Films & Architecture: “THX 1138”

The first film of is without any doubt a master piece in terms of how to represent futuristic spaces. In THX 1138 the underground spaces are absolutely controlled. People’s behavior is driven by different drugs depending on the physical effect required. The movie contained a catalogue of spatial experiences and explore new forms of spaces that are many years forward the ’70 ideas.

We invite you to enjoy this magnificent film and let us know your comments below!


Original Title: THX 1138
Year: 1971
Runtime: 86 min.
Country: United States
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas, Walter Murch
Soundtrack: Lalo Schifrin
Cast: Robert Duvall, Maggie McOmie, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Robert Feero, Johnny Weissmuller Jr.


The human race has been relocated to a underground city located beneath the Earth’s surface. In the underground city, the population are entertained by holographic TV which broadcasts sex and violence and robotic police force enforces the law. In the underground city, society controls all life, all citizens are drugged to control their emotions and their behavior and sex is a crime.

Factory worker THX-1138 stops taking the drugs and he breaks the law when he finds himself falling in love with his room-mate LUH 3417 and is imprisoned when LUH 3417 is pregnant. Escaping from jail with illegal programmer SEN 5241 and a hologram named SRT, THX 1138 goes in search of LUH 3417 and escape to the surface, whilst being pursued by robotic policemen.


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Previously posted on this section…

Cite: Portilla, Daniel. "Films & Architecture: “THX 1138”" 03 Jul 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • Walt

    “…new forms of spaces that are many years forward the ’70 ideas.”

    Comparable to Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’, the premise of Lucas’s film was, and is, very contemporary. I prefer Lang’s cinematic approach toward depicting ‘the machine’ relative to architecture, similar to Hugh Ferris’s cityscapes.

  • Chris

    How about Logan’s Run for the next one? hahaha

  • anthonystjohnparsons

    I actually did my Masters of Architecture dissertation on this film, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin County Civic Centre is featured throughout the film, the same building in Gattaca. The second and third images on this website are actually CGI imagery that Lucas reworked a couple of years ago much to my disappointment when I discovered…a film definitely worth watching if you can get your hands on it…

  • Walt

    Agree, I’m thinking ‘Planet of the Apes’ should get a thumb’s up just for lack of pretension.

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