IMDb > Silent Running (1972)
Silent Running
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Silent Running (1972) More at IMDbPro »

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Silent Running -- Trailer for "Silent Running" with commentary from Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead").


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Deric Washburn (written by) &
Michael Cimino (written by) ...
View company contact information for Silent Running on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 March 1972 (USA) See more »
Amazing companions on an incredible adventure... that journeys beyond imagination! See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
SILENT RUNNING (Douglas Trumbull, 1971) *** See more (188 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bruce Dern ... Freeman Lowell

Cliff Potts ... John Keenan

Ron Rifkin ... Marty Barker

Jesse Vint ... Andy Wolf
Mark Persons ... Drone 2 - Huey
Steven Brown ... Drone
Cheryl Sparks ... Drone 1 - Dewey
Larry Whisenhunt ... Drone
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joseph Campanella ... Neal - Berkshire' Captain (voice) (uncredited)
Roy Engel ... Anderson (voice) (uncredited)
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Directed by
Douglas Trumbull 
Writing credits
Deric Washburn (written by) &
Michael Cimino (written by) (as Mike Cimino) and
Steven Bochco (written by) (as Steve Bochco)

Produced by
Michael Gruskoff .... producer
Marty Hornstein .... associate producer (as Martin Hornstein)
Douglas Trumbull .... producer
Original Music by
Peter Schickele 
Cinematography by
Charles F. Wheeler (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Aaron Stell 
Set Decoration by
Frank Lombardo  (as Francisco Lombardo)
Makeup Department
Dick Dawson .... makeup artist
Production Management
Marty Hornstein .... production manager (as Martin Hornstein)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Brad H. Aronson .... assistant director (as Brad Aronson)
Sound Department
Charles T. Knight .... sound (as Charles Knight)
John H. Newman .... sound editor
Richard Portman .... sound re-recordist
Special Effects by
Vernon Archer .... special effects
Jim Dow .... creator: drone units (as James Dow)
R.L. Helmer .... special effects
Richard O. Helmer .... special effects
Marlin Jones .... special effects
Paul Kraus .... creator: drone units
James Rugg .... special effects
Don Trumbull .... creator: drone units
Gerald Endler .... mechanical effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Richard Alexander .... special designer
John Baumbach .... special designer
John Dykstra .... special photographic effects
Leland McLemore .... special designer
Gary Richards .... special designer
Robert Shepherd .... special designer (as Bob Shepherd)
William Shourt .... special designer (as Bill Shourt)
Wayne Smith .... special designer
Douglas Trumbull .... special photographic effects
Richard Yuricich .... special photographic effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Bill Bohny .... assistant camera
Jim Hoover .... assistant camera
Dick Johnson .... camera operator
Harry Sundby .... special lighting effects
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ann Vidor .... wardrobe advisor
Music Department
Peter Schickele .... conductor
Milt Holland .... musician: tympani (uncredited)
Other crew
Joseph Byrd .... special electronic consultant
Winfield Chitister .... technical advisor (as Chief Winfield Chitister-BMCM USN Ret.)
Richard Foy .... titles consultant
George McCart .... technical advisor
Tom Piskura .... video consultant
Ray Quiroz .... script supervisor (as Raymond Quiroz)
Beverly Walker .... unit publicist (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
89 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Mono (35 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:PG | Canada:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Norway:12 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:G (edited for re-rating) | USA:GP (original rating) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

To keep costs down, Trumbull hired college students for modelmaking and other such special effects work. One of them, John Dykstra, went on to a distinguished special effects career of his own.See more »
Continuity: A droid hands Freeman a small gray book, about 5x7 inches, but in a closer scene we see a much larger book.See more »
Freeman Lowell:[after accidentally hit the drone] Huey, I thought I told you to stay in the forest.See more »
Movie Connections:
Silent RunningSee more »


Are there people inside the "Drones?"
See more »
33 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
SILENT RUNNING (Douglas Trumbull, 1971) ***, 13 October 2004
Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta

Made in the wake of both 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968; the ultimate space opera) and EASY RIDER (1969; the era's biggest 'sleeper' hit), SILENT RUNNING was given the go-ahead by the executives at Universal – in an attempt to recapture the momentum of those two films – who even allowed special-effects wizard Douglas Trumbull to make his directorial debut, and this with unprecedented artistic freedom.

The film is a visual treat, featuring marvelous if unassuming special effects, though Trumbull manages to keep the technology firmly under control – it is all so simple but still very impressive (even more so in view of the budget). Bruce Dern is appropriately cast as the film's eco-friendly hero. Joan Baez's two songs are very much of the time, and yet add quite a lot of humanity to the 'outer space' events. The film's sets (an unused aircraft carrier conveniently converted into a spaceship!) are also notable. However, the film's most endearing elements are the two almost-human 'drones', Huey and Dewey, which contribute to some amusing and even touching interplay with Dern; they were an obvious influence on C-3P0 and R2-D2 from from the STAR WARS films.

Still, I found the film to be somewhat plodding - especially since Dern is, for most of the time, the only human being on screen. In the end, SILENT RUNNING is a pretty good film, and a deserved cult item, but not a classic in the strict sense of the word. That said, it is a whole lot better than the only other feature film Trumbull directed, the dull and overblown BRAINSTORM (1983).

Universal's SE DVD is so packed with extras, it's almost too much: even so, there's actually little repetition throughout the lengthy documentary, numerous interviews and Trumbull's and Dern's joint commentary - and, all in all, it serves as irrefutable proof of the importance and worth (as in experience-enhancing capabilities) of DVD bonus material. While I was not overwhelmed when watching the film proper, after going through the mass of supplements on offer here I had a new-found admiration for what Trumbull intended - and actually makes me look forward to a more open-minded second viewing!

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Silent Running (1972)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Saw this again after a VERY long time badgerking10
This is a bad movie. zee944
The Drones brionjames60
Avatar or Silent Running? fortean2
I can't believe so many people take this movie so seriously craig-809
Cybernetics [spoilers] datrax
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