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Silent Running

7 Ratings: 3.4
A movie

Starring Bruce Dern, Ron Rifkin, Cliff Potts, Jesse Vint  Direted by Douglas Trumball  Writer:  Deric Washburn, Michael Cimino    Product Description  A renegade botanist kills his space-station … see full wiki

Director: Douglas Trumbull
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: January 1, 1971
MPAA Rating: PG
1 review about Silent Running

Classic SciFi tale revealing the inside of man's mind

  • Dec 7, 2008
  • by
It's many years in the future. Though the earth maintains a constant 75 degrees there are no forests left. The only place to find a forest is in space, in bio-domes attached to spaceships protecting them. After six months into this experimental effort to save the forests, the Valley Forge and her sister ships are ordered to abandon and nuclear-destruct the forests, then return the spaceships to commercial service. Aboard the Valley Forge is botanist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern - a very young Bruce Dern) who is the only member of the four-man crew who actually cares for the forests. (He's portrayed very "hippie-ish", including wearing long canvas-type robes and longer hair than the other men) Lowell doesn't just care for the forests, he defends them and lives for them.

With orders received, when the men begin to nuclear-destruct the bio-domes, Lowell goes a little off the edge in defending his forests, and winds out killing all his crewmates. He then steers the spaceship towards an outer ring of Saturn, where the other ships can't follow. Now he's alone with his three (adorable) robots, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. (Louie is accidentally lost during the storm of Saturn's ring) With no more human contact, Lowell's glitchy behavior slowly descends into madness.

It's this major part of the film that intrigues me so. Lowell's decay is slow, but with pointedly increasing markers leading his way to full insanity. The ending is surprising but appropriate. It's said to be difficult for an actor to single handedly carry a show, but Dern manages quite impressively. The special effects are of course a bit cheesy, but while the robots are not high-tech they certainly are adorable and fill their roles in the plot nicely. Unfortunately, there are also a couple of very cheesy Joan Baez "nature" songs in the movie, you'll want to plug your ears or hit mute for those, unless you actually like the 70's "hippie-pop".

'Silent Running' is a must-see Classic SciFi film, even if it's somewhat outdated. It's not the best movie you'll ever watch but if you're a lover of SciFi you should treat yourself to some of the breakthroughs made in the SciFi film industry, 'Silent Running' being a part of that phenomenon. It's also a highly interesting study of the human condition, and how we are designed to be a "herd" mammal rather than loners. Rent first. Enjoy!
Silent Running

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January 26, 2009
I've always liked Bruce Dern and I thought he did an excellent job in this film. He was literally the perfect actor for this role since he normally projects the aura of being a little bit out there. It makes his character that much easier to buy into. Special effects have never meant that much to me so they neither detract or enhance.
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7 Ratings: +3.4
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