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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is a science-fiction film taking place in a future where the government controls human reproduction by banning sexual intercourse. A character watches naked male and female holograms dancing on a viewing console. Nude characters are also shown having sex. Robot cops prod men with poles that seem to electrically shock them. Physical skirmishes take place in the detention center among prisoners.
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What's the story?
THX 1138 is the name attached to a man (Robert Duvall) living in a future world where the government tightly controls all aspects of life including marriage and reproduction. Control is achieved through close video monitoring and enforced prescription of sedative drugs. THX's female roommate, LUH 3417 (Maggie McOmie), secretly prevents him from taking the drugs that kill his libido. As a result, THX and LUH develop a physical attraction to each other and break the law by having sex. Very shortly after the act, THX and LUH are arrested and brought to a detention center. It is there that THX meets fellow prisoner, SEN (Donald Pleasance) with whom he attempts to escape.
Is it any good?
George Lucas produced this film as a short while attending film school; his visionary depiction of a future world is striking, and contains some elements that definitely pop up in his later work. With the help of Francis Ford Coppola and the success of his previous work on more commercial films, Lucas was able to expand THX 1138 into a full-length feature film. Demonstrating his early interest in science fiction, the film is much slower and more thoughtful than Lucas's later Star Wars (1977), its sequels, and its prequels.
While certainly an interesting allegory and interesting to look at, THX's lack of character development will leave viewers feeling cold and empty, kids will find it boring due to its slow pace, and it will most likely appeal to die-hard Lucas fans only.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether this 1971 movie's vision of the future and its technology seem possible. Should the government have the power to involve itself in one's personal issues such as love and family? In THX 1138's version of the future, citizens must be under constant video surveillance, and are compelled to take prescription drugs. What kind of effect does this have on THX and LUH's ability to think freely?
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