Silent Running (1972)

Directed by Douglas Trumbull who had previously done special effects for  Stanley Kubrick's’ Space 2001, and would later work on the special effects for Ridley Scotts’ Blade Runner. Not a bad couple of films to have on the resume. But one of the science fiction movies I most remember as a child was his directorial debut with Silent Running, it was a pretty low budget 70’s masterpiece for me, looking at a future with the earth lacking any sort of forests or vegetation. Huge ships are sent out to be flying greenhouses in space with few humans to tend to the last of the earth's forests onboard, along with drones that do the day-to-day tasks of maintenance and repair on board. It still all these years later, has just an as powerful message about ecology, the earth and how we all live. Filmed aboard a former US Navy aircraft carrier Valley Forge it uses its surroundings to create the futuristic feel of a fast spacecraft.

Shot over just 32 days and in cramped conditions. It sees Bruce Dern playing the only human being who seems to care anymore with little human contact or other actors; it is essentially Dern’s movie, and incredibly sad emotional movie, blended with its soundtrack. Most of his interactions coming with the three ships drones Huey, Dewey, and Louie, it’s a very human, sentimental and schmaltzy movie and it really does stay with you after watching, I have never forgotten this movie after seeing it, with special effect ahead of its time.  With a small cast, we see what Bruce Dern trauma he goes through after being told to destroy the last of the world's forest, essentially a green science-fiction movie, it has a strong message and is probably more important than it ever has been.

Watch a clip HERE -