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Silent Running [DVD] [1972]

Bruce Dern , Cliff Potts , Douglas Trumbull    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
Price: £5.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Silent Running [DVD] [1972] + Dark Star, 30th Anniversary Special Edition [DVD] [1974] + 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin, Jesse Vint, Mark Persons
  • Directors: Douglas Trumbull
  • Writers: Deric Washburn, Michael Cimino, Steven Bochco
  • Producers: Douglas Trumbull, Marty Hornstein, Michael Gruskoff
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish
  • Dubbed: German
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Nov 2008
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UWQT
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,965 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



After creating many of the innovative special effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Douglas Trumbull tried his hand at directing, and 1971's Silent Running marked an impressive debut. (In addition to creating the visual effects for Close Encounters of the Third Kind and directing 1983's Brainstorm, Trumbull later turned to the creation of high-tech cinematic amusement park rides.) One of the best science-fiction films of the 1970s, Silent Running stars Bruce Dern as Freeman Lowell, a nature-loving crewmember aboard the Valley Forge, a gigantic spaceship in a small fleet that carries the last surviving forests of the Earth, which has fallen victim to overpopulation and ecological neglect.

Freeman's name reflects his nonconformist philosophy, which runs counter to the prevailing recklessness of his three ill-fated crewmates, who are eager to jettison their precious payload and return to the bleakness of Earth. Before they can sabotage the forests, Freeman does what he must, and spends the remainder of his mission with three robotic "drones" as his only companions, struggling to maintain his sanity in the vastness of space. Dern is superb in this memorable role, representing the lost soul of humankind as well as the back-to-nature youth movement of the 1960s and the pre-Watergate era. (Appropriately, Joan Baez sings the film's theme song.) A rare science-fiction film that combines bold adventure with passionate social conscience, Silent Running will remain relevant as long as the Earth is threatened by the ravages of human carelessness. --Jeff Shannon,

Product Description

By the year 2008, all that remains of the Earth's plantlife is preserved in space, maintained under huge Geodesic domes on board three ships orbiting the planet Saturn. Botanist and crewman Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) is horrified when the order comes from home to destroy the greenhouses, and kills his three human crewmates in order to prevent them from carrying out the termination. Injured in the process, Lowell is forced to rely on his three service robots as he goes on the run in the one remaining station, determined to preserve what is left of his home planet's ecology.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, naive, thought provoking and poignant 14 Sep 2003
By A Customer
These are just some of the words you can use to describe this wonderful film. Although it's now thirty years since original release it is anachronistic neither in terms of story nor special effects, and one could argue even more relevant three decades later with America's reluctance to sign the Kyoto Treaty.
For ME it has all the hallmarks of what great art SHOULD contain; a relevance to one's life and the abilty to challenge psychologically and philosophically on a number of levels. Indeed lasting eighty minutes and with only one speaking protagonist for eighty percent of it's duration, much is left implicit for the viewer to interpret. The plot of the film is simple. Cut forward to a time in the future when overpopulation and pollution of the environment has forced the last remaining forests to be moved into outer space on craft orbiting Saturn, until such time that earth is ready to replant. The craft are inhabited by four men, three of which exemplify the socially ordered and homogenous population back on earth, the other Freeman Lowell (played to perfection by Bruce Dern) being more cerebral and less bovine. After eight years they receive an order to destroy the forests and return the craft to commercial service. To save one of these forests Lowell has to murder the other three crewmembers and resign himself to a life of enforced exile without human company. Alone in space, save for two robots for company, Lowell has ample time to reflect on his actions in a way similar to Raskolnikov in "Crime and Punishment". It is also gives an insight into the psychology of isolation and alienation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SILENT RUNNING LTD ED STEELBOOK 20 Oct 2012
By jman jr
I have mixed feelings about this release ...

Presentation : 5/5 lovely looking steelbook - Nice booklet
Extras : 5/5 this edition is packed
Film : 3.8/5 a modest little gem

Transfer: 3/5 There are lot's of beautiful vivid scenes here, but also way more grainy scenes than I had thought there would be, sadly.

