THX 1138 Reviews
The story is a futuristic sci-fi dystopia sort of thing in the vein of Orwell or Huxley, with some Kafka thrown in for good measure. Everything is very bland, cold, clinical, and dominated by the color white. Everyone has a shaved head, and no one stands out from anyone else. Everyone is also under the control of mind altering drugs that regulate their behavior, thoughts, and emotions and they are always nder constant surveillance.
One citizen in particulatr though, known as THX 1138, wants that all to end, and begins a quest to break free from this confining world and escape to a place where individuality might just be a possibility.
The style and stroytelling are extremely minimalist, and the plot is really bare bones. There's some dialogue, but it is very sparse, so most of the world building is done through visuals and sound design, both of which are top notch. This is art directed to the nth degree, and that's what makes it really enjoyable and fascinating. If only Lucas had continued ot make more films like this, then he might be celebrated as one of the best art film directors ever. I'm not kidding.Lalo Schifrin gives a nicely haunting score, and the performances, especially from Duvall and Pleasance are pretty good.
All in all, this is a pretty striking piece of work. It might have been nice to have a bit more explanation and backstory, but as an experimental exercise in tone and mood, and just an overall creepy and hypnotic experience in general, this is some wonderful stuff.
Update: Looks great George, just cook the chops a little longer, just throw in some American Graffiti and you'll get Star Wars.
It's easy to say that it is a bit slow in parts, but if you think of it...that feeling contributes well to the general feel of the society being depicted.
There are bits and pieces of future "film inspirations' littered throughout.
Not a perfect film, but all things considered...an impressive one.
The movie is very artistic and therefor is not really that watchable for everybody. Fans of the science-fiction genre however will love this movie. Star Wars fans will also notice some subtle things and elements in this movie, that Lucas later used, mostly in "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope".
A lot of professional people were involved in this brilliant serious big movie debut by George Lucas. Producer Francis Ford Coppola, composer Lalo Schifrin, Walter Murch and actor Donald Pleasence. Robert Duvall plays the main part in the movie but he was a fairly unknown actor at the time. Donald Pleasence really was a wonderful actor and he shows that once more in this movie. Robert Duvall also really is excellent as the main character THX 1138.
The story really is secondary in this movie. It's all about the visuals. The special effects in this movie were also surprising good especially when considering that this movie was made in 1971.
The movie also knows to be tense at the right times and the end chase is pretty spectacular and nicely done.
I for one truly love this perfect piece of visual art. Not a movie for everyone though.