Silent Running [Masters of Cinema] (LTD Edition Steelbook) [Blu-ray] 
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LIMITED EDITION STEEL BOOK EDITION Three years after helping to achieve some of the most amazing imagery in cinema history with 2001: A Space Odyssey, special effects maestro Douglas Trumbull made an auspicious directorial debut at age 29 with the environmentally themed science fiction classic Silent Running.
In the distant future, plant life on our planet is extinct. Remaining specimens are cultivated in vast greenhouse-like domes orbiting in space. Bruce Dern (Marnie, Coming Home, The 'burbs, Monster) stars as Freeman Lowell, dedicated botanist aboard the 'Valley Forge', awaiting the call to refoliate Earth despite the scorn of his crewmates. When an order comes to instead destroy the domes and return home, Lowell takes matters into his own hands, beginning a long and lonely voyage into the unknown.
With its remarkable special effects (especially the robot drones Huey, Dewey, and Louie); glorious score (including songs performed by Joan Baez); memorable sound effects (created by Joseph Byrd from the cult band The United States of America); a screenplay co-written by Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) and Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues), and an impassioned central performance from Dern, Silent Running remains a uniquely contemplative and haunting adventure that continues to make hippies of young children, even today.
EXTENSIVE SPECIAL BLU-RAY EDITION FEATURES, ALL NEW TO THE UK:
- Deluxe collectable Steelbook packaging
- New high-definition master in its original aspect ratio
- A host of extras to be announced nearer the release date
- PLUS: A lavish booklet featuring rare production imagery, and more!
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, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
If you are not moved by the final sequence, if your heart is not racing and your eyes bawling you're not human!!
Seriously though, this is an underrated masterpiece from an inexperienced director who obviously had a great vision. It has ecological themes and is not a space shoot em up, but give it a go if you want a deep and meaningful experience.
The watering can...im welling up...
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.Read more ›
The set comes with a stuck on outer sleave that is mainly on the back of the case but has an overhang,over the top & comes down about 1.5cms:you will have to be very careful not to tear it when you want to get to the booklet & disc as it is held in place by a couple of blobs of some sort of sticky silicone on either front corner. The booklet has the most detailed descriptions of behind the scenes efforts to make the film on the budget it was given - the converting of a redundant battle ship to become the inside of the space ship etc etc it also has many rare pictures & some that have never been seen by the general public before.
I collect soundtracks & this particular 1 is SO hard to find I have all but given up BUT thankfully they offer an isolated music & effects option although I fear you may have to sit through the entire film again just to hear it - 1 day I will have the patience! lol The extra features are very good with a 50 minute documentary done in 1972 of the Making of + 2 video pieces with Douglas Trumball as well. Altogether a definitive offering of this classic movie - trounces over the DVD presentation - grab your Blu ray copy before they sell out & become too expensive!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
one of my fave films the music is great almost euphoria for it i love the whole save the nature thingPublished 8 hours ago by Chris
Classic just classic. Nothing fancy with the content but film well worth a watch.Published 22 days ago by M. Jones
This is a good science fiction film but the effects are very dated now, which does take away from the film, as is the Joan Baez soundtrack. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
Love the old school film but good god guys can you upgrade the quality? they do it with Laurel & Hardy films so surely you can do something!!!!!!!!!!!!Published 28 days ago by David Roach
I saw this on TV when i was a kid in the 70's and it captivated me ... i still love it and will buy itPublished 1 month ago by Lee
Totally preposterous story. A polluted Earth’s last wildlife is kept in orbit in specially designed spaceships. Read morePublished 1 month ago by harpoon guns to 'safe', please
This film is a gem,that keeps it's strong environmental message even more so with passing years.Brilliant acting by Bruce Dern,who for most of the film is the only human in it.Published 2 months ago by S. Henderson