Silent Running 1973

Silent Running poster

The effects guru behind Kubrick’s 2001, Douglas Turnbull’s directorial career stalled with his quicky sci-fi drama Brainstorm, but he managed to create a highly influential cult offering with 1973’s Silent Running. With Earth dying, the remaining flora and Fauna have been placed in a huge spaceship/greenhouse, with hippy curator Bruce Dern and his crew responsible for maintaining its survival. When orders come to abandon the ship, Dern battles his other crewmembers only to find himself tending the garden alone, with the help of his three robotic helpers, Huey, Dewey and Louis. Played by midgets in boxes, the personality of these three robots makes up for Dern’s studied lack of charisma, and Silent Running makes a strong ecological point, while also capturing the loneliness of outer space years before Gravity.


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