View Full Version : He did it again. Arrrrgh!

12-15-2013, 05:12 AM
I was cruising a music blog and found a link to an early George Lucas student film.


So it's more evidence of what a unique visionary craftsman he was at one stage, all the kinetic energy and music, sound overlays that played so well in his first few films are already there. Then I'm watching another one of his early docos about Coppola making 'Rain people' and then I click another link to the making of THX 1138.

I'm watching this cool documentary and interviews with the people involved and them talking about how this vision of the future was created out of everyday locations and available props, and of course every now and then there's a little snippet of footage from the film. But then I start to notice something strange and I wonder if my mind is playing tricks. I'm having thoughts such as "I don't remember those scenes looking that big" or ""There seems to be an awful lot of extras in those crowd scenes".

So after watching the doco, I google to see if THX1138 was re-released and "improved".

Apparently yes, Lucas quietly replaced and enhanced many shots of the movie and has even added mutant monkey creatures. I'm really dismayed. and this is old news because the re-release was in 2004. There was no mention of any of this in the release material and nothing said on the doco I watched, the disc set does not contain an original un-tampered version either. Let's not turn this into a hate Lucas thread, there have been enough of those, I'm just putting it up because I'm very shocked by this and obviously way behind the times as well.

12-16-2013, 05:10 PM
I've seen the newer version of THX1138 and it's not bad. They didn't go overboard with it, just some wider shots added to give you an overall idea of what the community looks like. There was an extension of the car scenes near the end of the flick that could have been left out or developed more to fit with what you see in he tunnel itself. I always thought it strange that a closed society like the one in THX1138 had such empty streets, but it worked to establish some sort or personal desolation. The added scenes include a large amount of traffic, and then THX ends up in a construction zone apparently, however the look and feel seem to be mush different. As a whole though, the additions weren't too outlandish, and don't change the story.

12-16-2013, 05:35 PM
For the most part, the new version is still very good. The restoration is the best reason to watch it--previously, I'd only seen it on TV way back in the late 70's and later I saw a very poor print in a theater. The restored original footage looks great.

I have to say I'm not too keen on the new material though. The original version captured a sense of claustrophobia that the new version loses a little towards the end when we see the wide city exteriors--I was disappointed by that aspect. As for the 'monkey people', I'm not sure why the were added--I liked it better not knowing anything about the outside, and showing the 'monkey people' diminishes the mystery.

I still like the film very much but I really wished they left it alone at restoration. The new scenes are pointless and they add nothing of value to the story or characters. IMO, it's another case of 'just because you can, doesn't mean you should.'

Just my two-cents.


12-16-2013, 08:18 PM
Ahhh... Emperor Bob... for those of us who grew up in LA... and who are old... he was a wonder.
Later he was partnered up with Tom Landry.
For a little taste of them - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M54YmRnoHRk
Fun and silly stuff