Editor's note: THX 1138 is only playing in 20 cities, but the DVD will be available on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

It always brings me a small chuckle when I consider how many young boys (like myself) have likely fallen prey to THX 1138 over the last 25 years. So enamored with George Lucas' much beloved Star Wars films, we browsed the sci-fi section of the local rental store. And lo! There came the day when we discovered that the famed filmmaker had already directed another sci-fi film, before Star Wars. With glee, the film was brought home with the promise of robots and rocket cars. But instead of a rip-roaring action-laden space opera, we saw a slow-moving, 90-minute, quiet-paced oddity that left most of us scratching our heads and asking, "What was that?"

That was George Lucas' first film, originally written and directed as a school project by the film student. It earned him enough acclaim to attract the attention of Francis Ford Coppola, who helped Lucas expand the film in 1971 as the first feature release for American Zoetrope (Coppola's then new independent studio). With a budget under $1 million, Lucas delivered an original work of sci-fi that today resembles a combination of the Big Brother paranoia and social commentary of George Orwell's 1984 and the pessimistic futurism of Phillip K. Dick (Blade Runner or Minority Report).

THX 1138 tells of a not-too-distant futuristic society, grown cold from an over-reliance on technology and prescription drugs to keep their problems, emotions, and libidos in check. Citizens' medicine cabinets are equipped with interactive computer systems that ask, "What's wrong?" before prescribing sedatives. And is it any wonder? The world suffers from overpopulation. Men and women need to shave their ...

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THX 1138 (Director's Cut)
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
Directed By
George Lucas
Run Time
1 hour 26 minutes
Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley
Theatre Release
March 11, 1971 by Warner Bros.
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