British sitcom The Office was the shock winner at the Golden Globe Awards, while The Lords of the Rings won the main film honours at the US ceremony.
Ricky Gervais scored an unlikely triumph
The Office won best TV comedy and its star Ricky Gervais collected best comedy actor for the BBC show.
The Return of the King won four Golden Globes, including best film and best director for Peter Jackson.
The final film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy will now be favourite to repeat its success at the Oscars next month.
The Globes, awarded in Los Angeles by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are seen as a barometer for the Academy Awards, with nominations to be announced on Tuesday.
Peter Jackson will now be an Oscar favourite
Ricky Gervais is the first UK actor to win a TV comedy acting award at the Globes and The Office became the first UK sitcom to win the best comedy prize.
The writer and actor had predicted that Friends' Matt LeBlanc would win, while The Office triumphed over global hits Will and Grace and Sex and the City.
"I'm not from these parts... I'm from a little place called England. We used to run the world before you," joked Gervais, who will be a virtual unknown to most of the United States.
Speaking after the ceremony, Gervais said: "It hasn't really sunk in yet.
"Here I am, this fat bloke from Reading sharing a room with Jack Nicholson,
Bill Murray and Michael Douglas. It's fantastic."
Peter Jackson claimed the best director prize but he was unsure of his Oscar chances.
GLOBE FILM WINNERS
Cold Mountain - 1
Mystic River - 2
Lost in Translation - 3
Lord of the Rings - 4
"Well, I don't know; I tend to not want to think in such
competitive terms," he said.
"I'm happy to receive awards and I'm very grateful. I'm just happy to be a participant and turn up at the shows," he said backstage.
Receiving the award, he said: "I want to accept this award and pay tribute to Professor (JRR) Tolkien for his incredible book."
The concluding film in the trilogy beat Mystic River, Lost in Translation, Master and Commander and Cold Mountain to the best film award.
Comedy Lost in Translation won three awards, including best original screenplay for writer/director Sofia Coppola and also best musical or comedy film.
Bill Murray's performance in the film as a faded actor finding advertising work in Japan won him a best comedy actor prize.
Theron walked away with the best actress Globe
"I want to thank Sofia Coppola for writing a film that was so good that every actor in this room says, 'That lucky son of a bitch. It could have been me up there with that damn thing'," said Murray.
Diane Keaton won best actress for her role in comedy Something's Got to Give.
Sean Penn's performance as a vengeful father in Mystic River earned him the best actor in a drama prize, while Charlize Theron's role as real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos won her best actress.
Theron beat favourites Nicole Kidman (Cold Mountain) and young star Scarlett Johansson (Girl With a Pearl Earring), while Penn edged out Jude Law (Cold Mountain) and Tom Cruise (The Last Samurai).
"I'm from a farm in South Africa - this is insane," she said.
Renee Zellweger won the Globe for best supporting actress for her role as a tough farm hand in Cold Mountain, which received eight nominations in total, but won just the one award.
Meryl Streep and Al Pacino were honoured for roles in Angels in America
Actor Tim Robbins walked off with best supporting actor for Mystic River.
In the TV categories, the third series of real-time thriller 24 won best drama, beating Six Feet Under and The West Wing.
But the night belonged to Angels in America, which won five awards, including best mini-series award and best actor and actress honours for Al Pacino and Meryl Streep.