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THX 1138 (1971)

R  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  11 March 1971 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 36,209 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 198 user | 109 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

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

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
THX
...
SEN
...
SRT
Maggie McOmie ...
LUH
...
PTO
...
TWA
...
NCH
John Pearce ...
DWY
Irene Cagen ...
IMM (as Irene Forrest)
Gary Alan Marsh ...
CAM
John Seaton ...
OUE
Eugene I. Stillman ...
JOT
Jack Walsh ...
TRG (as Raymond J. Walsh)
Mark Lawhead ...
...
Chrome Robot
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Future is here. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 March 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

THX-1138  »

Box Office

Budget:

$777,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was made as a result of George Lucas's student film short project at USC, Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB (1967). Having won significant praise and attention for what was, at the time, an unconventional short, Lucas was given the opportunity to direct a feature-length version starring Robert Duvall, produced by his mentor Francis Ford Coppola under his newly formed production company American Zoetrope. Zoetrope was a financial failure, as was "THX-1138," but the attention was enough to win Lucas the opportunity to make American Graffiti (1973), the success of which paved the way for the opportunity to make Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). See more »

Goofs

David Ogden Stiers' last name is misspelled in the credits (as "Steers.") See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in The West Wing: Bad Moon Rising (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
George Lucas presents a grim Kubrick-style vision of the future - "Star Wars" fans will be surprised!
12 February 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

This is simply a solid, well-made film, produced on a low budget and directed by George Lucas based on his early student film of (roughly) the same title. (Which is included on the Director's Cut edition of the DVD.) Fans of "A Clockwork Orange," "1984," "Brazil," and similar films about oppressive bureaucracies will love this. It's a grim and gritty vision of the future in which people are controlled and monitored (think Big Brother on a large scale). Robert Duvall (THX 1138 being his "assigned name") breaks the laws of the world by falling in love, engaging in sex and therefore rebelling, placing him and his love in danger.

This is a very clear moral story and allusion to politics and so on and so forth. It excels as both story and study. Duvall gives a good performance (his breakthrough role in "The Godfather" would come next year) but the real surprise here is Lucas, who goes for a Kubrick-like edge to his film that really separates it from his later work. You won't believe this is from the guy who created Jar-Jar Binks.

If anyone accuses George Lucas of being the schmaltzy sell-out he has now become, direct them to this film in order to prove that, at one point in his life, he really did have a bleak outlook on life and the future, and it didn't start with the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...".


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