the blizzard on Caradhras, a role taken from Sauron and/or Caradhras itself in the book. Gandalf's capture by Saruman is also expanded with a fight sequence.

A significant new addition is that Aragorn must overcome his self-doubt to claim the kingship. This element is not present in the book, where Aragorn intends to claim the throne at an appropriate time. In the book Narsil is reforged immediately when he joins the Fellowship, but this event is held over until The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in film. This was done because of Peter Jackson's belief in "character growth", the idea that every character must change or learn something over the course of the story. Arwen Evenstar also has a greater role in the film, replacing the book's character of Glorfindel in rescuing Frodo. Elrond is also different from his counterpart in the printed novel; in the film, he doubts the strength of Men to survive without a King. Jackson also shortens the Council of Elrond establishing the Ring quest, by moving exposition from the chapter into earlier parts of the film. Elrond's counsellor, Erestor—who suggested the Ring be given to Tom Bombadil—was completely absent from this scene. Gimli's father, Glóin, was absent as well from the council.

The tone of the Moria sequence was altered. Although in the book the Fellowship only realize all the Dwarves are dead once they reach Balin's tomb, the filmmakers chose to use foreshadowing devices instead. Gandalf says to Gimli he would prefer not to enter Moria, and Saruman has a telepathic communication with Gandalf, and also reveals an illustration of the Balrog in one of his books. The corpses of the dwarves are instantly shown as the Fellowship enter Moria.[17]

The book simply stops in terms of dramatic structure, as Tolkien wrote it as a single story published as three volumes. Jackson's finale is played as a climactic battle, to which he introduces the (unnamed) antagonist referred to as Lurtz in the script. In the book the battle leading to Boromir's death is told in flashback in the second volume, but in the film their encounter is shown in real time. Adding to the ending before the wait for the next film, Aragorn is shown as aware of Frodo's decision to leave.

Production

Jackson began working with Christian Rivers to storyboard the trilogy in August 1997, as well as getting Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop to begin creating his interpretation of Middle-earth.[18] Jackson told them to make Middle-earth as plausible and believable as possible, to think of Middle-earth in a historical manner.[19]

In November,[19] Alan Lee and John Howe became the primary conceptual designers for the film trilogy, having had previous experience as illustrators for the book and various other tie-ins. Lee worked for the Art Department creating places such as Rivendell, Isengard, Moria and Lothlórien, giving art nouveau and geometry influences to the Elves and Dwarves respectively.[19][20] Though Howe contributed with Bag End and the Argonath,[19][20] he focused working on armour having studied it all his life.[21] Weta and the Art Department continued to design, with Grant Major turning the Art Department's designs into architecture, and Dan Hennah scouting locations.[19] On April 1, 1999, Ngila Dickson joined the crew as costume designer. She and 40 seamstresses would create 19,000 costumes, 40 per version for the actor and their doubles, ageing and wearing them out for impression of age.[11]

Filming locations

Arwen faces the Ringwraiths at the Fords of Bruinen (Arrowtown Recreational Reserve).

A list of filming locations, sorted by appearance order in the movie:

Fictional
Location
Specific Location
in New Zealand
General Area
in New Zealand
Hobbiton Matamata Waikato
Gardens of Isengard Harcourt Park Upper Hutt
The Shire woods Otaki Gorge Road Kapiti Coast District
Bucklebury Ferry Keeling Farm, Manakau Horowhenua
Forest near Bree Takaka Hill Nelson
Trollshaws Waitarere Forest Horowhenua
Ford of Bruinen Arrowtown Recreational Reserve Queenstown
Rivendell Kaitoke Regional Park Upper Hutt
Eregion Mount Olympus Nelson
Dead Marshes Kepler Mire Southland District
Dimrill Dale Lake Alta The Remarkables
Dimrill Dale Mount Owen Nelson
Lothlórien Lake Wakatipu Queenstown
River Anduin Upper Waiau River Fiordland National Park
River Anduin Rangitikei River Rangitikei District
River Anduin Poet's Corner Upper Hutt
Parth Galen Paradise Glenorchy
Amon Hen Mavora Lakes Milford Sound

