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Silent Running (1972)

G | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 10 March 1972 (USA)
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3:04 | Featurette

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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 »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bruce Dern ... Freeman Lowell
Cliff Potts 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:

Earth's last battle will be fought in space. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Joel Hodgson', creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988), credits Silent Running as a major inspiration for his show. See more »

Goofs

Freeman's damaged leg swaps sides. See more »

Quotes

Freeman Lowell: [after accidentally hit the drone] Huey, I thought I told you to stay in the forest.
See more »

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 FantastiCozzi (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Dated but engaging sci-fi fable
15 January 2013 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

SILENT RUNNING is one of those 'lonely' sci-fi films made in the spirit of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY where it's all about astronauts being isolated and becoming gradually unhinged in deep space. Bruce Dern stars as an interstellar gardener (!) tasked with caring for a greenhouse full of the Earth's last plant life.

The film that gradually unfolds (at a slow and stately pace) is both watchable and slightly twee. There's a message about ecological conservation that's being shoved down the viewer's throat all the time which I didn't care much for, but Bruce Dern makes up for that by fully inhabiting his character's role. The best thing about the film? Those quirky robots, which are nothing like robots in real life but which add humour and a touch of pathos in any case.

SILENT RUNNING is considered by some to be a masterpiece, but I don't buy it; there just isn't enough substance to go along with all the effects and the heavy-handed message. It is, however, a perfectly watchable movie, albeit one I'm in no hurry to revisit anytime soon.


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