Warner Home Video announced the Sept. 14 DVD release of a two-disc collector's edition of THX 1138 ($26.99 and $19.97 for single-disc version), George Lucas' first film from 1971. The director's cut will include not only meticulous digital audio and video restoration (a collaboration between Lucasfilm and Warner Home Video) but also digitally enhanced backgrounds, cityscapes and crowds of people, according to Jim Ward, vp marketing and distribution at Lucasfilm.
A theatrical release of the film will precede the DVD release and will begin on Sept. 10 in 20 cities including Ann Arbor, Mich.; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New York; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Seattle; Portland; and others.
THX 1138 marked the stunning debut of Lucas and was produced by Francis Ford Coppola and his experimental American Zoetrope studios. Produced at the height of the American independent movement, THX 1138 stars Robert Duvall in a thought provoking and visually rich exploration of a theme that would repeat itself throughout Lucas's career: One man's quest to realize his own potential amid an oppressive society. THX 1138 takes viewers to a totalitarian future state where citizens are stripped of individuality and become numbered drones sedated and controlled by government-enforced drug programs.
In addition to the film, the DVD release of THX 1138 offers two new documentaries, including "A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope," a fascinating chronicle of the birth and rise of the San Francisco-based filmmaking colony. The documentary features new interviews with Coppola, Lucas, Duvall, Martin Scorsese, John Milius, Matthew Robbins, Walter Murch, Caleb Deschanel and others.. The 30-minute documentary "Artifact from the Future" explores the memorably tumultuous making of THX 1138 and is also included on the DVD.
Additionally, Lucas and co-writer and sound designer Murch both provide audio commentary on the film, and the DVD includes "Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB," the original, award-winning short film Lucas made while a student at the University of Southern California. Other bonus features on the DVD set include "Theatre of Noise," an isolated sound-effects track and branching video that showcases the film's pioneering sound design; and the film's original theatrical trailer.