Special effects

The Fellowship of the Ring makes extensive use of digital, practical and make-up special effects throughout. One noticeable illusion that appears in almost every scene involves setting a proper scale so that the characters are all the correct height. Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo, is 5 ft 6in (1.68 m) tall in real life, but the character of Frodo Baggins is barely four feet in height. Many different tricks were used to depict the hobbits (and Gimli the Dwarf) as being of diminutive stature. (As a matter of good fortune, John-Rhys Davies — who played Gimli — is as tall compared to the hobbit actors as his character needed to be compared to theirs, so he did not need to be filmed separately as a third variation of height.) Large and small scale doubles were used in certain scenes, while entire duplicates of certain sets (including Bag End in Hobbiton) were built at two different scales, so that the characters would appear to be the appropriate size. At one point in the film, Frodo runs along a corridor in Bag End, followed by Gandalf. Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen were filmed in separate versions of the same corridor, built at two different scales, and a fast camera pan conceals the edit between the two. Forced perspective was also employed, so that it would look as though the short hobbits were interacting with taller Men and Elves. Even the simple use of kneeling down, to the film makers' surprise, turned out to be an effective method in creating the illusion.

For the battle between the Last Alliance and the forces of Sauron that begins the film, an elaborate CGI animation system, called MASSIVE, was developed by Stephen Regelous; it allowed thousands of individual animated "characters" in the program to act independently. This helped give the illusion of realism to the battle sequences. The "Making of" Lord of the Rings DVD reports some interesting initial problems: in the first execution of a battle between groups of characters, the wrong groups attacked each other. In another early demo, some of the warriors at the edge of the field could be seen running away. The reason was not that they were programmed for cowardice (or survival) and could not see the enemy so they ran away, but that they were initially moving in the wrong direction, and had been programmed to keep running until they encountered an enemy.

The digital creatures were important due to Jackson's requirement of biological plausibility. Their surface was scanned from large maquettes before numerous digital details of their skeletons and muscles were added. In the case of the Balrog, Gary Horsfield created a system that copied recorded imagery of fire.

Score

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The musical score for the Lord of the Rings films was composed by Howard Shore. It was performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The London Voices and featured several vocal soloists. Two original songs, Aníron, and the end title theme "May It Be", were composed and sung by Enya, who allowed her label, Reprise Records, to release the soundtrack to this and its two sequels. In addition to this Shore composed "In Dreams" which was sung by Edward Ross of the London Oratory School Schola.

Reception

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released on December 19, 2001 in 3,359 theaters where it grossed $47.2 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $314.7 million in North America and $555.9 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $870.7 million.[22]

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring received acclaim from most major film critics, receiving 92% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, "Peter Jackson ... has made a work for, and of, our times. It will be embraced, I suspect, by many Tolkien fans and take on aspects of a cult. It is a candidate for many Oscars. It is an awesome production in its daring and breadth, and there are small touches that are just right".[23] USA Today also gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, "this movie version of a beloved book should please devotees as well as the uninitiated".[24] In his review for The New York Times, Elvis Mitchell wrote, "The playful spookiness of Mr. Jackson's direction provides a lively, light touch, a gesture that doesn't normally come to mind when Tolkien's name is mentioned".[25] Entertainment Weekly magazine gave the film an "A" rating and Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote, "The cast take to their roles with becoming modesty, certainly, but Jackson also makes it easy for them: His Fellowship flows, never lingering for the sake of admiring its own beauty ... Every detail of which engrossed me. I may have never turned a page of Tolkien, but I know enchantment when I see it".[26]

In her review for the Washington Post, Rita Kempley praised the cast, in particular, "Mortensen, as Strider, is a revelation, not to mention downright gorgeous. And McKellen, carrying the burden of thousands of years' worth of the fight against evil, is positively Merlinesque".[27] Time magazine's Richard Corliss praised Jackson's work: "His movie achieves what the best fairy tales do: the creation of an alternate world, plausible and persuasive, where the young — and not only the young — can lose themselves. And perhaps, in identifying with the little Hobbit that could, find their better selves".[28] In his review for the Village Voice, J. Hoberman wrote, "Peter Jackson's adaptation is certainly successful on its own terms".[29] Rolling Stone magazine's Peter Travers wrote, "It's emotion that makes Fellowship stick hard in the memory ... Jackson deserves to revel in his success. He's made a three-hour film that leaves you wanting more".[30] However, in his review for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw wrote, "In the end, signing up to the movie's whole hobbity-elvish universe requires a leap of faith ... It's a leap I didn't feel much like making - and, with two more movie episodes like this on the way, the credibility gap looks wider than ever".[31]

