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THX 1138?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Moff-Jerjerrod, Jun 2, 2002.

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  1. Moff-Jerjerrod

    Moff-Jerjerrod Jedi Youngling

    May 26, 2002
    What was THX 1138 about? Can I get it on video anywhere?
  2. weezer

    weezer Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 16, 2001
    Yeah you should be able to find it on video. It was on heavy rotation on encore for awhile there you might just want to check your cable listings.

    You should probably rent it before buying it though. Its...stylized to say the least. I didn't particularly care for it but its been awhile since I tired watching it.

    Oh and here is the IMDB summary

    THX 1138, LUH 3417, and SEN 5241 attempt to escape from a futuristic society located beneath the surface of the Earth. The society has outlawed sex, with drugs used to control the people. THX 1138 stops taking the drugs, and gets LUH 3417 pregnant. They are both thrown in jail where they meet SEN 5241 and start to plan their escape.
  3. Chris-Stacina_Rajinn

    Chris-Stacina_Rajinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 15, 2002
    I've never seen more then about 10 minutes of THX 1138, but it was on one of the encore channels a few days ago, so maybe it'll be on there again soon.
  4. Riku

    Riku Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 9, 2002
    Yes, you can buy your very own copy of THX-1138 from But I wouldn't recommend it.

    I thought the movie was quite dull, and it didn't give any new ideas. It's a nice piece of my SW-collection, but I think I won't watch it again.
  5. ferelwookie

    ferelwookie Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 4, 2001
    Actually, the editing techniques and sound montages were quite advanced for it's day. It is the 1st movie to ever use holograms in it. While it is a familar Orwellian-future-nightmare, I thought the claustrophobic sets, and odd-camera work made it unique and worthwile. It is a more personal work than SW, and definetly is about the trumiph of the individual over "the masses".

    If you watch a lot of MTV, or can't sit through a movie without explosions every 5 minutes, then it's probably not for you though. ;)
  6. MadMardigan

    MadMardigan Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2001
    THX 1138 is an awesome film in its own artsy stylized way. If you're expecting a forerunner to SW then you'll be severly disappointed. THX1138 is almost the anti-Star Wars made by a Bizarro George Lucas. THX1138 owes more to movie like Pi than big Hollywood blockbuster entertainment. It's interesting to see because it makes you wonder what type of filmmaker Lucas would have been had American Graffiti and SW not been the huge successes they were.

    If you saw the A&E biography on Lucas they showed excerpts from some of his student films. THX 1138 is more of an extension and somewhat higher budgeted version of these experimental editing narratives. While SW helped to usher in the 80's blockbuster mentality, THX1138 is more along the lines of the 70's personal style of filmmaking that people like Scorsese made famous.

    I'd definitely check it out if your a general film and sci fi buff. If you're expecting more Star Wars then steer clear.
  7. KaaShamau

    KaaShamau Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 15, 2000
    I enjoyed it, it's a film you can watch and not pay too much attention to the dialogue - as it's nonsense. :)

    GRANDADMIRALAXLROSE Jedi Knight star 7

    May 8, 2002
    isn't it in every star wars movie, ie droids back etc.

  9. LUH-3417

    LUH-3417 Jedi Master star 4

    May 11, 2001
    I read the book, it is cool in its 1984 type story.

    the movie though, doesn't get into the story much and the best you can get out of it is that it is a great piece of filmwork. kind of like the comparison between reading 2001 and watching the movie 2001.
  10. Darthkarma

    Darthkarma Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 30, 2000
    Madmartigan and ferelwookie are right on the money. It's true THX is not the most compelling drama ever, and it's not particularly entertaining, but if you compare it to other films at the time, it's a very, very advanced film in terms of the technical stuff, the photography, the editing, and the ideas were pretty gutsy. At the time youth culture was drowning in drugs and the cry in society was to get rid of drugs. Yet in THX it's the opposite, they are required! You can see glimpses of the future of Lucas, both American Graffiti and STAR WARS, throughout THX if you're watching attentively. It's like a dress rehearsal for the rest of his career, if you read between the lines. The robot policemen, the shell-dwellers(Jawas), the holograms, it's all there. But there's no ILM, there's no John Williams, it's all bleak. Lucas has said he learned from THX that it's pointless to show how bad life is in movies as he did in THX, cuz he realized people already know that life sucks. So he consciously made an effort to express optimism and hope in AMERICAN GRAFFITI.

