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Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB (1967)

While monitored and pursued, a man races to escape through a futuristic labyrinth.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dan Nachtsheim ...
1138 (as Dan Natchsheim)
Joy Carmichael ...
7117
David Munson ...
2222
Marvin Bennett ...
0480
Ralph Stell ...
9021
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Storyline

The story is set in a futursitic society somwhat similar to George Orwell's 1984. People are identified by 4 digit numbers rather than names and all their movements are under constant scrutiny via computerized cameras. The story revolves around one man (1138) trying to escape from the system. The number of the leader of this society is 0000. Written by Sujit R. Varma

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Genres:

Sci-Fi | Short

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1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

THX 1138 4EB  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title character is always referred to by his full name spoken one character at a time: either 1) Tee, aich, eks, one, one, three, eight, four, ee, bee - 2) the "one, one" spoken as "eleven" or "one, one" is apparently incorrectly spoken as a single "one" In the remake he is usually called just "Thex" as a phonetic pronunciation of the THX prefix. See more »

Goofs

During the credits where George Lucas is mentioned as the director, a piece of transparent tape is visible on the left side of the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Let There Be Light: The Odyssey of Dark Star (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Still I'm Sad
(uncredited)
Performed by The Yardbirds
Written by Paul Samwell-Smith and Jim McCarty
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User Reviews

 
for a student film, I look at this as still retaining a special, surreal power
4 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sure it may be no-budget, sure it may be using film equipment and film stock that's not to the 'studio' standard. But, as someone who has come out of being a film student, I look at George Lucas's award-winning student short film with a good deal of awe. And Lucas, who has described himself as being a filmmaker who is split between the avant-garde and the more 'mainstream' films (the latter personified film-wise in Star Wars and Indiana Jones), goes to the extreme of his powers with his visual prowess. It is surreal in that it tries to express an idea through an unconventional means, with a story but without being stuck to it by any means. And because it's so short there's only so much time to get the message across with such little film.

Electronic Labyrinth takes just a slice- the more action packed and suspenseful slice- from what would become the feature film of THX 1138, using absolutely no dialog. That to me is a phenomenal, but very dangerous, step to take. There's always the chance, especially with young, experimental filmmakers, to go into the over-indulgent, or rather just to go in over your head with abstract concepts that just don't connect out of likely just not being well made. Here the quasi-beating over-the-head of image and sound works, because it's a film about technology, about the control of it over people, and it makes a very basic kind of statement of going against the overwhelming power of it. The hero of the film for almost all of the film does a lot of running, down corridors, down spacious, domineering spaces, leading up to a sort of bleak ending.

It may not get enough thematic ground like the feature-version does, and the lack of dialog sets a kind of gap between a viewer not ready for the combination of twistingly sci-fi visuals of the screens and numbers and videos and such. But it's got guts, and that's what I like to see in student films; the cliché that this is a "sign of things to come" is not far from the truth (ironically, after the feature-film of this, it would go more towards the mainstream for Lucas, but you never know).


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