6.7/10
25,148
217 user 100 critic

Silent Running (1972)

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A team of top scientists work feverishly in a secret, state-of-the-art laboratory to discover what has killed the citizens of a small town and learn how this deadly contagion can be stopped.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: James Olson, Arthur Hill, David Wayne
Logan's Run (1976)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An idyllic science fiction future has one major drawback: life must end at the age of thirty.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan
Soylent Green (1973)
Crime | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a big company CEO.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young
The Omega Man (1971)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lone survivor, doctor Robert Neville, struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race while fighting The Family, a savage luddite death cult formed by the zombie-like infected to erase the past.

Director: Boris Sagal
Stars: Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen
Westworld (1973)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin
THX 1138 (1971)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the twenty-fifth century, a time when people have designations instead of names, a man, THX 1138, and a woman, LUH 3417, rebel against their rigidly controlled society.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley
Adventure | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man's vision for a utopian society is disillusioned when travelling forward into time reveals a dark and dangerous society.

Director: George Pal
Stars: Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe
Certificate: M Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Thinking this will prevent war, the US government gives an impenetrable supercomputer total control over launching nuclear missiles. But what the computer does with the power is unimaginable to its creators.

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Eric Braeden, Susan Clark, Gordon Pinsent
Outland (1981)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A federal marshal stationed at a mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io, uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy. He gets no help from the workers or authorities when he finds himself marked for murder.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen, Peter Boyle
Dark Star (1974)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Dan O'Bannon, Dre Pahich, Brian Narelle
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Running Silent See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The haunting music for the film was written by Peter Schickele, who is known primarily for his classical music parodies under the name of P.D.Q. Bach. See more »

Goofs

During the space walk when Huey and Dewey show Louie's foot to Freeman, Freeman is wearing a blue space suit that looks like an ocean diver's dry suit, with a thin helmet. The suit does not look overly tight, nor is it inflated, it merely fits snugly without being skin tight. However, in space, he would need an atmosphere inside the suit, meaning it would have to be inflated, and the vacuum of space would explode that foam suit in an instant. See more »

Quotes

Freeman Lowell: It calls back a time when there were flowers all over the Earth... and there were valleys. And there were plains of tall green grass that you could lie down in - you could go to sleep in. And there were blue skies, and there was fresh air... and there were things growing all over the place, not just in some domed enclosures blasted some millions of miles out in to space.
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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies of the 1970s (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Silent Running
20 August 2010 | by random_avengerSee all my reviews

In the future all plant life on Earth has become extinct and green forests only exist on remote space stations dedicated to preserve specimens of nature. One such station is maintained by a crew of four and led by an idealistic nature lover named Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern). When the crew receives an order to destroy the preserve and return to commercial service, Lowell sets out to protect his forests by any means necessary. As a result, he ends up being the only human at the station after it is presumed destroyed and begins a project of teaching his small robot servants to help him to look after the forest. The idyll is hard to maintain, however.

What strikes the viewer immediately about the film is the quality of the sets and props on screen. Huge space stations floating through space reach towards a 2001-esque atmosphere and the production design of the small race cars, the toddling drone robots and the circular pool table looks very nice. The green forest and small animals also look great, and it's fun to see Lowell cultivate his private garden like a king, assisted by childlike drones who he lovingly names Huey, Dewey and Louie after the nephews of Donald Duck.

Unfortunately, what the film wins in visuals, it loses in writing. The wistful wandering in the woods to Joan Baez songs comes across as very naive, even laughably so, and Lowell's idealism contrasted to the indifference of the other crew members doesn't seem too subtle anymore, if it ever did. Even though Lowell spends most of the time completely alone with the mute drones or a just voice on the radio, the film doesn't get much out of the delicious situation. I hoped there would be more focus on the effect of stress, loneliness and guilt on Lowell's mind, but since the forest always stays number one for him, there's not much psychological tension present in the story, or at least it is presented poorly. This ultimately reduces the film to a cute technology show with an environmental message, when it had potential for being a much more thought-provoking sci-fi tale. Even so, the visual style and the tragic ending are easily enough to make Silent Running a very watchable movie; it is also interesting as a product of its socially aware time.


7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 217 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed