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.
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Eureka Entertainment did an outstanding job with this great release. The picture is rich of details and a light layer of grain is visible throughout the entire feature. The transfer was not horribly denoised and sharpened, like Universal handles a lot of their classic titles nowadays. There are also almost no visible defects and dropouts. The colours are much richer than on the DVD. The different coloured panels on the space ship models are clearly visible on the Blu-ray while the same model shot looks very mushy on the DVD because the paint scheme almost completely perished into a single layer of grey. Especially the darker scenes profit from the clarity and are not as mushy as on the DVD. There are two soundtracks on the disc. On soundtrack contains the voices, the music and the effects while the second track only contains the music and the effects. The lossless audio sounds very clear as well. A lot effects in the background, like the birds, are much easier to hear. This release comes with very interesting bonus features. * The Commentary was spoken by director Douglas Trumbull and Bruce Dern in 2000. * The Making of Silent Running was filmed during the shooting of Silent Running. It has a strong reddish tint but its one of those documentaries which actually show how the film was made. * Douglas Trumbull - This are two videos about Douglas Trumbull, his work on Silent Running and his carrier. *A Conversation with Bruce Dern - This is an 11 minute long interview with Bruce Dern. * Trailer - The original Trailer in SD. The Blu-ray also comes with an booklet with notes from director of photography Charles F. Wheeler, concept art designer Wayne Smith, and composer and conductor Peter Schickele.