THX 1138 - Special Edition

Overview

Based on his award-winning student short, George Lucas's debut feature cerebrally celebrates the possibility for individual freedom against all odds. In a 1984-esque white-washed future underground dystopia where sexuality is banned, all humans sport shaved heads and the same shapeless outfits as they go about their work in a mandated state of sedation, listening to exhortations to "Buy and Be Happy." Black-clad robot cops chant a mantra to their victims that "everything will be all right" and automated ...
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Blu-ray (Director's Cut / Wide Screen)
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Overview

Based on his award-winning student short, George Lucas's debut feature cerebrally celebrates the possibility for individual freedom against all odds. In a 1984-esque white-washed future underground dystopia where sexuality is banned, all humans sport shaved heads and the same shapeless outfits as they go about their work in a mandated state of sedation, listening to exhortations to "Buy and Be Happy." Black-clad robot cops chant a mantra to their victims that "everything will be all right" and automated confessional booths emit soothing therapeutic bromides. But unbeknownst to THX 1138 Robert Duvall, his roommate LUH 3417 Maggie McOmie has been reducing their meds, resulting in their mutual discovery of love and THX's subsequent imprisonment for drug evasion and sexual misconduct. Determined to find the pregnant LUH, THX breaks out of prison with the help of his cellmate SEN 5241 Donald Pleasence and an escaped TV hologram Don Pedro Colley. With fugitive pursuits strictly budgeted, THX only has to evade the robocops until the funds run out, but surveillance is omnipresent and THX's vehicle keeps overheating. Making the only film produced through the first incarnation of Francis Ford Coppola's independent studio American Zoetrope, Lucas and his small crew, including co-writer and sound editor Walter Murch, shot THX 1138 in northern California with no interference from distributor Warner Bros. When Warners saw the austere result, however, they recut the film before its release. Neither the studio's nor Lucas's cut was a popular success, but THX 1138's coolly minimalist style and story-telling gained fans on the college screening circuit, just as Stanley Kubrick's poetic 2001: A Space Odyssey had attracted a large youth audience in 1968. When Lucas returned to sci-fi after American Graffiti, he traded restraint for nostalgic fun in the film that guaranteed his creative freedom in Hollywood: Star Wars.
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Special Features

Commentary by George Lucas and Walter Murch; Theatre of Noise Experience: Isolated Sound Effects Track; Master Sessions: Docupod Gallery Showcasing Murch's Pioneering Work; 2 Documentaries: A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope and Artifact from the Future: The Making of THX 1138; Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB: Luca's Original Student Film; Vintage Production Featurette Bald; Theatrical Trailers
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
A more contemplative film than the later science fiction work that would make him a blockbuster legend, George Lucas' feature debut THX 1138 already displayed his talent for striking imagery. Produced under the independent auspices of Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope and expanded from Lucas' USC student short, THX 1138's vision of future dehumanization matched androgynous costuming with sparse high-tech settings and an expansive, unnerving, all-white prison "cell," aptly evoking an existence devoid of sensual pleasure. Deliberately paced and infused with early-'70s paranoia as well as somewhat stilted artiness, THX 1138's dystopian view of technology and the future was of a piece with such other contemporary science fiction films as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Soylent Green (1973), and Logan's Run (1975). The climactic, skillfully edited chase and celebratory final image, however, were also precursors to the direction Lucas' filmmaking would take. A box-office failure on its first release, THX 1138 soon became a favorite on college campuses and garnered a re-release after the phenomenal success of Lucas' more nostalgically upbeat science-fiction yarn Star Wars (1977) brought the director and his hardware a fanatical following.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/7/2010
  • UPC: 883929116348
  • Original Release: 1971
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Presentation: Director's Cut / Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:28:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 20,901

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Duvall THX 1138
Donald Pleasence SEN 5421
Don Pedro Colley SRT
Maggie McOmie LUH
Ian Wolfe PTO
Sid Haig NCH
Gary Austin Man in Yellow
Scott Beach
Claudette Bessing ELC
Ralph Chesse Proctor
James Cranna
Jean Durand Listener
Marshall Erwin Efron TWA
Morris Erby Newscaster
Robert Feero Police Robot
Irene Forrest IMM
Gary Alan Marsh TRG
Terry McGovern
Julie Payne
John Pearce DWY
John Seaton OUE
Ruth Silveira
David Ogden Stiers Announcer
Eugene I. Sullivan JOT
Johnny Weissmuller Jr. Chrome Robot
Technical Credits
George Lucas Director, Editor, Original Story, Screenwriter
Francis Ford Coppola Executive Producer
Edward Folger Associate Producer
Michael Haller Art Director
Albert Kihn Cinematographer
Jim Manson Sound/Sound Designer
Dave Meyers Cinematographer
Walter Murch Screenwriter, Sound/Sound Designer
David Myers Cinematographer
Lalo Schifrin Score Composer
Lawrence Sturhahn Producer
John Ward Stunts
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