I read the books back in 1977 and was astounded. Listened to the Radio 4 serialisation when it was first broadcast, and though good, was a little disappointed. Although only sound, I couldn't escape the fact that Strider and one or two other castings didn't capture my imaginings. Like many others I felt the animated version was OK but again disappointing. I became resigned to the fact that such brilliant books could never be captured by any dramatised offering. I saw Peter Jackson's attempt at the cinema last December. I enjoyed it but felt a little flat at the end of it. The director is clearly a craftsmen of great skill, but again, perhaps too much of a challenge for anyone. Last week I received my DVD copy. Having watched it a second and third time I have changed my opinion. This is an astounding piece of cinema, one which has surpassed my imaginings of the book. There is not a weak performance, Ian McKellen is monumental, Aragorn is leadership personified, Legolas is the very essence of elegance, the music is inspirational, scenery is awe inspiring, the screenplay is insightful. I could go on, but suffice to say that this is a film that grows with repeated watching. This is without doubt a classic. My admiration for Peter Jackson is unbounded. JRRT would be content. I look forward to The Two Towers.