Sunday, February 16, 2014

Movies by year: 1972

(Warning: here be spoilers, but seriously come on, this movie's 42 years old now!)

We're up to 1972! I thought about writing about Deliverance, which is hard to watch but has Burt Reynolds actually acting, or Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid To Ask), which served as a wacky anthology of stuff that made me laugh, but I didn't get until later in life (I first saw it when I was seven), but instead I decided to go the hippie route:

Silent Running

It's the future (of course), and the world is so polluted and crowded that plant life has died off (ignore the logistics of that), the only examples left are in a fleet of arks circling Saturn, tended by astronaut/botanists, with the eventual aim of repopulating Earth with them. Bruce Dern is an especially sensitive caretaker for these plants on one of the ships. When the corporation responsible for these arks decides to destroy the 'cargo' and return the base ships to money-making duties, Dern flips out, murders the rest of the crew before they can carry out the orders and heads for deep space.

What most people remember about the film are the three drones - Huey, Dewey and Louie - and the reaction to one being lost outside the ship while passing through Saturn's rings, I know I cried. All were played by amputees, investing them which great character, given the costume limitations. And it's a hippie movie, so of course there's Joan Baez music.

Do you remember a show from the mid-70s called Star Lost? When they were hyping the show, they kept referencing this movie, as if it was a sequel. Truth is, the only thing similar at all was the fact that there were individual domes all over the ship. Too bad too, it was a show with an interesting premise and good pedigree that floundered under bad decisions and low budgets. But hey, Keir Dullea every week...

So that's my selection for 1972. Have you seen it? Did you cry for the drone? What did you think?

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