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.
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
[after accidentally hit the drone]
Huey, I thought I told you to stay in the forest.
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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 »
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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