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THX 1138 is George Lucas’ look at a dystopian future where the government medicates, regulates and controls every aspect of life. THX 1138 starts to break free of the control and things begin to fall apart. Join Cory and John as they begin to examine 70’s Dystopian Futures in this triple.

THX 1138:

Life is regulated, roommates are assigned by computer, knowledge is fed via IV drips, sex is outlawed, and the church is the government.  In this world we are introduced to THX 1138 (Robert Duvall) .  He works on the assembly line making the robotic police force the state uses to control population.  When he finishes work he goes into a confessional booth.  He confesses that the medication does not seem to be working and he is concerned about his partner. The digital confession spouts out the state’s party line with a religious flavor and dismisses him.

He arrives at his quarters and his partner/roommate LUH (Maggie McOmie) does not engage with him.  He watching state sanctioned porn, state sanctioned news, and state sanctioned violence.  LUH prepares his meal but switches out his meds before giving it to him.  She is breaking him from the regulating drugs.  LUH’s job is an observer and reporter who watches and reports on the actions and events of the public.  She has seen too much.  She wants to break THX out or the state’s control.  But most of all she wants his love and affection.  Overtime the lack of meds and her interactions change him.  They engage and connect and begin an active love.  The state is watching and recording their love making.  Many are watching.  In his world you are never unwatched.

The job is getting to THX and because he is not on his meds he is struggling.  But LUH does not want him back on the meds, because she is afraid the love will falter. A programer SEN (Donald Pleasence) is rebellious in his own ways.  He wants THX as his roommate.  He gets LUX reported and taken away for her crimes against the state control.  Between the medication withdrawal, loss of LUX and pressure of SEN, THX is faltering and turns in SEN.  The state controllers investigate and control him while on the job.  It almost leads to a radiation accident.

He is taken in judged. He is found guilty and incapable of being reformed. The state runs experiments on him, play with him as training for controllers and finally re-connect him with LUH.  They re-connect and make love.  She reveals she is pregnant before the robotic cops separate them and this leaves him even more crushed.  He is placed with other un-reformable people and outcasts one of whom is SEN.  SEN is plotting how he can control this group.  With THX there, he thinks about more.  THX finally rebells and walks away.  SEN grabs food and follows.  The wander around the white on white prison and finally run into SRT (Don Pedro Colley).  SRT is a hologram who rebelled.  The three then find an exit and start their run.

They are separated and SEN is almost to freedom.  But he is too engrained in the controlling world and allows himself to be captured. THX and SRT are constantly on the run.  They learn that LUX is dead.  The state and the robotic police chase them, but cost is ever a factor.  THX finally steals a car and escapes to the edge of the facility.  He is climbing to freedom when the chase exceeds the state budget.  He escapes to the barren looking surface at sunset.


For what it was this was an interesting movie. It is clear that George Lucas used ideas, themes, and effects from this movie in his later movies.  What shines in the movie is the writing and the acting.  You see on the faces of Donald and Maggie the hopelessness and despair.  You see Donald act out he want of control, power and confusion. When so much of this world is sterile and white, the focus is drawn to the actor’s faces.  To me, the movie was thought provoking and engaging.

Add It To Your Library:

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The score was done by Lalo Schifrin Here is the “End Music” from the movie.

Buy the score from Amazon.

Name That Movie:

The clue this week was:  Our film coming up next week, “Death Race 2000,” stars Sylvester Stallone. Sylvester joined an ensemble cast in this very recent and much anticipated sequel that will be the top box office winner for the first week of May 2017
Which lead us to the following trilogy: The movie is  “Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2.”


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