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Silent Running


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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin, Jesse Vint
  • Directors: Douglas Trumbull
  • Writers: Deric Washburn, Michael Cimino, Steven Bochco
  • Producers: Michael Gruskoff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2002
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063UR1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,771 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Silent Running" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Making of Silent Running
  • Feature Commentary with Director Director Douglas Trumbull and Cast Member Bruce Dern
  • Silent Running by Douglas Trumbull
  • A Conversation With Bruce Dern
  • Douglas Trumbull: Then and Now
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers

  • Editorial Reviews

    As this science fiction classic opens, botanist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) has spent eight years aboard the space freighter "Valley Forge" preserving the only botanical specimens left from Earth under huge geodesic domes. When he receives orders to destroy the project and return home, Lowell rebels and hijacks the freighter, while plunging the craft into the gaseous Rings of Saturn. From that moment on, he has only the trees, the gardens and two "Drone" robots, Huey and Dewey, to keep him company on his greatest adventure of all.

    Customer Reviews

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    212 of 231 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 26, 2003
    Format: DVD
    Hailed by some as one of the best science-fiction movies of the 1970s, Silent Running is a quirky, unique movie that conveys a serious ecological message in an unforgettable manner. To be honest, I had never heard of this movie before, but the premise of the film intrigued me, as did the knowledge that a prominent special effects man for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Douglas Trumbull, directed it. Almost despite itself, the movie moved me in places, and I ended up quite enjoying it, even though there are many things about it I didn't particularly like. Many would consider this a boring movie, I am sure, as there are no fierce battles fought or alien beings threatening to destroy mankind. Silent Running is a thinking man's science-fiction film that succeeds or fails on its compelling storyline alone.
    The story takes place some time in earth's near future, at a time when all plant life has been destroyed on the planet in some unexplained way; America's last forest land still exists, however - millions of miles out in space on board the Valley Forge. The ship carries along several huge geodesic domes filled with trees, flowers, garden plants, etc., along with much of the animal life that goes with them. A crew of four mans the ship, with the help of a number of mechanical drones, but only one, Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) really cares about the forests in his care. We first meet the other three crew members racing willy-nilly around the ship in jeep like go-carts, thinking nothing of trampling a bunch of flowers or taking shortcuts through the grass. In person, they are even less likeable, making fun of Lowell's idealism and basically harrumphing on their own belief that the forests have no importance whatsoever.
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    62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1999
    Format: VHS Tape
    Douglas Trumbull, fresh from the triumph of working on the effects for "2001", directed this movie with a firm visual style and flair that is unusual for a first-time director.
    Set in the far flung future aboard the spaceship "Valley Forge", Bruce Dern and three other astronauts maintain the huge vessel and the forests that it contains with the help of three ingeniously rendered robots. The robots are so convincing that they almost steal the show (I won't give away how they were done- it spoils the effect), but they remain classic depictions that are on par with Maria from "Metropolis", Robby from "Forbidden Planet" and the droids of "Star Wars".
    A sad story with a surprisingly downbeat ending and a strong ecological message, "Silent Running" is a visual treat with outstanding special effects (designed and produced by Trumbull) and a very realistically-depicted "Valley Forge" spaceship. Trumbull had use of the decommissioned naval aircraft carrier "Valley Forge" before it was scrapped at the aptly-named Terminal Island facility in Long Beach, CA and he was able to modify many of it's vast interiors for use in the movie, all to good effect.
    Bruce Dern turns in a great performance and this movie did much to enhance his career, as he is the lone human character for much of the film.
    And about those Joan Baez ballads included in the soundtrack- you either love them or hate them. I think that they fit in fairly well and do much to convey the mood of the movie, especially after the sequence where the robots beat Bruce Dern at poker by cheating!
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    63 of 73 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Ramos VINE VOICE on November 28, 2000
    Format: DVD
    Set in the far future aboard the spaceship "Valley Forge", Bruce Dern and three fellow astronauts maintain the huge vessel and the forests that it contains with the help of three ingeniously rendered robots. The robots are so convincing that they steal the show, but they remain classic depictions that are on par with Robby from "Forbidden Planet" and the droids of "Star Wars".
    This is a sad story with a strong ecological message, "Silent Running" is a visual treat with outstanding special effects and a very realistically-depicted "Valley Forge" spaceship. A production note: Trumbull had use of the decommissioned naval aircraft carrier "Valley Forge" before it was scrapped and he was able to modify many of it's vast interiors for use in the movie, all to good effect.
    5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Echo VINE VOICE on December 14, 2001
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Like death and dying, there are several stages in evaluating "Silent Running" as a film. The first stage is whoa! great effects, unusual idea for a film made in the early 1970s. The second stage is the realization that you are being hit with some of the hardest propaganda since "Battleship Potempkin" or "Triumph of the Will". The final stage is nostalgia for such a ground-breaking movie with super special effects.
    Bruce Dern is comfy in his role as a slowly-unraveling sociopath. What many don't realize is that the screenplay was written by a then-young Michael Cimino and Steven Bochco ("The Deer Hunter", "NYPD Blue". What's truly amazing is the use of mechanical (not visual) effects. If you've never been on an aircraft carrier, you'll believe that there is an American Airlines cargo freighter "Valley Forge". The details are wonderful: the corporate logos on the cargo pods, the technical manuals lying around, the overall believability of the wonderful drones, the background radio chatter from the other ships.
    It's a shame Douglas Trumbull hasn't been more visible, this was a great effort.
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