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THX 1138 (1971)

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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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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 ...


It's sometime in the future in a state controlled society, where conformity and homogeneity are the rule. What is also the rule is that the populace follows the wants of the faceless state without question. How this is achieved is through a mandatory drug regimen, which also suppresses human desire, with sexual intercourse and human relationships banned. The law of the state is policed by a force of robocops. The physical environment is totally within a manufactured enclosure, what being outside of this unknown. THX 1138 is a loyal subject, he who goes about his business as a skilled factory working building robocops. And even when he begins to have strange feelings, he does what is obliged by going to the state run confessional, which further brainwashes through its reinforced mantra of happiness, loyalty and understanding. THX 1138 is given a glimpse into the other side through his computer matched and thus appointed female roommate, LUH 3417, and her surveillance colleague SEN 5241... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Visit the future where love is the ultimate crime. See more »

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?


George Lucas apparently named the film after his San Francisco telephone number, 849 1138 - the letters THX correspond to letters found on the buttons 8, 4 and 9. See more »


When THX is shouldered, naked, by the police in prison, we can see his short shorts tan line on his leg - pretty impossible for people in an underground city. (Unless, of course, there are solariums/tanning salons in the city.) 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

The Warner Bros. logo is preceded by a trailer for a Buck Rogers serial (or in early versions, a one-minute scene from Things to Come (1936)). See more »


Referenced in Zak McKracken Between Time and Space (2008) See more »


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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