In a sterile, forbidding future world in which tranquilised humans have numbers not names, THX 1138 (Robert Duvall) meets LUH 3417 (Maggie McOmie) and the two begin a relationship and stop taking their drugs - both highly illegal activities. They are arrested and tortured, but THX 1138 is determined to escape the android-controlled prison. George Lucas' first film.
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 1138
does not attempt to explain how things became this way; rather, it utilises the alienation of its characters, the stifling white-on-white imagery of its sterilised society, and the claustrophobic, droning sound design to emphasise the dangers of a world reliant on soulless technology. Even though this is not a film one will want to take in repeatedly, THX 1138
merits 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