THX-1138 Review

THX-1138 is a nameless worker in a soulless urban society where laws are enforced by merciless androids. He breaks free from the state-required drug-stupor to recover from his nightmare world.

by Ian Freer |
Published on
Release Date:

11 Mar 1971

Running Time:

95 minutes



Original Title:


In a white-on-white future society, bald citizens are known by code numbers and toil in drugged stupour over meaningless tasks while chrome-faced robot policemen herd dissidents convicted of "drug avoidance" into vast white limbo prisons.

THX (Duvall) is puzzled by the awakening of his emotions as he falls in love with his room-mate (Maggie McOmie) — who has altered his drug intake — and becomes a rebel. Notably adult in theme, structure and approach, its commercial failure doubtless motivated George Lucas's regression through adolescence (American Graffiti) to childhood (Star Wars) in his subsequent films.

Neglected on its initial release, this now stands as a classic science fiction movie and one of the most remarkable debuts of the 70s.
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