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Soylent Green
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Customer Reviews:

  • Malthus was right
    Soylent Green is a true classic in the world of science fiction movies. There's no futuristic gadgetry or alien invasion here. Quite the opposite, there's a dense sense of medieval peasant society returning, and of mankind invading his own world - and losing to the invaders.

    Charlton Heston is Thorn, a mostly-honest cop. Edward G. Robinson puts in a startling late-life performance as his "book," or research sidekick. The story follows Thorn on a murder case, stepping over the squatters that pack every square foot of the gray, gritty city. It follows him up into the penthouses of privilege, enclaves of luxury for the few who can afford it. Even here, though, poverty pervades. Luxury consists of a fresh carrot or stalk of celery, and of human decor (or "furniture"). It's easy to put a misogynist reading on the women who prostitute themselves as one of an apartment's amenities, but I think that's a mistake. Despite the male-in-charge sense of the movie as a whole, Shirl and the girls have escaped starvation the only way they could find: on their backs.

    Despite the inevitable creep of the 1970s into this movie, it has held up well over time. Population pressure, poverty, and ecological collapse are as real now as ever, even if they're not so much in the forefront of general awareness. Privilege, power, and corruption are still real, too. So is inhuman treatment of human material, though not to the extend of using bulldozers to scoop up unruly crowds. And I promise you, you'll hear Beethoven's Pastorale very differently the next time you hear it.

    //wiredweird...more info
  • Long forgotten but speeding to news again?
    I was looking for Solyent Green since I was young after seeing it in theater as a science-fiction drama.
    Now that I found it, I do not know if I am very happy to see it again considering that it might be closer to reality than to Sci-Fi...more info
  • Heston discovers a REALLY inconvenient truth
    In an overcrowded, overheated world where nature is dying, a cop (Charlton Heston) investigates the assassination of an executive (Joseph Cotton) of the company that manufactures most of the world's food supply, learning a terrible secret in the process. Although the look of this 70s SF movie is dated (please tell me that the scarf Heston wears throughout the film won't come back into style), its story is more relevant than ever. This is a world where global warming has gone unchecked and the most powerful nation in the world has been reduced to third world poverty. One can only imagine how bad it is elsewhere.

    I'm usually not a big fan of remakes, but this film would be a good candidate for an update. Not only is the message appropriate for today's audience, but just imagine what they could do now with the food riot scenes and the machines that scoop up the rioters with huge shovels. Heston bellows one of his most memorable lines ever in this one: "Soylent Green is ------!" ranks right up there with "Keep your hands off me, you damn, dirty ape!"...more info
  • An Old Movie
    An old movie, but a good movie. The end is a sad comment on the society of tomorrow. Heston and Robertson do a great job of acting. The pace is a little slower than current special effects of today's movies. If you are not a fast paced dude and can slow down, then I would recommend this one for you....more info
  • The Secret Behind Soylent Green
    It is New York, in the year 2022, and overpopulation, pollution, and an extreme lack of food are the rule, thanks to the Greenhouse Effect that people were warned about but took no action to prevent. And the only food in town is this foodstuff called Soylent Green. Such is the premise behind the 1973 sci-fi melodrama SOYLENT GREEN.

    In this film, based on Harry Harrison's Dystopian 1966 novel "Make Room! Make Room!", Charlton Heston stars as a policeman investigating the murder of a high level executive (Joseph Cotten) who, it just so happens, served on the board of the Soylent Corporation, the people responsible for all the varieties of Soylent foodstuff--red, yellow, and, yes, green. With the help of his slightly cantankerous "book" (Edward G. Robinson, in his 101st and final cinematic appearance), and against the machinations of an out-of-control bureaucracy, Heston works his way up to find numerous people being bumped off after learning the secret ingredient. His desperation in finding out the truth intensifies after Robinson himself learns about it and chooses to euthanize himself. And when Heston finally does learn the truth--well, his last line pretty much says it all.