    In THX, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, A NEW HOPE, and THE PHANTOM MENACE, a major character escapes his previously restrictive life for a period of growth and new adventure. That theme is always present in his movies and it began with THX.

    The sound design of THX is way, way beyond it's time.

    Also, his budget for that film was $777,000. He did a LOT with that budget, remember he'd only been a star film school student up until that point.

    And finally, everyone talks about Luke looking to the binary sunset in ANH and thinking of his future, and in AOTC we have Anakin looking at the sunset before he goes out looking for his Mom and his fate changes.

    Well, take a look at the LAST SHOT of THX 1138!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does that look FAMILIAR, LOL!

    It's almost as though Lucas himself has come from below and witnessed his sunny future.
  11. kampilan

    kampilan Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 18, 2002
    Its G1 and G2! Wait...wait...where's G2?

  12. jp-30

    jp-30 Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 14, 2000
    Up to stop autolocker kicking back in.
  13. Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa

    Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa Jedi Youngling star 6

    Jan 23, 2002
    isn't it in every star wars movie, ie droids back etc.

    Yes, it is. THX 1138 is a Lucasfilm/THX/ect made film made back in the 80s/70s. It is very futuristic for a movie that old. 1138 is taken from the title and hidden somewhere in every Star Wars movie for 2 reasons.

    1.] For the hell of it.
    2.] To sort of remind people of how Lucasfilm kind of got started (other than American Graffti).
  14. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 13, 2001
    And another bump.
  15. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Jedi Knight star 6

    May 10, 2001
    Wow, the thread had been inactive since '03! Thanks for bringing it up, HS. :D
  16. JohnWesleyDowney

    JohnWesleyDowney Jedi Master star 5

    Jan 27, 2004

    Something of note: Lucas personally edited THX. He did an excellent job, too. And this is long before digital editing. He did it the old-fashioned way. He's a very talented man, and he intensely supervised the visuals and the camera crew, co-wrote it and worked well with the actors...his commentary indicates he worked closely with Duvall and Pleasance, and that it was challenging. For a guy 26 years old, who had only done film school shorts, this movie is quite an eye opener.
  17. JohnWesleyDowney

    JohnWesleyDowney Jedi Master star 5

    Jan 27, 2004
    I own the DVD of the Lucas Director's Cut of THX (as opposed to the one forced on him by Warner Brothers in 1971) and I cannot recommend it enough for any true film aficianado.

    Even more than the movie itself, I would highly recommend watching the EXCELLENT documentary that is on this DVD, the making of THX 1138. It's one of the best documentaries about the making of a movie I've ever seen, but beyond that, I would like to recommend it for this reason:


    I often see comments on this site about Lucas that make me sad because a lot of people don't really fully understand who he is, and where he comes from. Oh I know a lot of people think they do, but he had a life and a career prior to Star Wars, and it affected how he thinks and how things turned out. This documentary really shows you this guy has lived a very full life as an artist, and his struggle was extremely difficult.

    More than any other material I have ever seen on Lucas, and I've seen a LOT of it, the documentary on this DVD reveals the man. He wasn't always rich and famous and powerful, but you'd be surprised how much his personality is still the same as it was in 1970.

    A lot of people hated what he did with altering the Star Wars movies, but he didn't get nearly that reaction when he had ILM enhance 5 or 6 minutes of THX. For good reason, some of it looked - uh, not so good. So the material that changed in no way alters the story or the characters, just gives it a more professional look.

