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Silent Running (1972)

G | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 10 March 1972 (USA)
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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

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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

The dome jettisoning sequences were based on Trumbull's viewing of actual footage of Apollo Saturn V rocket stage separations. The miniatures of the dome couplings were 10 inches in diameter, and were filled with mica and compressed air to get the separation effect Trumbull wanted. See more »

Goofs

Freeman's damaged leg swaps sides. See more »

Quotes

Freeman Lowell: [to Huey and Dewey] Poor Louie, God bless him... he's not with us anymore.
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 Passengers (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

Not just special effects, but a poignant question: what would YOU do?
7 February 1999 | by MoxieSee all my reviews

Recently someone asked me what was the best sci-fi movie I'd ever seen. "Best"? On what basis -- story, acting, special effects? Generally one would usually choose one of the high-tech, high-priced, superstar biggies.

But I had to say "Silent Running." Oh, it has special effects all right, and I think they're good enough for the purpose; I certainly felt the cramped dimness of the station against the vast implacability of space. Maybe you'd say it doesn't have enough action, surprises, or gore. But maybe this story doesn't need them.

Then why is it my nomination? Because when it was over, I had to turn off the TV -- couldn't let its mood and memory be violated by a late-nite commercial -- and just quietly weep for its poignancy. Anything less (or more) would have denied it the respect it deserved.

If you must, watch it as just more fodder for your entertainment urge. But if your soul is deeper than that... if you can, as Bruce Dern does, put yourself in the place of a character who so cares about the earth and its place in the cosmos ... you'll appreciate the eloquent statement of this film and the way it's presented.

A man, not a god. But if it were you, if you were there... would you, COULD YOU do what he did?


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