Author Topic: Silent Running  (Read 801 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Silent Running
« on: March 13, 2014, 01:31:08 PM »

Silent Running
Year of Release: 1972
Directed By: Douglas Trumbull
Starring: Bruce Dern
Genre: Science-Fiction

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, killing his fellow crewmen, injuring himself, and 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 the loneliest adventure of all.

My Thoughts:
At some point I went looking for a list of "the best sci-fi films ever made" and this came up on several lists. Having sat down for the watch, I can definitely see why. What gives it a place on those lists is that the film provokes thought about the future of humanity, which is what truly good sci-fi should always do.

Bruce Dern's performance is superb. He is the only human character on screen for the vast majority of the movie, and he has to carry it - and he does. Lowell isn't necessarily likable, but you do sympathize with his motivation. The droids are much more likable characters, and extremely expressive for characters with no speaking lines. I think Lowell should have left Huey with Dewy however at the end of the film.

It's far from a perfect film - there are some plot holes in the basic set-up, Lowell doesn't have the basic knowledge one would expect from a man in his position, and the three songs that are sung by Joan Baez (usually a great singer) are gawd awful. Leaving that aside, it's still an extremely worthwhile film and one that deserves a watch. Yes, it's a slow moving piece, and yes, it's message is heavy-handed, but the message and ideas are even more pertinent today then they were in 1972. Watch this film.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline DSig

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Re: Silent Running
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 04:56:51 PM »
Hewy, Dewy and Louie .. This was one of my favorite films during the 70's and still ranks up high.  To a cynical eye the special effects are middle of the road at the time etc but overall it is a very good film.  I haven't watched it for a very long time and thanks to this I have put it on my 'to watch' list. 
Thank you

Offline Achim

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Re: Silent Running
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 05:23:56 AM »
Where is the US Blu-ray for this...?

The UK release is sadly not region free :(