    If you ever get the chance, get this 2 disc DVD of the director's cut of THX. The commentary on the movie by Lucas and Walter Murch is also excellent. Murch was very involved with the project and is now considered one of the deans of American film editing and sound editing/fx/mixing.

    The documentary's formal name is ARTIFACT FROM THE FUTURE: THE MAKING OF THX 1138. I'd recommend watching the documentary prior to watching the film.

    After watching the film itself, the commentary is a must-listen. It gives a lot of insight into how THX was a parable for 1970, yet for today as well, it's still largely on target.

    Frank Darabont, director of the Green Mile and the Shawshank Redemption, has some especially poignant comments about THX. Some of Lucas's fellow Bay area filmmakers are on there such as Carroll Ballard who directed the Black Stallion, and John Korty who directed one of the Ewok TV movies.
  18. GrandAdmiral_Frank

    GrandAdmiral_Frank Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 26, 2003
    I have had multiple occasions where I look at a clock and it says 11:38, I love it when that happens.
  19. Gobi-1

    Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 22, 2002
    I notice that all the time myself. It's funny I was working on a film today and the apartment we shoot at was 113A.
  20. GrandAdmiral_Frank

    GrandAdmiral_Frank Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 26, 2003
    Ah, to be fanboys...some of us might sit there and acknowledge we are dorks or something but I love this lifestyle.
  21. jedibri

    jedibri Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 19, 2000
    While I enjoy the film on many levles it feels like Lucas is trying a little to hard to be Stanley Kubrik (sp?)

    It's worth checking out. I have it on dvd.

    If you want to see a great Lucas film check out American Graffiti.
  22. JohnWesleyDowney

    JohnWesleyDowney Jedi Master star 5

    Jan 27, 2004


    the documentary on the THX DVD about the early days of Coppola and Lucas and
    American Zoetrope, and how their adventures led to Coppola being forced to
    take the job directing the Godfather is absolutely a MUST SEE for anyone interested
    in the history of American filmmaking, especially in the 60s and 70s.
  23. Palpateen

    Palpateen Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 26, 2000

    It's a brilliant film. The chase at the end reminds me of the trench run in Star Wars.
  24. gundarkhunter

    gundarkhunter Jedi Youngling star 3

    Nov 2, 2008
    Great to find a THX board. I've loved this film for years. It satirizes elements of society beautifully, most especially American society. Some of the issues in the film, while certainly borrowed from 1984, are spot-on with life in the early 21st century.

    Some of my favorites are religion mixing with commerce (i.e. modern xmas)- "Buy more happy" and the concept of a disposable society- Buying items with almost no intrinsic value, such as Red Plastic Dodecahedrons only to throw them away in disgust.

    My favorite yet-to-be concept of the film would have to be intravenous learning. What an idea.

    Of course some THX can be downright frightening.

    I have to wear a badge at work, every day, that identifies me, and my job title and grants me access throughout the building by which a log is created that can tell my superiors everywhere I've been. I see THX cliping on his badge after what looks like a sonic shower and the next morning I find myself undergoing the same routine, sans the sonic part. Unfortunately I don't get to wear the comfy looking white pajamas/scrubs.

  25. Blur

    Blur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 11, 1999

    THX-1138 is a truly superb film. I didn't fully appreciate the movie until I saw it in a very limited theatrical release back in September 2004, about a week before the Special Edition DVD release.

    The Special Edition version of the film is great, since it truly enhances the movie in subtle ways. I really enjoyed the theme of escape from the confines of a restrictive society/life - these themes were visited again by Lucas in "American Graffiti" and "SW: A New Hope".

    However, this film truly does stand on it's own and shouldn't be compared to Lucas' other movies - the 1984-ish concepts were truly disturbing, and I think the movie is actually much more relevant now than when it came out in the early 1970's.

    Anyway, to anyone who hasn't seen this, I would highly recommend checking out the DVD.
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