THX 1138 (1971)

THX 1138 is the name of the very first feature film George Lucas directed, and is a science fiction drama taking place in a dystopian future. 

So. the year is 1969. George Lucas has just graduated film school and his first big project is based on a short-film he did years before. We are going to the 25th century now and we are in a society where feelings and sexuality is prohibited, and where the state forces it’s inhabitants to take mind altering drugs to ensure that they remain loyal.

Robert Duvall stars as the hero THX 1138. and what can we say about the acting? He is the most famous actor in the cast and is portrayed as the hero who starts to lose faith in this society. It is a society where everyone has removed their hair, and is dressed exactly the same. and you can very easily get vibes from George Orwells book 1984. This creepy dystopian society where humans have no free will anymore. THX 1138s roommate is a woman called LUH 3417 and after a mix up of medications things start to happen.


Lucas proves that he had a creative eye for sci-fi already in film school in the late 1960s. THX 1138 is no Star Wars, but it is still pretty solid science Fiction. Lucas has an amazing script he wrote himself and the film is produced with his good friend and study mate Francis Ford Coppola. There is a very monotone set being used in this movie and that manages to capture a certain creepy atmosphere, and there are some amazing sound effects being used here. The movie is very short. Just an hour and a half and it goes by really really fast.

I find this movie to be really interesting, of course there is not as much to write as it is in more modern films cause this is short, old and quite frankly very simple, but Lucas proved himself to be a steady director already then. and Science Fiction as a genre was not something you saw a lot of in 1971.

The movie was a box office failure but has become quite the cult classic after Lucas bigger projects in the 1980s. But if you are interested in film and good sci-fi you really should spend 90 minutes sitting down with THX 1138. It is a simple movie on the visual parts. but a solid script and a creative story really shows that you don’t need that much to make good movies. THX 1138 will help you understand how the mind of one of Hollywoods finest directors work and how it led him into the epic space opera better known as Star Wars. If you are gonna watch 1 movie this weekend check out THX 1138

Score: 7/10



3 thoughts on “THX 1138 (1971)”

  1. Esperanza says:

    So cool! I am a huge Star Wars fan. It was interesting to read about some of George Lucas’ earlier work 🙂

  2. This movie reminds me of A Clockwork Orange.. thought provoking and potentially disturbing. Great review!

    1. StianKoxvig says:

      That is a very good comparison. One I did not really think of. Kubrick was already a big name in Hollywood when Lucas was done in film school and the chance of him being inspired by A Clockwork Orange is big

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