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

Videos (see all 2)
Silent Running -- In this sci-fi classic, a botanist (Bruce Dern) who has spent years aboard a space freighter receives orders to destroy his project and return home, but instead rebels and hijacks the vessel
Silent Running -- Trailer for "Silent Running" with commentary from Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead").


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6.7/10   19,137 votes »
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Up 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
Not just special effects, but a poignant question: what would YOU do? See more (197 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
Steven Brown ... Drone
Cheryl Sparks ... Drone
Larry Whisenhunt ... Drone
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joseph Campanella ... Neal - Berkshire' Captain (voice) (uncredited)
Roy Engel ... Anderson (voice) (uncredited)

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 (uncredited)
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 .... re-recording
Special Effects by
Vernon Archer .... special effects
Jim Dow .... drone units (as James Dow)
R.L. Helmer .... special effects (as R. L. Helmer)
Richard O. Helmer .... special effects
Marlin Jones .... special effects
Paul Kraus .... drone units
James Rugg .... special effects
Don Trumbull .... drone units
Gerald Endler .... mechanical effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Richard Alexander .... special designs
John Baumbach .... special designs
John Dykstra .... special photographic effects
Leland McLemore .... special designs
Gary Richards .... special designs
Robert Shepherd .... special designs (as Bob Shepherd)
William Shourt .... special designs (as Bill Shourt)
Wayne Smith .... special designs
Douglas Trumbull .... special photographic effects
Richard Yuricich .... special photographic effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Harry Sundby .... special lighting effects
Bill Bohny .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jim Hoover .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Dick Johnson .... camera operator (uncredited)
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

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?

Although only three "space freighters" are visible ("Valley Forge", "Berkshire", and "Sequoia"), several other freighters are mentioned in radio communications. They are "Yellowstone", "Acadia", "Blue Ridge", "Glacier" and "Mojave" (each freighter is asked to report the final jettisons of their domes). Each freighter's name refers to an American National Park or Preserve.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): In the finale, the detonator held by Lowell has a misspelled label "Nuclear Detornator."See more »
Freeman Lowell:[after accidentally hit the drone] Huey, I thought I told you to stay in the forest.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Cinemacabre TV Trailers (1993) (V)See more »
Rejoice in the SunSee more »


Are there people inside the "Drones?"
See more »
93 out of 130 people found the following review useful.
Not just special effects, but a poignant question: what would YOU do?, 7 February 1999
Author: Eve Sander ( from Tokyo, Japan

Recently someone asked me what was the best sci-fi movie I'd ever seen. "Best"? On what basis -- story, acting, special effects? Generally one would usually choose one of the high-tech, high-priced, superstar biggies.

But I had to say "Silent Running." Oh, it has special effects all right, and I think they're good enough for the purpose; I certainly felt the cramped dimness of the station against the vast implacability of space. Maybe you'd say it doesn't have enough action, surprises, or gore. But maybe this story doesn't need them.

Then why is it my nomination? Because when it was over, I had to turn off the TV -- couldn't let its mood and memory be violated by a late-nite commercial -- and just quietly weep for its poignancy. Anything less (or more) would have denied it the respect it deserved.

If you must, watch it as just more fodder for your entertainment urge. But if your soul is deeper than that... if you can, as Bruce Dern does, put yourself in the place of a character who so cares about the earth and its place in the cosmos ... you'll appreciate the eloquent statement of this film and the way it's presented.

A man, not a god. But if it were you, if you were there... would you, COULD YOU do what he did?

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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
Is this the simplest movie ever made? osprey1987
The Drones brionjames60
Was there excessive polution on Earth? alto_saxophone
I have always loved this film. tomohara15
This is a bad movie. zee944
How was this rated G? arkmabat
See more »


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