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George At 

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Silent Running

1972's SILENT RUNNING depicts a world where all the forests and greenery on Earth have died and the last wilderness exists only on huge domes being carried through space by a small crew.

Bruce Dern is Lowell Freeman, the only crew member who sees guarding the last forests as his mission, versus just another job. The rest of the crew taunts him and his devotion to the cause.

When orders come in from the government to jettison all the domes and return home, Freeman is faced with a choice on following orders or taking more drastic avenues to save his beloved greenery.

Fascinating in its early seventies outlook on the environment and very well executed with great special effects by Douglas Trumbull (who was coming off creating the special effects of 2001 several years before and due to wow us with Close Encounters ground breaking effects 5 years later) this is a solid sci-fi flick.

Nobody does borderline crazy better than Dern and he is in nearly every shot of the film.

Trumbull does really well on a smaller budget and delivers the goods in a very soft, eco-friendly seventies hippy kind of style.

The songs by Joan Baez are pretty awful, but they're a minor flaw in a decent film.

To keep his budget down, Trumbull hired college students to work on his model making. One of them, John Dykstra, went on to become and Academy Award winner for Star Wars & Close Encounters.

Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) and Stephen Bochco (LA Law/NYPD Blue) share screen writing credit with Deric Washburn.

Excellent micro photography in the opening credits too. It's sci-fi with an eco message and a slow but stylish journey. We'll give Freeman, Huey and Dewey a B-.

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