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"THX 1138" DVD

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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The Bottom Line

Before George Lucas became famous, he co-wrote and directed an excellent movie titled "THX 1138" starring Robert Duvall. Now a restored director's cut of that film is being released as a superb two-disc DVD set loaded with worthwhile bonus materials. A single-disc version is also available, but missing most of the extras. With either DVD version you'll get a first-rate movie and an excellent commentary track, but I recommend the two-disc version because of its terrific bonus materials.

Pros

  • Feature film brilliantly captures a bleak, dystopian society
  • Movie features a stunning combination of visuals, sound effects, and words
  • DVDs provide an outstanding audio commentary and excellent bonus materials

Cons

  • Film may be too intellectual and abstract for some tastes
  • Movie has little action and no gee-whiz gadgetry
  • Visually, film has essentially a silent-film sensibility (I found this to be a pro)

Description

  • Two-disc DVD set containing movie "THX 1138" (1971)
  • Movie directed by George Lucas and stars Robert Duvall
  • DVD contains audio commentary by Lucas and co-writer/sound designer Walter Murch
  • DVDs provide 63-minute documentary on the early days of Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope
  • DVDs contain 30-minute making-of documentary for "THX 1138"
  • DVDs provide 15-minute George Lucas student film "THX 1138 4EB"
  • Feature run time: 1 hour 28 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R for Some Sexuality/Nudity
  • Excellent picture (anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1, color) and excellent sound (Dolby 5.1)
  • DVD release date: September 14, 2004

Guide Review - "THX 1138" DVD

Before George Lucas became famous for "Star Wars" and "American Graffiti," he co-wrote and directed an excellent movie titled "THX 1138" starring Robert Duvall. Now a restored director's cut of that film is being released as a superb two-disc DVD set loaded with worthwhile bonus materials.

Although it had been years since I had seen "THX 1138," I remembered it as being absorbing. Watching it on DVD, I found I still felt the same way about it, and this time around I was struck by what an accomplished piece of filmmaking it is.

"THX 1138" is set in an underground dystopian city where people are made docile by medication and kept under constant surveillance. The central character is THX 1138, a man who goes off his medication and makes love with a woman, leading to his being convicted of drug evasion and sexual perversion. The movie follows THX through the correctional system, his quest to reunite with his lover, and his attempt to escape to the outer world. But I don't believe it's the narrative or the characters that make "THX 1138" memorable—it's the world the movie creates through a stunning combination of visuals, sound effects, and words.

The DVD version of "THX 1138" reviewed here is a two-disc set. A single-disc version is also available, but missing most of the extras. With either DVD version you’ll get a first-rate movie and an excellent commentary track, but I recommend the two-disc version because of its terrific bonus materials.

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