When you pay top whack for a bluey it's hard, least for me, not to be a bit critical when grain appears. Yes, it's never looked better when at it's best. It' also true that the DVD looks better for other parts of the film.

If 'Silent Running' is a favourite of yours then sure buy this edition.

If you already have the DVD - I would stick with that & buy something else that your after.

If you've never seen this flick & just want to see it, I would recommend the DVD.

It's not a terrible version, but it is a bit underwhelming.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huey, Dewey and Louie in Bluey... 19 Nov 2011
By TJ Doc
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
"Natural" is a word that often sprang to my mind while watching Eureka's 'Silent Running' Blu-ray. This is, inherently, a rather soft film with an abundance of grain; and I'm very glad to see it's been kept that way. Grain levels do unexpectedly spike on occasion (leading to "snow storm" instances), but there's always loads of fine detail on show. Take a look at the clearly visible textures on clothing, or the complex exterior shots of the Valley Forge for just a couple of excellent examples of the increased clarity on offer here.

Colours stand out to me as the transfer's most impressive quality. Skin tones are pleasingly normal, while the lush greens and earthy browns of the forest dome genuinely pop - as does Lowell's bright blue jacket. There's no "teal and orange" controversy going on here, that's for sure.

I did notice a small amount of edge enhancement, but it only appeared in one or two scenes and was far less obvious than some of the thick white halos seen burdening other discs. There's also some shimmering here and there, but you can probably put that down to the film's source materials. On the whole, Eureka has done a commendably cinematic job with their transfer.

Also pleasing is the faithfully presented HD mono audio. Dialogue and music is clear and precise, while sound effects are satisfyingly robust. That early scene where the domes are being detached, with everything clanging, screeching and then exploding is a real wake-up-the-neighbours moment. As impressive as a remixed HD 5.1 option can be, I'm a big fan of these more old-school audio presentations.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory viewing 3 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
30 years on, this movie is still powerful and poignant. The environmental message is just as important today as it was in the 70's.
You won't see aliens zooming around and firing lasers at each other, and the only explosions are disturbing images as the very last forests are destroyed forever. This is an emotional film, which goes far deeper than most SF either before or since. The story is about people, not flashy special effects, and must surely be considered a classic.
I cannot imagine any sensible viewer coming away from this movie without pausing to consider its deeper message, which is still highly relevant today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant film with a poignant insight into climate change today
Published 6 days ago by Kendo1664
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 25 days ago by R. Ardis
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite films of all time
Bruce Dern is superb in this film in my opinion. It is a classic sci-fi, ecological, environmental tale and clearly demonstrates mankinds utter stupidity.... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Monsoon
5.0 out of 5 stars interseting
I saw this film years ago on the telly and decided to get myself a copy, i have not watched this one yet but i am hopig for a few days of rewatching all my favourite shows. Read more
Published 2 months ago by teresa webster
4.0 out of 5 stars great hippie film
Bizarre film with extraordinary music and singing from Joan Baez. Weird combination of sci fi and hippiedom. Fascinating in some ways. Definitely interesting and compelling.
Published 3 months ago by Andyhol
3.0 out of 5 stars Good old classic but slow pace
A good old classic, saw about 10 years ago, recenly watched & still enjoy the early sci fi films with their originality but a bit slow pace for modern viewers
Published 4 months ago by Stevem
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed
In many ways a classic film, but it has dated somewhat. Sorry for those who love it, but scenes of some woman singing deep and meaningful songs whilst we almost literally watch the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Aralla
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu ray
Worth upgrading from the DVD to the blu-ray alone and with the blu-ray you get some interesting extras as well.
Published 5 months ago by Weslake-Monza
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci Fi Classic
A little slow but all the of the best Sci fi movies from the 1970's...a classic worth watching time and again
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Steven Powell
1.0 out of 5 stars Some "classics" are better left dormant
Silent running was one of the first movies to have an environmental theme. As such it enjoys a somewhat fashionable "cult" status. Read more
Published 7 months ago by P. Vandevenne -. Datarescue
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