THX 1138

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"Visit the future where love is the ultimate crime."
  • GP
  • 1971
  • 6.6  (54,264)
  • 75

THX 1138 is a dystopian science fiction film released in 1971 directed by George Lucas, before he made Star Wars. It's the story of a repressed society entirely controlled by an evil government, in a future where emotions are forbidden and every individual lives on a strictly rationed system. The movie is set in the year 2187, in an underground city where people are forbidden to have sex or even touch one another. They are kept sedated by drugs.

The protagonist, THX 1138 (Robert Duvall) is a mild-mannered factory worker who is starting to feel the effects of his medication wearing off. He gradually becomes aware of the oppressive regime in which he is forced to live and begins to realize the sinister intentions behind the system he has been living under.

THX is pursued by the robotic police when he stops taking his medication and begins to feel emotions, falls in love with another worker, LUH 3417 (Maggie McOmie), and starts exploring his sexuality. To keep him and his partner subdued, the government forces them to take a new drug that steals their emotions and numbs their minds, but it doesn't work on THX, who manages to escape the city with the help of a criminal named SRT (Don Pedro Colley).

Once outside, THX encounters other individuals and learns the truth about the system: the government established it to make the people more obedient and easier to control. They are considered expendable by the government, which views them merely as numbers instead of as human beings.

The movie is almost entirely shot in a sterile and cold environment, without bright colors. It's a testament to the power of simplicity and detail, with low-budget sets and effects, which creates a surprisingly convincing world. The location in the subterranean city adds to the claustrophobic atmosphere, and the use of white-on-white shots of underground tunnels and workforce uniforms evoke feelings of conformity and minimalism.

THX 1138's central themes of control, conformity, and dehumanization still resonate today, and the movie's harsh critiques of society and its warning of the dangers of technology and government control are as relevant today as they were when the film premiered. The movie's visionary yet almost minimalist design, heavy use of harsh electronic noises, and a minimalistic story pave the way for a new generation of dystopian sci-fi.

Finally, as an insightful detail, the movie includes statues of Buddha, Jesus Christ, and a Saint Stephen throughout the city, as if the government is using them as totems of power and worship to manipulate the masses. The subtle yet powerful message behind this implies that after all the scientific advancements of the future, religion still plays an important role in society.

In conclusion, THX 1138 is a classic of the dystopian science fiction genre that is still impactful today. George Lucas' meticulously crafted world-building and the cast's great performances create a bleak picture of a future without human emotions or individuality, and through the characters' rebellion, we get a glimpse of the possibility of hope and personal empowerment. It is a triumph of minimalistic design and masterful storytelling, exploring the dangers of technology and its impact on humanity.

THX 1138 is a 1971 science fiction movie. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 75.

THX 1138
Where to Watch THX 1138
THX 1138 is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent THX 1138 for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
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  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (54,264)
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