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Thx 1138 [VHS]


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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe
  • Directors: George Lucas
  • Writers: George Lucas, Matthew Robbins, Walter Murch
  • Producers: Edward Folger, Francis Ford Coppola, Larry Sturhahn
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 18 Sep 1995
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CK4J
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 211,536 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. G. Mcrobert-thompson on 11 Jan 2005
Format: DVD
THX 1138 is a film based in a future dystopia similair to 1984 -
The people of the future are drug users doped up to keep them productive as workers and emotionless - willing to do whatever ordered . It is quickly established that humans are now produced in labs and are given 'serial numbers' instead of names (THX 1138 being Robert Duvall, the main protagonists name) . THX is feeling strange and we find out this is because in an act of defiance his 'mate' LUH is replacing his sedatives with placebos - so he is essentially becoming more human .
The story follows THX'S awakening and fight to escape .
The main thing that differentiates this film from others in the genre is the dream like quality and almost white washed look of the film - This is such a great thing because it makes the film less dated. Everything is bright white and all the characters are bald - none of those 70's haircuts to detract from the story and mood! Although there is obviousely a plot the film is more like a series of memorable set pieces and if you are like myself you will find yourself muttering all the excellent quotes much to your confused friends dismay . Key scenes such as the robotic confession box where THX relays his problem to a badly synched tape recorder and a glowing portrait of ohm are excellent. The sound and look of the motorbikes chasing THX through tunnels ... There are some excellent 'what IS happening ' moments - the film is quirky as hell . Lucas nerds will notice the similaritys between the officers electric shock sticks and the light sabres ..
The other amazing thing about this film is the unique sound - in the double disk edition is an excellent featurette documenting how it was made . There are no cheesy theremins here , it truly is a real piece of work .
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey McCarthy on 30 Sep 2004
Format: DVD
I first heard of this film sometime ago and I must admit I bought the film without even having seen it beforehand. But I'm really glad I did. This film is just great to watch as the visuals are so eyecatching and that is without the obvious visual effects changes Lucas has made in his director's cut. The scene in the 'prison cell' is notable for it's simplistic appeal. Robert Duvall also delivers a unique performance. Some of the dialogue is a little strange but the film is not let down by this. To complement this film there is a good selection of extra features especially the American Zoetrope documentary.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Bolton on 29 July 2005
Format: DVD
That just about sums up how you'll feel after watching this film. It's just so odd. I'm a Star Wars fan, hence why I decided to take a look at this in the first place. It's Lucas' remake of his first film originally made at college. Now, I'm not a film student, I just like being entertained. This film certainly did that - you keep watching and watching, just to try and work out what on earth is going on. You follow the life of THX-1138 - a name given to a man who works in some kind of stark white underground factory, and is forced to take pills to keep him subdued/brainwashed into conforming. Sex is forbidden, however, all humans in this world are assigned a roomate to share their room (read: cell) with. THX shares with a woman, who he has feelings for. She stops him taking the pills, they have sexual relations, and are punished. The ending is excellent (I won't put it here) and whilst you are always unsure exactly as to the film's meaning, you can't just turn it off. It looks beautiful - crisp and clean and very futuristic. I don't think its aged at all. Robert Duvall is wonderful, although I still don't understand who or what Donald Pleasance was supposed to be. Well worth watching to the end. Concentration is key though.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Demob Happy on 10 Jun 2008
Format: DVD
Bar a few exceptions (Bladerunner being the obvious one) I find the notion of the director's cut a highly suspicious enterprise, especially from a director whose post-70s output has been so poor. I also hate the extraneous use of CGI effects, which I think are lazy and poor in comparison to the stylish model work of films from the period. Setting aside any on the use of CGI, here it is largely sparing, adding colour and detail but rarely superfluous. As I am not familar with the original film, it wasn't always jarringly obvious what was added and what has just been cleaned up in the remastering. Yes, there are some pointless CGI creatures thrown in for good measure - Lucas probably couldn't resist - but the spirit of the 70s remains.

What is most striking about THX 1138 is the sound. Lalo Schifrin's score has apparently been digitally scrubbed up and is paramount to the mood and intensity of the film. A continual bleed of dislocated voices, radio chatter, metallic echoes and other abrasive, industrial sonic ephemera, you can see why the film had such a powerful influence on leftfield musicians from DJ Shadow to Radiohead. The latter's 'Fitter, Happier' could have been lifted directly out of the film, in which robot voices calmly reassure us that 'for more enjoyment and greater efficiency, consumption is being standardized.'All this adds to the film's maddeningly dislocated atmosphere, its themes of dehumanisation and automisation.

For a new viewer to the film, THX 1138 is shockingly avant-garde, and bears no resemblance whatsoever to any of Lucas' subsequent work. It has a loose, drifting narrative, a main character in Duval who is hardly lucid and is driven by non-articulated instincts to escape the nightmarish Orwellian society he is trapped in.
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