A soldier from Earth crash-lands on an alien world after sustaining battle damage. Eventually he encounters another survivor, but from the enemy species he was fighting; they band together ... See full summary »
Louis Gossett Jr.,
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
In a future Earth barren of all flora and fauna, the planet's ecosystems exist only in large pods attached to spacecraft. When word comes in that the pods are to be jettisoned into space and destroyed, most of the crew of the Valley Forge rejoice at the prospect of going home. Not so for botanist Freeman Lowell who loves the forest and its creatures. He kills his colleagues taking the ship deep into space. Alone on the craft with his only companions being three small robots, Lowell revels in joys of nature. When colleagues appear to "rescue" him, he realizes he has only one option available to him. Written by
External scenes of the ships were also used in the promo for the TV show The Starlost (1973) along with the early instrumental music. See more »
Lowell (Bruce Dern) was arguing with another crew member about who would be best qualified to lead the assumed new forest service citing his 8 years aboard the Valley Forge yet he didn't realize one of the fundamental necessities for plant life later in the film when his forest was dying: light. The position of the domes as well as the ships must have been dictated by the need for sunlight, it would have been one of the main functions. At the very least automated systems should have warned him about losing the necessary light. See more »
[after jettisoning the last dome with Dewey]
You know when I was a kid, I put a note into a bottle and it had my name and address on it. And then I threw the bottle into the ocean. And I never knew if anybody ever found it.
[presses button on nuclear charge, destroying his ship]
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Sometime in the future all the forests on Earth have been destroyed. The last forests are transported in giant greenhouses aboard space ships near the planet Saturn. Freeman Lowell, crew member of the space vessel Valley Forge, is an outsider and the only one who cares about what is left of our planet's nature. When orders reach their vessel to destroy the forests, he goes mad. He kills off the other crew members and starts a lonely odyssey...
There's something to be learnt in this movie. More than 30 years old now, it stands the test of time with its message, as mankind is still working on what possibly could end in a scenario like this. Bruce Dern may be overacting in some scenes, but his character is still much more likeable than his crew comrades. Scenery and music are beautiful, fitting well to the dark, moving and unique story. And this is the movie that made "Star Wars" possible. Director Douglas Trumbull and other SFX masters like John Dykstra and Richard Yuricich were chosen to work on "Star Wars" because of the state-of-the-arts special effects they did for "Silent Running". In 1971, they were ahead of their time. In fact, they are easily as good as today's CGI effects, but much more memorable for their time. Even the droids that help Lowell are predecessors of the ones in "Star Wars"... A must-see movie for SF fans and everybody interested in Hollywood classics.
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