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THX 1138 (1971)

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1:49 | Trailer

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In the twenty-fifth century, a time when people have designations instead of names, a man, THX 1138, and a woman, LUH 3417, rebel against their rigidly controlled society.

Director:

George Lucas

Writers:

George Lucas (story by), George Lucas (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Duvall ... THX
Donald Pleasence ... SEN
Don Pedro Colley ... SRT
Maggie McOmie ... LUH
Ian Wolfe ... PTO
Marshall Efron ... TWA
Sid Haig ... NCH
John Pearce John Pearce ... DWY
Irene Cagen Irene Cagen ... IMM (as Irene Forrest)
Gary Alan Marsh Gary Alan Marsh ... CAM
John Seaton John Seaton ... OUE
Eugene I. Stillman Eugene I. Stillman ... JOT
Jack Walsh Jack Walsh ... TRG (as Raymond J. Walsh)
Mark Lawhead Mark Lawhead ... Shell Dweller
Robert Feero ... Chrome Robot
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Storyline

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 March 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

THX-1138 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$777,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,437,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To provide the voices of the unseen overseers and announcers, George Lucas contacted San Francisco-based theater group The Committee. He gave them brief character outlines, and allowed the actors and actresses to improvise all of the "overheard" dialogue in the movie. See more »

Goofs

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

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 »

Alternate Versions

The 2004 "George Lucas Director's Cut" contains several updated and CGI- expanded sequences:
  • The mosaic at the beginning of the film has been color treated and looks more like a bank of monitors.
  • The droid factory at the start of the film has been greatly expanded with CGI and we see much more detail of the creation of droids.
  • Many shots of the "city" have been greatly expanded with much more detail.
  • Several corridors in the film have been extended with more people.
  • The "Mind Lock" sequence has been updated and now has much more shots of the droids being created and new eye effects on Robert Duvall.
  • There is a never-before-seen shot of the police station.
  • The train scenes at the end have been expanded with more special effects.
  • The car chase scene is longer and more intense, with more CGI.
  • THX is attacked by new CGI shell dwellers at the end on his way out.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Snatcher (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Elevator Music
(uncredited)
from the Miracle in the Rain (1956) score
Composed by Franz Waxman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
the first Lucas - a visionary sci-fi movie
26 November 2004 | by dromascaSee all my reviews

The first big screen commercial film of George Lucas 'THX 1138' is now back in a re-made production. I did not yet form a clear opinion about directors re-visiting their films decades after the original production. It's certainly their right to do it, but I cannot refrain from suspecting that this shows some sort of dilution of their creative force. In other words, I would rather prefer George Lucas doing something completely new, rather then re-doing old films of his.

However, 'THX 1138' is a visionary movie, almost a masterpiece. I liked it. It is one of the first Orwellian films in describing a world of the future controlled by an omni-present mind-control machine. These theme means a lot of me, and for many people who have spent part of their lives in a system that tried to create 'a new man' by using a system of control and repression that was targeting towards suppression of individual freedom and personality. What is however very strong in 'THX 1138' is the visual quality of the world created by Lucas. This is what cinema is for, this is what real art is about - creating a new world from existing materials, transporting the viewers in an alternate world of the future using the cinema art means. Although realized about 20 years before computer graphics in films, the vision is fresh and impressing.

An ageless Robert Duvall does here one of the best roles of his career. Donald Pleasance is a very good counter-part. I liked very much Maggie McOmie, how does it come that this film did not launch her in a star career? It actually looks like this is the only film she did, according to IMDb.

The extra features on the DVD are interesting and bring a lot of new information for fans of science fiction, of the 70s films and of Lucas. The film itself gets 9 out of 10 on my personal scale.


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