    There's no denying that in terms of set design and special effects, SOYLENT GREEN has not dated overtly well. And yet, there's a lot to this film that stays in the mind, and not just Heston's famous last words either. Robinson's final performance here is a combination of old-world crankiness and a sense of melancholy as he talks of what the world used to be like before it all collapsed into chaos; the euthanasia sequence, set to the music of Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Grieg, is incredibly moving, especially since it was indeed Robinson's very last scene ever in front of the cameras. Chuck Connors makes for a particularly menacing heavy; and Cotten scores as the Soylent executive who is bumped off because he has become "unreliable." Heston, as always, carries the day (this had been a project he had been eyeing since he had scored in the sci-fi genre with PLANET OF THE APES in 1968), under the highly professional direction of Richard Fleischer (FANTASTIC VOYAGE; THE BOSTON STRANGLER; TORA! TORA! TORA!).

    While the whole theme of corporate greed and overpopulation probably seems antiquated today (and, according to some wags, distinctly at odds with Heston's ultra-conservative political philosophy), SOYLENT GREEN nevertheless forces us to confront the horrible possibility that we might end up being what we eat if we don't stop destroying our planet's resources....more info
  • A disturbing and unsettling view of the near future...
    Made in 1974, "Soylent Green" was then a byproduct of the energy crisis and an evolving ecological movement now undoubtedly flourishing today in 2006. Other movies, like "Silent Running" would follow a similar theme as well.

    Edward G. Robinson's steals the show, and deservedly so, in his last screen role as Sol, in the final scene where, going to a voluntary death after learning of the secret of "soylent green," dies amidst Cinerama-sized movies of the world as it once was: visions of grass, flowers, wild animals, lakes and mountains against the ugly, filthy ramshackle of what was New York of 2022. Perhaps one of the most moving and poignant scenes ever filmed in a science fiction feature.

    Fleischer's disturbing vision of New York City with its 40 million inhabitants is utterly convincing conveying the sheer terror and hopelessness of an overcrowded world.

    Even Heston's rather pedestrian performance as Detective Thorn who investigates the murder of a wealthy and prominent citizen (Joseph Cotten in a rare screen appearance), cannot detract from the undeniable power of this movie. ...more info
  • It's Peo....a great movie.
    Being born in 1973 I missed out on this movie when it was first released. Having grown up a little bit and watching movies like Planet of the Apes, Capricorn One, Duel and so forth during the late 70's very early 80's, I had to search my memory banks on this movie; Soylent Green.

    Can't believe I missed out on it all these years. This is a great movie! Heston is in his true form, and I feel gives a better performance here then in Planet of the Apes. Some people will make comments that it is cheesey or the plot is given away in the begenning. Cheesey by today's standards, nah not really. The story and plot are very engaging and this is a movie that can be watched and enjoyed by all generations. ...more info
  • Environmental degradation, extreme poverty in 2022. No way right?
    I saw this in the now defunct Northland theater in Southfield Michigan. The theater had only 1 screen. And it didn't change films every other week like they do now(Funny girl was shown here as the only feature for over a year!). But hey I digress. Released in 1973, Soylent Green's future of 2022 shows global warming reeking havoc, extreme poverty, corporations running things, extreme food shortages, energy shortages and overpopulation. Many people here in 2008 would say were already halfway there now. The movie is pretty prophetic I'd say. As for the food shortages Soylent Corporation comes to the rescue with their Soylent food- tasteless food squares in different colors that look a lot like the low fat snacks that my wife buys.

    Charlton Heston is fantastic as NYC Detective Thorn who is investigating the murder of a rich but troubled man (played by Joseph Cotton). He is troubled because he knows the secret of the powerful Soylent Corporation. Because of NYC overcrowding and poverty(40 mil and counting) Detective Thorn is overburdened and underpaid so the police of the future have no qualms about helping themselves to a deadman's belongings, including his live in prostitute (how cool is that). It appears that between 1973 and 2022 they did not seem to make any new cars, firearms or trash trucks which are sometimes used for the secondary purpose of scooping up disorderly citizens. The movie does not have the production values and special effects of a futuristic movie like Bladerunner but these are minor points of contention for an otherwise fine film. This DVD is shown in widescreen and for the true fan it has a commentary track with actress Leigh Taylor-Young and Director Richard Fleisher giving interesting behind the scenes info.

