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I found this movie interesting, if not for it being so exciting as our usual action movies. But it had a purpose - to give an approximated glimpse of the planned society of the future. Because one can find from different sources details of those plans. And that plan is not new - it's at least 160 yrs old or maybe more than 2,000 yrs old. I know a theatrical play by a European author, which, 156 yrs ago wrote about this future society. A totally controlled, scientifically led society, where there is no nation states ("the concept 'homeland' was a petty idea, by now the whole earth is the wide homeland"), no private property ("it was foolish, how the dog learned from men to defend the 'property' and even give his life for it'), no family (the children are taken away from mothers and warded by the State). And everything would be made "in the way most simple and most practical", and the living world (even humans, in fact) would be genetically improved ("to live we let what is of use to us, but not in such an imperfect a state as bungler Nature has created it"). And the resources will be used sparingly and economically ("In the past we didn't have to search hard for the ores"), and about overpopulation and the coming next Ice Age: "There are too many people and too few the seals; always new neighbors come, we club them to death, but always newer ones come at us." These are quotes from a theatrical play published in 1861! And 136 yrs later Dr. John Coleman wrote the same things about the planned society of the future. And "Agenda 21" of the UN also writes about this plan. So, you see, this movie is a stab at showing a picture of that future society, where all enterprise is strictly rationed with resources, and our hero can escape only, because his pursuers had depleted the amount of resources assigned to capturing him. Not a bad movie, although not an overly entertaining one. And if you believe this is an utopia, you are not informed enough.
I concur with most commentary in that this George Lucas catatonic vehicle was unfortunately painfully dull. I was hoping for more. The vintage Lola T70 (?) race car escape scene was the only part with a pulse, and I *believe* that was a 2004 CGI update to the original, if I am not mistaken.
This film is a dull slog with some interesting visuals and occasionally intriguing dialog. Thematically THX 1138 has absolutely nothing to say with any depth, just broad criticisms of organized religion, conformity, the police state, a general theme of society demonizing sex and that being a bad thing, and so on. It wanders through these really, REALLY basic ideas at a snails pace, and concludes with absolutely nothing except a vague sense of individual empowerment. Isn't that just 70's sci fi in a neat package, eh?
The only thing this film really has going for it is the absolutely hilarious director's commentary, where George Lucas reveals that he really had absolutely no depth in what he was creating at all and broadly explains everything you undoubtedly already picked up throughout the film. Don't be fooled: this is a shallow, shallow movie.
This is a 1971 SF film directed by George Lucas in his feature directorial debut.
It is about a dystopian future in which the populace is controlled through android police officers and mandatory use of drugs that suppress emotion, including sexual desire.
It was developed from Lucas' student film "Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB" made in 1967 while attending the University of Southern California's film school.
Frankly speaking, it is no more than an experimental film of an ex-film-student.
It is beyond understanding of ordinary people, I suppose.
Oh, no!! Here we go again with yet another preposterously bleak and suffocatingly stupid Sci-Fi tale that seems determined to tell us all just how horrible man's future is destined to be.... Spare me!
Originally released in 1971, this particular version of THX-1138 was George Lucas's "Director's Cut" which, in 2004, was given something of a face-lift where new CGI footage was added to its storyline to give its claustrophobic settings and bleak backgrounds more pizazz.
Unfortunately THX-1138's story was such an awful bore from start to finish that any visual improvements only proved to me what a hopeless dud this futuristic tale actually was without these modernizations.
To me, THX-1138 was one of those super slow-paced movies whose story was so utterly absurd (and the dialogue so demented) that I swear they were actually making this idiotic nonsense up as they went along. Yes. It was really that bad.
I certainly wish that I wasn't speaking so negatively about this picture (which I think had a lot of potential), but I'm sure not going to tell you a pack of glowing lies about a movie that I thought was just a huge heap of pure Sci-Fi excrement.
If nothing else - THX-1138 certainly proved to be an excellent sleeping pill for this disappointed viewer.
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I was a TV/film student at San Francisco State when this film was made. The space where THX1138 comes upon the neon-lit religious icon is Studio 1 in the TV department where I crewed and directed a number of student productions. The control room was used in the trial scene, as were close-ups of the video switcher. Most of the head-shaved residents of the subterranean city were extras from a large, San Francisco drug-rehab organization of the time. The long car chase in the underground freeway was done in the Oakland to Alameda tunnel over a period of several nights. The tunnel is not even a mile long. (Spoiler Alert!)In the escape from the city scene where THX is climbing concrete rungs up a long vertical tube toward the “surface,” he is really crawling horizontally along the concrete railroad ties of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) tunnel that was under construction below Market Street, downtown. George Lucas just tilted the camera on its side to get the effect.
When I first saw this movie, I didn't like it. I waited a few years and watched it again, and- I still didn't like it. I am a huge fan of Star Wars, even of the prequels which are generally not well liked, but this movie just isn't very good. It is an interesting portrait of a dystopia, but the camera angles are confusing and there isn't enough of a back story in my opinion. The movie isn't completely devoid of worth, though.
A visually stark yet interesting movie, of the future yet very rooted in the time it was made. Themes common in all George Lucas movies are clearly present.
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