Awards

In 2002, the movie won four Academy Awards out of thirteen nominations. The winning categories were for Best Cinematography, Best Effects (Visual Effects), Best Makeup, and Best Music (Original Score). Despite its praise by fans, the other nominated categories of Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian McKellen), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Music (Best Song) (Enya, Nicky Ryan and Roma Ryan for "May It Be"), Best Picture, Best Sound, Costume Design and Best Writing (Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published) were not won.

As of February 2009, it is the 15th highest grossing film worldwide, with takings of US$870,761,744 from worldwide theatrical box office receipts.[1]

The movie won the 2002 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It also won Empire readers' Best Film award, as well as five BAFTAs, including Best Film, the David Lean Award for Direction, the Audience Award (voted for by the public), Best Special Effects, and Best Make-up.

In June 2008, AFI revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was acknowledged as the second best film in the fantasy genre.[32][33]

Home video

DVD Extended edition

The success of the theatrical cut of the film brought about an Extended Edition (208 minutes), with new editing, added special effects and music. This version was released on DVD November 12, 2002 along with four commentaries and hours of supplementary material. It was so successful that the sequels were each given similar releases.

Notable among the restored scenes is a new beginning to the film (following the prologue) that concerns Hobbits and the Shire. The Bag End scene with Bilbo and Gandalf is extended to include a conversation about the Sackville-Bagginses. Bilbo's birthday party is extended. New scenes include conversations at the Green Dragon, Frodo and Sam spotting Wood Elves on their way to Bree, and the Hobbits' march through Midgewater Marshes. The Council of Elrond, Moria, and Lorien are expanded as well. The extended edition contains many character-building elements, showing sides of various protagonists (notably Aragorn and Galadriel) that were absent from the theatrical cut, which was largely edited around the character of Frodo.

DVD Limited edition

On August 29, 2006, a Limited Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring was released. This Limited Edition contains two discs. The first is a two-sided DVD (also known as DVD-18) that contains both the Theatrical and Extended editions of the film. At the beginning of each side of the disc, the viewer can choose which version to watch. The second disc is a bonus disc that contains a new behind-the-scenes documentary.

Blu-ray edition

In an advertisement for upcoming Blu-ray Disc releases from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment included in the Blu-ray edition of The Ultimate Matrix Collection, released October 14, 2008, the logo for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring can be seen under the heading: "Coming Soon".

In May 2008, Jackson stated that he was working with Warner Bros. on releasing the trilogy in high-definition Blu-ray format, although no release date has been confirmed.[34] On April 16, 2009, Warner Bros. announced that it would be releasing the theatrical versions of the trilogy on Blu-ray in a boxed set later in 2009. Jackson also said that the Extended Editions were in development for Blu-ray and would be released in conjunction with the theatrical release of The Hobbit in 2011.[35] In July 2009, Jackson announced in an interview that the Extended Editions will be released sometime in 2010 on Blu-ray with possibly new special features to be made.[36]