    Edward G. Robinson is excellent as Sol, Thorn's assisant or 'book' as he is referred to. This was Robinson's 101st and last film. In a memorable and famous scene with Heston, Sol decides to end his life after finding out the horrible secret of Soylent Greens origin. Unfortunately Robinson passed away shortly after this film was released. This DVD should be in every sci-fi fans library.
    ...more info
  • COMPELLING DYSTOPIAN SCIENCE-FICTION MELODRAMA THAT IS STILL CHILLING AFTER 35 YEARS
    FIRST OFF: WHAT DOES THIS DVD OFFER IN SPECIAL FEATURES?

    The VHS editions had NO special features so it is nice to have the following 'Special Features' on the DVD along with a cleaner print and sharper sound;

    -----> Feature-length audio commentary by Leigh Taylor-Young and director Richard Fleischer

    -----> Vintage documentary "A Look at the World of Soylent Green"

    -----> "MGM's Tribute to Edward G. Robinson's 101st Film"

    -----> "Charlton Heston Sci-Fi Movies" essay

    PLUS THE USUAL DVD NICETIES: Interactive menus --> Theatrical trailer --> Scene access --> Languages: English & Fran?ais Subtitles: English, Fran?ais & Espa?ol

    -*-> ABOUT THE FILM -- 1 OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES <-*-

    FIRST THOUGHTS:

    Soylent Green is one of those films that makes me yearn to shout its punch line. From reading the reviews here I can see I am not alone in this, but I shall refrain from giving away that part of the film.

    IN A NUTSHELL: COULD THIS HORRIFIC VISION OF THE FUTURE BE WAITING FOR US?

    Soylent Green is a film based on the science fiction novel of the same name by Harry Harrison.

    Its 2022 A.D. and the Earth has finally exceeded its carrying capacity as a result of the environmental desecration which continued and expanded throughout the industrial revolution and now into the post-industrial stagnancy that has followed. The plight of the world is shown to us through Detective Thorn [Charlton Heston] and Sol Roth [Edward G. Robinson] who are a kind of dyfunctional odd-couple who literally live and work together. Thorn is investigating the murder of Simonson, a member of the board of directors of the 'Soylent Corp.'. Sol Roth is a 'Police Book' whose job is to gather research material relevant to Thorn's investigation. Contrary to what might be expected, information is scarce as books are not published anymore [no trees & no paper] and computers don't figure in, at least not on their level. People literally live in the street and food is available in the form of synthetic brickettes of yellow, red, blue and GREEN all courtesy of the SOYLENT corporation.

    Why Simonson [Joseph Cotten] was murdered will eventually reveal what Soylent Green is all about and with that goes the entire plot of the film. Getting to that point, we follow Thorn in his investigation and see a world that is beyond depressing, where people don't even recall any beauty or happiness, let alone a real meal or hot running water! An ordinary bar of soap or a celery stick is a miracle and as Thorn puts it, "I'd smoke 2 or 3 of these a day if I could afford them", in regard to cigarettes. People line up for Soylent each day and when it runs out there are food riots which are dealt with by scoops [see cover of Video or DVD] sent by the NYC police Riot Squad. Yes, Thorn occasionally ends up on that detail too between finding murderers.

    In the course of his investigation Thorn gets to know Shirl [Leigh Taylor-Young] who is the 'furniture' in Simonson's luxury apartment and a new love interest for Thorn. Women don't seem to have equal rights in this future world as if it wouldn't already be a miserable enough existence.

    WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY - WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    'Soylent Green' most of all is a message of hope, a desperate wake-up call to the silent majority of humanity screaming -- IT'S STILL NOT TOO LATE! All of us are represented by 'Thorn' and we go through the same learning process as he does with the investigation of the Simonson murder as the vehicle and in the end we may reach the same conclusions.


