In an underground city in the future, the inhabitants are forced to take medication, which keeps them under total control. When worker THX 1138 refuses to take his drugs and falls in love with his assigned roommate, they make plans for a life outside the facility before being forcibly separated. THX manages to escape the loosely controlled prison with two other inmates, but even on the run, the three men are never out of the (electronic) sight of the authorities ... “Buy – and be happy!” With his aesthetically progressive directing debut, George Lucas, who would go on to create the Star Wars franchise, radically challenged the American Way of Life. He clothed his vision of a technocratic Big Brother state geared entirely towards productivity in correspondingly “technological” imagery. The disturbing visuals were reinforced by the brilliant “theatre of noise” created by sound designer Walter Murch, who underlaid the entire film with a futuristic sound montage of announcements, radio chatter and industrial sounds. A brilliant contribution to the genre.
by George Lucas
with Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Marshall Efron, Sid Haig, John Pearce
USA 1971 English 88’ Colour


  • Robert Duvall
  • Donald Pleasence
  • Don Pedro Colley
  • Maggie McOmie
  • Ian Wolfe
  • Marshall Efron
  • Sid Haig
  • John Pearce


Director George Lucas
Screenplay George Lucas, Walter Murch based on an idea by George Lucas
Cinematography David Myers, Albert Kihn
Editing George Lucas
Music Lalo Schifrin
Sound Walter Murch
Special Effects Hal Barwood
Art Director Michael Haller
Costumes Donald Longhurst
Producers Lawrence Sturhahn, Francis Ford Coppola

Produced by

American Zoetrope Productions

Additional information

Copy: Slovenska kinoteka, Ljubljana

George Lucas


Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017