Notes

  1. ^ a b "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=fellowshipofthering.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-05.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g The Fellowship of the Cast. [DVD]. New Line Cinema. 2002.  
  3. ^ Sibley, Brian (2001). The Lord of the Rings: Official Movie Guide. Harpercollins. pp. 100–101. ISBN 0-00-711908-9.  
  4. ^ a b Brian Sibley (2006). "Ring-Master". Peter Jackson: A Film-maker's Journey. London: Harpercollins. pp. 445–519. ISBN 0-00-717558-2.  
  5. ^ Clinton, Paul (2001-12-18). "Review: Dazzling, flawless 'Rings' a classic". CNN. http://archives.cnn.com/2001/SHOWBIZ/Movies/12/18/hol.review.rings/index.html. Retrieved 2008-09-07.  
  6. ^ "OFFICIAL Frodo Press Release!". The One Ring.net. 1999-07-09. http://www.theonering.net/perl/newsview/1/931577666. Retrieved 2006-10-15.  
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Brian Sibley (2006). "Three-Ring Circus". Peter Jackson: A Film-maker's Journey. London: Harpercollins. pp. 388–444. ISBN 0-00-717558-2.  
  8. ^ a b c Gillian Flynn (2001-11-16). "Ring Masters". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,253462,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-16.  
  9. ^ Larry Carroll (2007-12-07). "Will Smith Snagged 'I Am Legend' From Schwarzenegger, But Can You Imagine Nicolas Cage In 'The Matrix'?". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1576048/20071207/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2007-12-08.  
  10. ^ a b Cameras in Middle-earth: Filming The Fellowship of the Ring. [DVD]. New Line Cinema. 2002.  
  11. ^ a b Costume Design. [DVD]. New Line Cinema. 2002.  
  12. ^ "New York Con Reports, Pictures and Video". TrekMovie. 2008-03-09. http://trekmovie.com/2008/03/09/new-york-con-reports-pictures-and-video/#more-1711. Retrieved 2008-03-12.  
  13. ^ Diane Parkes (2008-09-19). "Who’s that playing The Mikado?". Birmingham Mail. http://www.birminghammail.net/what-is-on-in-birmingham/theatre-in-birmingham/2008/09/19/who-s-that-playing-the-mikado-97319-21855947/. Retrieved 2008-09-22.  
  14. ^ From Book to Screen. [DVD]. New Line Cinema. 2002.  
  15. ^ Tolkien, J.R.R. (1981). The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-05699-8.  
  16. ^ Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens. (2002) (DVD). Director/Writers Commentary. New Line Cinema.  
  17. ^ Rejina Doman (2008-01-07). "Can Hollywood Be Restrained?". Hollywood Jesus. http://live.hollywoodjesus.com/?p=1313. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  18. ^ Russell, Gary (2003). The Art of the Two Towers. Harper Collins. pp. 8. ISBN 0-00-713564-5.  
  19. ^ a b c d e Designing Middle-earth. [DVD]. New Line Cinema. 2002.  
  20. ^ a b Big-atures. [DVD]. New Line Cinema. 2002.  
  21. ^ Sibley (2001), p.90
  22. ^ "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=fellowshipofthering.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  23. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 19, 2001). "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20011219/REVIEWS/112190301/1023. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  24. ^ Puig, Claudia (December 18, 2001). "Middle-earth leaps to life in enchanting, violent film". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/rings/2001-12-19-rings-review.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  25. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (December 19, 2001). "Hit the Road, Middle-Earth Gang". The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?_r=2&res=9504EEDE153EF93AA25751C1A9679C8B63&partner=Rotten%20Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  26. ^ Schwarzbaum, Lisa (December 5, 2001). "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,187102~1~0~lordofringsfellowship,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  27. ^ Kempley, Rita (December 19, 2001). "Frodo Lives! A Spirited Lord of the Rings". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A62431-2001Dec18. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  28. ^ Corliss, Richard (December 17, 2001). "Lord of the Films". Time. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,188807,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  29. ^ Hoberman, J (December 18, 2001). "Plastic Fantastic". Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/2001-12-18/film/plastic-fantastic/1. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  30. ^ Travers, Peter (January 17, 2002). "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/5948477/review/5948478/lord_of_the_rings_the_fellowship_of_the_ring. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  31. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (December 14, 2001). "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2001/dec/14/lordoftherings1. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  32. ^ American Film Institute (2008-06-17). "AFI Crowns Top 10 Films in 10 Classic Genres". ComingSoon.net. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=46072. Retrieved 2008-06-18.  
  33. ^ "Top 10 Fantasy". American Film Institute. http://www.afi.com/10top10/fantasy.html. Retrieved 2008-06-18.  
  34. ^ [1] Erik Davis, "Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro Chat About 'The Hobbit'", Cinematical.com; May 24, 2008. Retrieved 01-26-2009
  35. ^ [2] Josh Dreuth, "Lord of the Rings Pre-order Now Available'", Blu-ray.com; April 16, 2009. Retrieved 04-16-2009
  36. ^ http://www.collider.com/2009/07/24/peter-jackson-news-the-hobbit-blu-ray-lord-of-the-rings-district-9-the-lovely-bones/

External links








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