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
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 »
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 »
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 »
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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