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While Star Wars and American Graffiti before it are the films that launched the career of George Lucas – many forget what a monster hit Graffiti was back in 1973 – the film that really set him on his way was THX 1138.

The San Francisco Gate take a look at one of the locations from that film, and Lucas’s involvement in it.

Just 25 years old — a 1970 San Francisco Chronicle story called him “frail, bearded, and enormously talented” — Lucas was the marquee director for the brand-new American Zoetrope production company. With up-and-coming producer Francis Ford Coppola, himself only 30, the two headquartered the company in San Francisco.

A 1969 UPI story heralding the creation of American Zoetrope was headlined “San Francisco Moving Up In Movie-Making Endeavors.”

“Something new has been added to that old San Francisco-Los Angeles rivalry,” the story read. “San Francisco is going into the movie business in a big way.”

The first project for Coppola and Lucas was a sci-fi film called “THX-1138.” It was Lucas’ directorial debut, building off a short film he made in film school at USC, and he intended to use the Bay Area as his dystopian set. The massive Transbay Tube, mostly built but not yet open, was a perfect choice.

Thx 1138
  • Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk DOES NOT have English audio and subtitles.
  • Blu-ray, NR (Not Rated)
  • Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe
  • Dutch, English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese