Movie identification. I vaguely remember a colonization ship with farming modules as the setting. I think it was from the 70s. Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" was on the soundtrack playing at the end of the movie. There was some conflict that left a single human alive on the ship by the end of the movie. I think the computer went nuts or something and killed off the other people. Not 2001, that didn't have the farming modules. Any idea what movie that was?

I downloaded and watched "silent running". It has a lot of similarities, but the entire crew dies and there is no Simon & Garfunkel. The strongest memory for the film is of a single survivor traveling off into space as a lone farmer, with The Sound of Silence playing from the story conclusion to the credits.

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    Anyone else thinking this sounds a lot like Silent Running? Ship with farming modules matches, single human left alive on the ship, not Simon and Garfunkel but Joan Baes (I think) on the soundtrack but sufficiently folksy to possibly match.
    – skyjack
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 3:01
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    I think you must be wrong about Sound of Silence. It's famously associated with the film The Graduate, and which such a strong association in recent memory I don't imagine any reasonable filmmaker would consider using it in a serious film.
    – Jules
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 7:49
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    Checked IMDB's Paul Simon entry for "soundtrack" and Sound Of Silence" was not used in any film like you're describing from any period. And they even have a credit from a Japanese monster movie. I'm also betting on *Silent Running (which has Joan Baez's strident singing). Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 4:30
  • Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack credits on IMDb.
    – SQB
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 11:50
  • Paul Simon soundtrack credits on IMDb.
    – SQB
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 11:51

5 Answers 5


I think this might be Silent Running. It's not quite the same (i.e. no Simon and Garfunkel)

In the future, all plant life on Earth has become extinct. A few specimens have been preserved in enormous, greenhouse-like geodesic domes attached to a fleet of American Airlines space freighters, currently just outside the orbit of Saturn. Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern), one of four crewmen aboard the Valley Forge, is the resident botanist and ecologist who carefully preserves a variety of plants for their eventual return to Earth and the reforestation of the planet. Lowell spends most of his time in the domes, both cultivating the crops and attending to the animal life.

He's not the only one, but he refuses to jettison and destroy the domes. He kills a crewmate and winds up dying in the end, leaving only his favorite dome drifting in space, with a robot to take care of it, feeling that humanity will eventually need it.

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    very good movie. But about "feeling that humanity will eventually need it." ? I think it is darker than that: he wanted to preserve the plants, as humanity so far destroyed almost all of it and asked to destroy that last dome too. I think he chose to save the plants for the plants themselves, and have a robot take care of them as much as it can, so that they may survive as long as possible. I don't think he has any hope that humanity will benefit from those plants again after that (but I don't remember the end very well : I may not remember some dialog going in that direction) Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 8:18
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    Think it was two robots to tend the plants at the end. Huey, Duey and Luey and one gets destroyed somehow during the film... or was that the Black Hole? Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 9:04
  • @DarrenBartrup-Cook VINCent and BoB were the two in Black Hole, and only one remains at the end of SR.
    – moopet
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 9:15
  • BTW/ Peter Schickele was the composer for the score of Silent Running.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 13:33
  • I seem to remember this as Silent Running straight away. One robot was the smart one and the other was not quite so smart! The smart one had an accident. One human decided to return to Earth and one stayed. This is a real blast from the past. Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 14:14

It's a bit of a long shot but is this Silent Running?

It doesn't match a lot of the criteria. It isn't a generation ship, but it is set entirely on a spaceship, the Valley Forge, a converted aircraft carrier which houses the last of Earth's forests. Through various plot incidents the ship does end up with only one of it's crew left on it. And there are lots of plant growing modules.

It was released in 1972. I've been unable to track down a complete music list, but Simon and Garfunkel would fit the tone well.

You would certainly remember the three little robots tasked with minding the plants.


My first thought was Silent Running also, but your description has some elements that fit with Saturn 3:

  • 1970s
  • a robot goes nuts and kills most of the crew
  • one guy left alive at the end
  • there might be farming modules. (I don't remember them being depicted in the film, but it's set on a hydroponics research base, so they might be.)

On the other hand, I'm fairly certain it doesn't have Simon and Garfunkel or anything like it on the soundtrack.

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    Great movie. But I would think that having Farrah Fawcett as the sole survivor would stick out more than a Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack.
    – MivaScott
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 16:14
  • @MivaScott oddly enough it's been so long since I've seen it that I'd forgotten Farrah Fawcett was the survivor. (The main thing that stuck in my mind was a slow motion explosion that seemed to last for an hour.)
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 8:41

Silent Running has a lot of similarities, but I'd like to also mention The Starlost.

Ways it fits:

  • Generation ship (the ship in Silent Running is not a generation ship, but a plain ol' cargo ship repurposed to host greenhouses instead of storage containers)

  • Large domes full of plant life (the show begins in a simulation of an psuedo-Amish community hosted inside of a heavily forested dome)

  • The generation ship is headed for disaster due to a computer malfunction (the problems with the ship in Silent Running are all caused by the protagonist while trying to prevent his crewmates from ejecting the domes)

  • 1970s

Ways it does not fit:

  • No Simon and Garfunkel (no budget for that)

  • Not a film, a Canadian TV series

  • There were many humans left alive, the (initial) plot gimmick was that none of them (other than the main three) knew they were in a generation ship, and the humans who knew how to operate and pilot the ship were all dead


The comment above explains it well but id thought id come along in the future and talk about it again. Star Lost was a short series, not well known, it had bio pods and the ship was very similar to the ship, Valley Forge in silent running, as it to had bio pods that could be taken as farming modules, It's interesting to note that the first episode of Star Lost was set in a setting that resembled a farm or at least a primitive rural setting, though it had futuristic elements such as electric lighting and modern walls in the habitations. It was on board the ship but the habitants didn't realize it till one got out luckily for him as he was about to be lynched and that's how the series kicked off.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. There's already an existing answer suggesting this; if you want to make a case for this you should try to write an answer that is better and more complete than that, hopefully identifying points of similarity that answer misses.
    – DavidW
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 17:41
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    Commented May 31, 2023 at 17:58
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    Commented May 31, 2023 at 17:58

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