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Silent Running (1972)

GP  -  Drama | Sci-Fi  -  10 March 1972 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 17,439 users  
Reviews: 190 user | 82 critic

In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.

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Title: Silent Running (1972)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
John Keenan
...
Marty Barker
...
Andy Wolf
Mark Persons ...
Drone 2 - Huey
Steven Brown ...
Drone
Cheryl Sparks ...
Drone 1 - Dewey
Larry Whisenhunt ...
Drone
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Amazing companions on an incredible adventure... that journeys beyond imagination! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 March 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Running Silent  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)

Gross:

ESP 21,077,972 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with Starlog magazine in the late 1970s, Douglas Trumbull revealed that the plot of the movie in the original version of the script was quite a bit different from what was actually filmed. In this version, the Space Freighters were on permanent duty carrying biological domes. When they're finally told to blow the domes and return to earth, it is because the freighters are going to be scrapped. The Freeman Lowell character in this version was an older, more curmudgeonly man who simply doesn't want to return to earth and forced into retirement, so he steals the Valley Forge, "Shoots the rapids" through Saturn's Rings to make it look like his ship is destroyed, and heads off into deep space. As in the filmed version, he reprograms the robots for some companionship, and the subplot involving the plants dying due to a lack of light were involved, but his main interest in the plants was simply as a means of extending his limited food supplies on the ship. In the second half of the film, he receives a signal which he realizes is from an alien ship passing through the solar system, and decides to approach it - humanity's first contact with aliens - around the same time, his superiors on earth have realized what he did, and are trying to re-capture the ship. The last act of the movie was to have been a race against time, with Lowell trying to contact the aliens, and the recovery force trying to re-take the ship. Finally, in desperation, Lowell detaches one of the domes with one of the robots aboard only seconds before he's killed by the forces that have boarded the Valley Forge. The dome drifts off into deep space, where it's spotted by the as-yet-unseen aliens, who board it and find the robot. The robot, unsure what to do, pulls out a snapshot of itself, the other two robots, and Freeman Lowell taken earlier in the film, a "Family Portrait" after a fashion, and shows it to the aliens, who look at it and the robot confusedly, and there the film ends. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Freeman Lowell: There is no more beauty, and there's no more imagination. And there are no frontiers left to conquer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Birth of the Living Dead (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Rejoice in the Sun
Lyrics by Diane Lampert
Music by Peter Schickele
Sung by Joan Baez
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Unforgettable
26 April 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I was 15 years old when I saw this movie. Tears ran down my cheeks as I walked home. It was the saddest and happiest I have ever been, and at the same time. I'm 51 years old now. This movie has been in my sub conscience for 36 years. It's like a prophesy, to what we are facing now. We have made such a mess of this beautiful blue planet. This movie taps into your inner fears, and mortality and for me it has never let go. Looking back I think I quit breathing at times during this movie, as it draws into your heart, and mind. It's about love, and loss, and a feeling of forlorn. Now more than ever before with global warming, food riots, peak oil. Anarchy and chaos is in our future. We will so regret what we have done to this planet, but it is to late. We should have been jarred into action after this movie was made in 1972. Stupid is what stupid does.


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This is a bad movie. zee944
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