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Thx1138 (Thx) (1971)

Science Fiction & Fantasy movie directed by George Lucas

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  • May 19, 2003
THX-1138 was George Lucas' first major motion picture. It is an extended version of one of his student films at USC. The movie is set in the future where people are objects controlled by machines and medicines, unable to think for themselves. People have no names, only numbers. However, THX-1138's mate has other plans and starts reducing the medications she and THX (Tex) take. This leads to an awakening within THX for which he is imprisoned and escapes.

THX-1138 is a film more about the cinema of light and sound telling a story than action and dialogue; though the last fifteen minutes of the film really speed up. The movie seems like a cross between 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, LOGAN'S RUN, and STAR WARS. Watching carefully, one can pick up on things that Lucas would later use and expand upon in STAR WARS.

As a movie, THX-1138 is rather boring. As a piece of cinema, it's worth watching because it was George Lucas first film and clearly had an influence upon how he made STAR WARS. Also, if you're a 2001 fan, you'll probably enjoy this movie. However, definitely not for everyone.

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About this movie


George Lucas's enigmatic feature film debut expands on a student film he made at USC. Created under the wing of producer Francis Ford Coppola, this movie is a bleak vision of a world in which technology, not man, is the ultimate dictator. Efficiency overrides every other aspect of human life, as people are reduced to code names and their lives are contained, monitored, and manipulated for the sake of the system. Featuring unsettling performances by Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasance, and Maggie McOmie,THX 1138does not attempt to explain how things became this way; rather, it utilizes the alienation of its characters, the stifling white-on-white imagery of its sterilized society, and the claustrophobic, droning sound design to emphasize the dangers of a world reliant on soulless technology. Even though this is not a film one will want to take in repeatedly,THX 1138merits attention because it is that rare film that uses images and sounds--rather than relying heavily on dialogue--to communicate its dark prophecy.--Bryan Reesman
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Director: George Lucas
Runtime: 86 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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