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THX 1138 (1971)

R  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  11 March 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 36,996 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 203 user | 109 critic | 8 from

Set in the 25th century, the story centers around a man and a woman who rebel against their rigidly controlled society.



(story), (earlier screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: THX 1138 (1971)

THX 1138 (1971) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie McOmie ...
John Pearce ...
Irene Cagen ...
IMM (as Irene Forrest)
Gary Alan Marsh ...
John Seaton ...
Eugene I. Stillman ...
Jack Walsh ...
TRG (as Raymond J. Walsh)
Mark Lawhead ...
Chrome Robot


In an undefined future, a dystopian underground society is oriented to production and consumption in the malls. The population is controlled by drugs and people do not feel affection or sympathy for others. Sexual intercourse is absolutely forbidden and roommates are chosen by a computer. Faceless androids are responsible for the surveillance of the behavior of the dwellers and people pray in Unichapels for their god OMM 0910 that responds through recorded electronic messages. The worker THX 1138 handles radioactive materials in a factory and lives with his roommate LUH 3417. When she decides to stop using drugs, she becomes lucid and replaces the drugs of her partner for harmless pills. THX becomes emotional again and falls in love with LUH. He plans to escape with LUH to the superstructure, where they expect to live in freedom. But when SEN 5241 manipulates the computer to live with THX, he reports a complaint to the authorities and SEN is arrested. When THX commits a mistake in his... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Love Story Filmed on Location in the 21st Century See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 March 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

THX-1138  »

Box Office


$777,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (1971 Studio Theatrical Cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A scene in which THX falls into a garbage compactor and fends off a mutated rodent was cut because the monster did not look realistic. This situation was later reused in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). See more »


During the car chase, the number 5 on a radio announcer's hat is backwards, revealing the usage of a mirror image. See more »


[first lines]
Male voice (medicine cabinet): What's wrong?
THX 1138: Nothing. Nothing really. I just feel that I need something stronger.
Male voice (medicine cabinet): If you have a problem, don't hesitate to ask for assistance.
THX 1138: Yes, thank you, I'll be alright.
Male voice (medicine cabinet): Call 3485...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits roll down instead of up. See more »


Referenced in Ace the Zombie: The Motion Picture (2012) See more »


St. Matthew Passion
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Outstanding dystopian drama
3 November 2004 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

I had to check the DVD case twice - made in 1970. The only thing that vaguely suggests the period in which the film was made are the blaxploitation-style TV/hologram shows, and I'm stretching for that one. Lucas' (and Ford Coppola's) realisation of this uniform future society is immaculately researched and presented in costume, lighting and shooting and - crucially - in content. The genius of this film is that a semblance of individual autonomy is maintained, from hideous confessional substitutes to the extraordinary, ambiguous and thoroughly depressing end. There's also humour and realism aplenty inamongst the surrealism of this futuristic vision. [There's also additional CGI towards the end, but I'll overlook this error of judgment]

A fine performance from Robert Duvall as the titular number is complemented by both Donald Pleasance (a less self-aware human compared to Duvall: heartbreaking) the upbeat Don Pedro Colley. Maggie McOmie's Luh manages to be breathtakingly beautiful in a sort of Midnight Express style haircut and uniform nurses fatigues and her requited love for Duvall sets up a long bitter fall after their separation.

If Ford Coppola saw technical competence and imagination in Lucas' student short, then he deserves recognition for assisting to turn this into such a convincing feature. I was expecting an esoteric exercise in technical experimentation and loopy sci-fi postualtion and got my existential insides kicked out instead. 8.5/10

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