Possibly the most beautiful beginning to any science fiction movie, and not an alien in sight.
Bruce Dern plays the sensitive, futuristic eco warrior, Freeman Lowell, who is fighting to protect a beautiful dome, filled with trees and plants, vegetation and small creatures, from being destroyed. Earth, by this time, is a treeless world. Dern's intense performance as Lowell is probably the finest performance of his career.
The beautiful music by Peter Schickele, and equally beautiful singing by Joan Baez of 'Silent Running' and 'Rejoice In The Sun' complements the film wonderfully well.
Douglas Trumbull's first film as a director, and also as a producer (he had earlier won fame with his special effects wizardry on '2001: A Space Odyssey'), is a film which is certainly thought-provoking.
Lowell ends up killing his own companions, to try and save some of the beauty which humans had so randomly destroyed. Assisted by cute as hell little robots Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Lowell tries to continue as normal, but, by the end of the film, he realises that he has only one get-out.
A fine film, up there with 'Dark Star' as one of the underrated gems of sci-fi movies.
Recommended relevant sites
Another review, and stills from the movie
The Making of 'Silent Running'
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
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Silent Running Main Cast List
Bruce Dern as Freeman Lowell
Cliff Potts as John Keenan
Ron Rifkin as Marty Barker
Jesse Vint as Andy Wolf
Steve Brown as Drone
Mark Persons as Drone 2/Huey
Cheryl Sparks as Drone 1/Dewey
Larry Whisenhunt as Drone
Directed by Douglas Trumbull