The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The first instalment of Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien saga about the quest of a band of heroes to save their world from evil.

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Alternative titles

  • The Lord of the Rings Working
  • The Fellowship of the Ring Working


“Jackson has translated the best-loved fantasy novel of our age into a commanding screen adventure, one with a sense of human terror and danger and grit under its nails...”
Andrew O’Hehir, Sight & Sound, 2002

Part one in a three-film adaptation of novelist J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring is set in the fantasy world of Middle-earth. Sticking closely to Tolkien’s plot, it revolves around the attempt by an assorted group of elves, men, dwarves and hobbits to destroy a magic ring whose power the wizard Sauron seeks for evil ends.

Shot in New Zealand back to back with its subsequent sequels, The Fellowship of the Ring was a hugely ambitious gamble that paid off. A landmark production, it marked a big advance in the integration of live action and computer-generated imagery, but at its heart was the robust, muscular and compelling storytelling style of director Peter Jackson, which ensured a big audience returned for the second instalment the following year.

Before advances in CGI made possible the idea of a (largely) live-action Lord of the Rings only animation had been able to capture Tolkien’s vision, in Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 cartoon version.

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