    BOTTOM LINE: EDWARD G. ROBINSON GIVES ADDED WEIGHT TO SOYLENT GREEN

    Soylent Green gets a lot of help in the credibility department from Edward G. Robinson, in his final role. Robinson makes a common pencil, a celery stalk or a stick of butter seem like treasures meant for royalty. Tears well up in his eyes as he is overwhelmed by the sight of a bar of soap, pencils and a couple of reference books, all part of the graft that Thorn, an honest cop, purloined from Simonson's apartment. Robinson makes all of this alien scenery that we are confronted with every moment seem genuine because we believe he believes it all. His constant bantering and bickering with Thorn in their apartment are some of the best scenes in the movie and provide the film with an anchor to the Earth and humanity of the past in dark contrast with the Earth of the horrible present [our future - their present].





    ...more info
  • Serious Science Fiction Shocker
    Tuesday is Soylent Green Day.

    That ominous statement is delivered in the film as a kind of TV advertisement, an informational message aimed at the desperate denizens of an utterly socially ravaged world not so far removed from our own. Tuesday is a day they can look forward to because they can get Soylent Green. Considering the dismal nature of this future society, it's something which is sadly believable.

    This film remains one of the more starkly realistic and disturbing portrayals of a future in which people have almost nothing of their own - including food and shelter. They have little human dignity left either. This is not the glorified future of Star Wars with blinking lights and merry talking droids and wise teachers over flowing with hopeful messages. It's a dirty, ridiculously over crowded nightmare where people treat each other as little more than cattle and even love is a dangerous luxury.

    Charleton Heston plays a cop investigating the brutal murder of a powerful business man. In his quest to find the truth, he uncovers a thing so shocking it takes away loved ones, nearly robs him of his own sanity and leaves the viewer with such uneasiness it approaches the dark tone of a horror movie.

    However what makes Soylent Green so powerfully unsettling is that so much of the fictional story could indeed come to pass. Indeed, this cautionary tale is even more timely now than when it debuted back in the 1970's. If you're looking for a sci-fi romp through a colorful world of zippy space ships and wacky alien races, look elsewhere. This is hardcore uncompromising science fiction which will stay with you....more info
  • pantera6
    One of the low budget movies,that you can sit and wach over and over....more info
  • what a snoozer!
    I wouldn't even give this snoozer a b rating. Seriously folks don't waste you hard earned money. If I was able to give it no stars I would have, but amazon would not except my review without a 1 to 5 star rating. Seriously it's a zero. ...more info
  • Soylent Green - Pure Fantasy or Potential Reality
    My watching this film resulted from a conversation with a friend beginning with politics and spiraling down to the future of our world. The premise of the film was disturbing to say the least. I have never been a true fan of Charleton Heston who in my opinion always has overacted. However, Edward G. Robinson seemed as comfortable playing this character as he has been in the many different roles he has played. His performance was truly heartfelt, bringing to mind the current debate on "ending one's own life with dignity". I shutter to think that this is life as it should be though. But Robinson's character acted on the decision with the counterfeit courage and ultimate hopelessness that accompanied it in such a way that you could very well empathize with him. I found the other actors to be somewhat bland. Perhaps this was acting at that point in time, but some actors can make the most of roles and others cannot. The story line was unique, but the script was lacking. A re-make today by Steven Spielberg might be worthwhile seeing. Perhaps the most striking element I took from this film was an unshakeable chilling and unsettling feeling that this could very well be our world if we do not wake up....more info
  • A Bleak Picture
    This is definitely a very outdated film but it is still very watchable. It depicts a horrific future in which the planet has been so damaged that putting food on the table is difficult. The staple is a product called Soylent, made in part from soy. There are different varieties: red, yellow, brown, but the most palatable one is green. Unfortunately, it is always running short and riots ensue.

    Charlton Heston plays a policeman called in to investigate the death of a member of the Soylent corporate board. In this version of society, policemen are fairly corrupt by our standards. Heston's character is neither more nor less that average but his conduct is not flattering...until he realizes that the death of the executive is tied into something bigger. As he investigates, thugs and his own superiors try to warn him off but he will not let go. Finally, he finds the secret of Soylent Green and it is a grisly one.

