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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.Read more ›
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!Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Try to figure out how they did the robots Huey and friends Before you watch the trailer and it gets spoiled. Dern's outstandingly bazaar.Published 12 days ago by Mister Skin
Great story and considerably more comprehendible then "2001: a space Odyssey"… IMO.
Earth has become one environment at 75° (F) and has jettisoned giant... Read more
No subtitles and no closed caption! That is discrimination against hearing impaired. The liberal film industries hated the hearing disabilities, and they forced our hearing... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A thoughtful science fiction film that brings to heart a quiet plight where no one would blame the main character for giving up: at great personal risk save the last forests of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lancer Kind
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