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Silent Running (1972)

Bruce Dern , Cliff Potts , Douglas Trumbull  |  G |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)

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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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063UR1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,270 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

    3.9 out of 5 stars
    (249)
    3.9 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    207 of 226 people found the following review helpful
    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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    60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
    By A Customer
    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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    62 of 72 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Save the Forest 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.
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    29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Ecological science fiction becomes science fact October 8, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    I still wonder if Universal got the idea for Earth 2 from this film? All kidding aside. Silent Running is a classic science fiction adventure that has a strong, if not serious message to it. It depicts what our future might be like in the 8th year of the 21st Century, 2008 AD, and how the human race could easily cause a worldwide outbreak of pollution. It asks the the question of what would you do if you were in astronaut Lowell's (Bruce Dern)position. I like everything about this movie. From the special effects, to costumes, to set designs, to the plot, etc. Bruce Dern plays the character of Lowell extremely well. A conflicted man who sadly goes to extremes to save the last of Earth's forests from being destroyed. And the drones Huey, Dewey, and Louie were really cool. Obviously the model for R2-D2 in The Star Wars saga, the drones had a unique personality of their own. The other characters played by Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin, and Jesse Vint truly represent the implicit cynicism that is in our world today. People who don't care about anything anymore. Only caring about the Almighty Dollar. Douglas Trumbull did an extraordianry job directing the film. His experience as a special effects technician in both 2001 and The Andromeda Strain really shows and pays off in this wonderful film. A film that has a personality of its own. If you enjoy good science fiction, you'll enjoy this cult-classic.
    Interesting trivia note-stock footage of this film was used in another science ficion cult-classic. Battlestar Galactica.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    haunting
    Published 1 day ago by sally tompkins
    5.0 out of 5 stars very good actor y amazing movie
    Interenting. I've not heard of Bruce Dern until Nebraska, but there is no doubt this is a master piece, very good actor y amazing movie.
    Published 5 days ago by Luis A Lomeli
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Good
    Published 5 days ago by James Martin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Still a great movie
    Published 5 days ago by Jacklyn Lane
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Good wacky fun.
    Published 9 days ago by Ahab
    1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible movie, purported to have a good message but ...
    Horrible movie, purported to have a good message but it gets lost in a dismal and pointless story. Bruce Dern's acting is fine, but the hokey folk songs, long drawn out visuals... Read more
    Published 14 days ago by Mr Mike
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of Bruce Dern's best performances.
    A simple classic that I always remembered from my youth saw it on tv in 70's once then didn't see again until I got this copy. Read more
    Published 18 days ago by zzzjavazzz
    5.0 out of 5 stars for scifi it is above average the acting is superb ...
    for scifi it is above average the acting is superb again above average the issue being faced is very real so is the consquence
    Published 21 days ago by tim huxoll
    5.0 out of 5 stars way ahead of it's time
    enjoyed it alot, needed an upgrade from my old vhs.
    Published 29 days ago by Joel Studemeyer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Sci -Fi and Good at it
    This is one of those "classics" - I hate that term but it is.
    How could one not love Nature or huey , duey and louie? Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Riann
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