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THX 1138

Bleak and stark in its 1971 view of the future, George Lucas's first movie THX 1138 is slow, but not without its moments.

Based on Lucas's student film at USC, "Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB", the film depicts a future in which humans are closely monitored by robot policemen and an ever present camera.

Sex is forbidden, emotions are discouraged and kept tempered by daily drugs. Small stalls the size of bus stops keep people in touch with their God, who encourages spending and reports directly to the ever watching computers.

Robert Duvall stars as THX, matched to his roommate LUH. When she defies the law and begins hiding his meds, they soon begin feeling urges and break the law, feeling emotion and affection and acting on it.

The rest of the film depicts their desire to escape to a different world. The entire middle becomes mired in bizarre dialogue and characters, but Lucas drives a strong conclusion for Duvall and the metal policemen in pursuit.

The final act was shot in the nearly completed BART tunnels in San Francisco.

This is a very early work by some masters. George Lucas, who would make "Star Wars" six years later, sound designer Walter Murch, who would win Oscars for "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now" and writer Matthew Robbins (uncredited on Close Encounters, Dragonslayer).

Lucas added some CGI effects for the Director's Cut and remastered in state of the art sound.

Francis Ford Coppola produced with his emerging 70's house American Zoetrope and suffered along with Lucas when THX opened and crashed at the box office, only gaining any real notoriety later as Lucas's first, little seen film.

My brother Mark and I saw this at the huge Bethany West theatre in 1971, trying to run inside when our parents dropped us off before they saw the nudity on the lobby cards next to the poster....hahaha.


Interesting but rather boring, THX needs more moments like it's closing ones to rise above a B-.

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