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.

Director:

Douglas Trumbull

Writers:

Deric Washburn, Michael Cimino (as Mike Cimino) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bruce Dern ... Freeman Lowell
Cliff Potts ... John Keenan
Ron Rifkin ... Marty Barker
Jesse Vint ... Andy Wolf
Mark Persons Mark Persons ... the Drone
Steven Brown Steven Brown ... the Drone
Cheryl Sparks Cheryl Sparks ... the Drone
Larry Whisenhunt Larry Whisenhunt ... the 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:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Red Dwarf (1988) creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor cited Silent Running as one of their influences behind the BBC sci-fi sitcom. In Red Dwarf: D.N.A. (1991), Lister tells Rimmer and Cat a story about visiting a botanical garden aboard Red Dwarf after he was dumped by his girlfriend Kochanski. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie it's established that the galley is on the starboard side of the ship; the final shot of the vessel shows the lighted galley window on the port side. See more »

Quotes

Freeman Lowell: [to Huey and Dewey] Poor Louie, God bless him... he's not with us anymore.
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Alternate Versions

In the Italian version, the three drones are named after "Paperino", "Paperone" and "Paperina" ("Donald Duck", "Uncle Scrooge" and "Daisy Duck") because calling them "Qui", "Quo" and "Qua" ("Huey", "Dewey", "Louie") would have been cacophonous: "Vieni qui, Qui!" ("Come here, Huey!"). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Battlestar Galactica: 33 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Rejoice in the Sun
Lyrics by Diane Lampert
Music by Peter Schickele
Performed by Joan Baez
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User Reviews

Endangered Species
22 February 2005 | by Scott-ShepardSee all my reviews

When I first saw Trumbull's saga 33 years ago, it was indeed the most advanced special effects movie that followed 2001, even though it did not reach the same technical level. The film has it's flaws only because it was an experiment; make a movie for under a million dollars and do it in 32 days. What was done is a miracle considering this much.

It was visually more advanced in fact than other films that came after until Star Wars. So 2001 was the father of Silent Running and Silent Running was the father of upstart Star Wars, this by virtue of the fact that Douglas Trumbell worked on 2001 and then Silent Running and then John Dykstra who worked on Silent Running went on to Star Wars.

For me at least this is the importance of the film as a filmaking milestone in terms of film history and for those who want to know this history it is worth viewing.

The story is compelling enough to hold the viewer. At first Dern's character seemed over the top but decades later I believe that it's in fact right on.

All of your other reviews are wonderful but I have one terrible confession to make:

I am the only human being left alive on the Earth that still likes Joan Baez.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Running Silent See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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