Silent Running [DVD] [1972]

If they gave awards at the Oscars for digital film restorations, Silent Running would certainly have its name called out on the big night. The film looks marvelous, much better than it did in theaters and on VHS, and the image is so crisp and precise and the mono Dolby 2.0 sound so clear that its difficult to believe the movie is from the early '70s. The outer space exterior shots are particularly impressive, with the space stations gliding across a black expanse of space that's actually cardboard dotted with speckles of white paint. That tidbit of info comes from director Douglas Trumbull's 30-minute interview "Silent Running," exclusive for this edition. Trumbull goes into minute detail about the production, casting, and set design. He nearly steals his own thunder as he repeats himself many times during the "feature commentary" that accompanies the movie, but he's got Bruce Dern sitting with him, who enlivens the conversation by bringing his own memories to the program. There's also a separate interview with Dern that's of interest, as is a separate bit about Trumbull's other accomplishments, such as developing a large-format projection system and his development of cinematic techniques for 3-D theme park rides. A dated documentary called "The Making of Silent Running" is only worthwhile for die-hard cultist, but they've probably seen it elsewhere by now. The main attraction here is the superb restoration; first-time viewers will think they're watching a new movie.
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Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars.
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (5 out of 5)

Special Features

  • The making of "Silent Running"
  • Feature commentary with 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


Silent Running
Bruce Dern stars as the caretaker of a greenhouse located on a group of space stations that are sent into orbit. The Earth has been stripped clean of foliage, and the greenhouse contains the last remaining greenery from the planet. Dern's staff includes three human beings and a trio of endearing robots named Huey, Dewey, and Louie. When word arrives, from the powers that be, that the greenhouse is to be destroyed (the space station is more valuable to man when hauling cargo and not "preserving the ecology of the universe"), Dern decides to ignore the order. He also decides to go it alone, "circle the wagons" with his robots, and fend off all outside attempts to eliminate his ecological paradise. Special-effects maven Douglas Trumbull directs, Michael Cimino was one of the screenwriters, and Peter "PDQ Bach" Schickele wrote the musical score. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Bruce Dern
    Bruce Dern - Lowell
  • Cliff Potts
    Cliff Potts - Wolf
  • Ron Rifkin
    Ron Rifkin - Barker
  • Jesse Vint
    Jesse Vint - Keenan

Overall Customer Rating

4.6 out of 54.6
5 Reviews
100%of customers recommend this product.

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