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Silent Running (1972)

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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:

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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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

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The three drone robots Huey, Dewey, and Louie (named after Donald Duck's nephews) were operated by four multiple-amputee actors: Mark Persons, Steve Brown, Cheryl Sparks, and Larry Whisenhunt. 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

Spoofed in Dark Star (1974) 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

 
Delightful
10 November 2004 | by daynal_See all my reviews

This film is by no means flawless. Its various problems have been well documented, but I have to say this is a film that stays with you over the years.

The ambiance is unique, there is nothing else like it - although everyone else pinched bits of it! The film has a charm way beyond that which it is technically entitled to.

If the environmentalism seems laid on with a trowel, remember this film would have been one of the first, if not *the* first, to put such things on the big screen. Subtlety would only work I think, when the audience is already familiar with the basic premise - that concreting over the entire planet is not such a good idea.

It has a message beyond the fairly obvious environmental one though - the sheer contentment earned by those who do what is necessary, regardless of the thanks they won't get for it! The hero is not especially smart, but hes still smarter than everyone else. We are used to our heroes being mostly perfect, but where is that written in stone? This is just one bad tempered hippy, who for his crimes, gets followed around the place by a screaming Joan Baez.

Notable also for one of the saddest scenes in the history of film - the two droids staring with complete incomprehension at the remains of their friend.


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