Silver Age Classics: THX 1138

Before Star Wars, before Indiana Jones – even before American Grafitti – there was THX 1138 (1971), the first film directed by George Lucas. THX 1138 is an imaginative, futuristic 1984/Brave New World-type of story of a dehumanized worker (Robert Duvall) who breaks free from the shackles of his totalitarian society.

Lalo Schifrin's score for THX 1138 utilizes an eclectic blend of styles, from Baroque-influenced choral work for the main titles, to liturgical cues, to brooding strings for the oppressive society, to the use of Bach's St. Matthew's Passion for the end credits. There are strange, avant gardesounds for the film's memorable creations – buzzing organ for the white-on-white prison and menacing percussion for the robot policemen – an evocative love theme for alto flute and harp, and source cues meant to sound like "drugged-out" Muzak.

FSM's premiere release THX 1138 is a fascinating musical journey of Schifrin's score and source music, ranging from avant garde soundscapes to cheeky plays on his Latin jazz of the '60s. The CD includes passages not heard in the finished film and is entirely in stereo, remixed from the original Warner Bros. elements.


Home From the Hill (1960) is a Southern family drama featuring a quartet of excellent performances: Robert Mitchum as a powerful Texas patriarch; Eleanor Parker as his brittle wife; George Hamilton as their sheltered son; and George Peppard as Mitchum's worldly (but illegitimate) other son. The film features glossy M-G-M production values on the one hand, and beautifully handled restraint on the other.

The score to Home From the Hill is one of the masterpieces of Bronislau Kaper (The Prodigal, Mutiny on the Bounty). Kaper's themes for Home From the Hill seem as timeless as the land itself and as belonging as the Southern hospitality of the characters. He weaves through the film's interconnected maze of relationships, evoking love – both familial and romantic – as well as tension and violence.

FSM's premiere release of Home From the Hill features the complete underscore including four alternate selections. It is remixed in stereo from the original 35mm masters, with the exception of five passages recorded on 17.5mm monaural film at a later scoring session.

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