    This in an interesting retro look at a bleak future but it is not great entertainment.
    ...more info
  • A smart, powerful, and still timely cautionary tale
    Like most people, I knew the shocking secret of the film long before actually watching it. But I was truly surprised to discover what a strong film it remains to this day, presenting a grim but convincing picture of a world in rapid decline, both materially & culturally. Even better, it credits the audience with intelligence & lets us put the pieces together as we watch, rather than hitting us over the head with speeches & statistics.

    Are the minimal effects & overall design dated? Of course -- but that's totally beside the point. Ideas are what matter here, not gloss. True science-fiction isn't about prediction, it's about speculation: what if? And it's often commentary on & criticism of the present. This film is a perfect case in point. If the details haven't aged well, the essence remains as searingly potent as ever.

    What strikes me is the restrained, casual tone of the picture, presenting a corrupt & apathetic world so matter-of-factly. Our coarsened hero Thorn (an excellent Charlton Heston) is so obviously a product of that world, shaped by its anomie & mounting despair. Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson in a heartfelt final appearance) is the dwindling counterpoint, no more than a living memory of a better, cleaner world that Thorn can't even begin to imagine. And Leigh Taylor-Young's Shirl is a tragic figure, sensitive but wearily accepting of her role in a society that has no place or pity for her humane spirit.

    The background is filled with throwaway lines that almost slide by without calling attention to themselves: asking a bodyguard if he can read or write, thus establishing the collapse of literacy; marveling at something as common to us as a glass of ice, indicating its scarcity; succumbing to the temptation of a rare hot shower, rather than sex or money. A sickening yellow-green pall fills the screen in all outdoor scenes; a palpable weariness & desperation covers everyone like a thickening layer of dust. The viewer feels as grimy & sweaty & unwashed as any of the characters. In some ways, it's a brutally realistic version of "Idiocracy" long before that satiric film.

    Most telling is the transformation of human beings into disposable commodities by the corporate masters of the world. From young women called "furniture," to the literal scooping up of hungry rioters, to the secret of Soylent Green itself, the mass of humanity exists to be used, traded, bought & sold to satisfy the greed of a handful of the rich & powerful. Which doesn't seem all that far-fetched these days ...

    When we get to the final scenes with Sol, dying before screen images of the green earth he knew as a child, it's as jolting to the viewer as it is to a stunned Thorn, who finally realizes just how much both humanity & the world have lost. And the age of the film is actually a reminder that the greenhouse effect & global warming were well-known over 30 years ago, only to be ignored & disregarded since that time in favor of corporate interests. Dated? Not in this regard!

    All in all, it's the sort of film that probably wouldn't get made today, not unless it was packed with CGI effects, massive explosions, a larger body count, and a lot less intelligence. But if you're ready for a thought-provoking story, you won't do much better than this fine science-fiction film. And the commentary by director Richard Fleischer & Leigh Taylor-Young is informative & articulate, adding to the experience. Most highly recommended!

    ...more info
  • Grim, but important
    Prior to "Star Wars," sci-fi films tended to be deep, brooding philosophical stories for adult audiences. Post-apocalyptic tales of future societies gone amuck were also a staple of the genre during this time. "Soylent Green" was one of them.

    I first saw this in 1974 or 75 on CBS' Friday Night Movies which gravitated toward things like this and "Logan's Run." It creeped me out then and even as an adult 30 years later, it STILL creeps me out. A really downbeat environmentalist's nightmare of the world in 2022, overpopulated with vegetables and meat being enjoyed only by the rich and the masses surviving off of water rations and a synthetic food called "Soylent Green." Charlton Heston's search for the secret behind this concoction is the main plot of the story.

    The film is so dreary that the only people who would want to see this more than once are environmentalist groups and those who enjoyed Al Gore's documentary. But while it's not exactly beer-and pizza escapism, the message of the film makes it worth seeing at least once. ...more info
  • Terrifying Vision of the Future?
    I assume that most people who are buying this movie have already seen it at one time in their lives so I won't rehash the story. On first viewing, Soylent Green offers what is perhaps a terrifying vision of the future of mankind. On the second viewing, the reader should consider all the moral and ethical points that are made.
    I am not a Malthusian, but I do think that there is some point where population pressures may overwhelm the earth's capacity to sustain human existence in its present form. New York City with 40 million people is a scary thought, but Mexico City already has that many. We might look at Mexico City and get an idea of what New York might be like with a similar population, though Mexico City is not nearly as squalid as the New York depicted in the film.
    The world of Soylent Green is a world in which very little works, most people don't know how to do anything useful, and their lives are driven by the need to obtain food, most of which is provided by the Soylent Corporation as only a select few are permitted to go into the country. The rich live in guarded and largely inaccessible condo towers, those lucky enough to have employment share rooms in ramshackle apartments, and the masses sleep either in the streets, in stairwells or if lucky, in abandoned cars that litter the landscape. Almost all people are very shabbily dressed, like a 1930s Russian peasant.
    But note other issues:
    Government tyranny: Though there are "elections", they obviously mean nothing. The government is very heavy handed and ANY dissent is met with the dissident's removal, probably to the Soylent factory.
    Sexism: Beautiful women can become "furniture" for the rich if they are pleasant and pliant. Their relatively better existence depends on their remaining in favor with their owners. Other women live a hellish life with most other people.
    Climate Change: The greenhouse effect in combination with industrial pollutants has forever changed earth's climate and made feeding the burgeoning population the number one problem. New York's air is so filthy in this film that many people wear masks over their noses and mouths.
    Science and Industry: Science, and the corporate world, has had to develop a new way to feed people because of declining plankton stocks in the oceans. Corporate advertising has convinced them that the new Soylent Green wafers are highest in nutrition. Shortages are contrived to keep prices high and the public restless. Kinda sounds like the current ongoing oil crisis, doesn't it?
    Assisted Suicide: Long before this became a real issue, people who were tired of living in the world of Soylent Green could check into a facility and volunteer to die. They would be given a potion and shown videos of majestic and peaceful scenes while their lives ebbed away. They would be treated with dignity until they were dead, then they were wheeled away, loaded into a garbage truck, and shipped off with thousands of others to the Soylent factory to become wafers to feed those left behind.
    Corruption: Government and industry worked hand in hand to control the populace and to ensure that those on top stayed on top. Those who didn't toe the line were eliminated.
    Lack of respect for life: Probably because there were just so many people, society had no respect for human life. You will notice several times in the movie where bystanders to a confrontation are killed with no qualms. Only a few priests and nuns tried to help the less fortunate at all.
    There are other issues to give one pause, but these are the ones that stand out for me. Soylent Green is dramatic and suspenseful, but at times it also seems a little dated. We can only hope humanity never comes to this. Four stars plus for this excellent piece of 70s sci-fi.
    ...more info
  • speechless, but something to write
    Incredible. I was speechless. The "riot control" bulldozers scooping up people were hilarious, and I was wondering about how comfortable it must be to sleep on stairs. The bulldozers seemed much more comfortable than the stairs to some of the extras and the menacing "people scooping machines" seemed like basically, well, just a form of a cheap ride and entertainment for the rioters. I'm thinking the next time I go to the video store and see this on the Sci-fi shelf, I'm going to switch it and put it in the comedy section.

    I got mixed messages from the film and there were some loose ends. Heston's and other's acting were, obviously, over the top, but another hilarious aspect of the whole show. They did make an honest try and Heston filled the part pretty good for the 1970's era, errr, excuse me, the 2020's era. It did however take some avant-guard risks and had anti-government implied overtones and warnings of fascism and of the things that can possible result from our present deterorating situation in the USA and many other places on the planet- both ecologically and socially. Wow. Worth watching for a good laugh, that is, if you have a good sense of humor, and also critically think about our destructive actions on the planet we all ride together. The movie kind of reminded me of a Grateful Dead line in one of their songs, "Ship of Fools on a Cruel Sea" from 1974, a year after the movie was made. Won't re-watch or buy, I'll just listen to an old Grateful Dead album for my nostalgia.

    If you decide to watch, just keep a good sense of humor and try to make something of it at the end. ...more info
  • DARK PORTRAIT OF PLANET EARTH'S POTENTIAL FUTURE?
    WHAT DOES THIS DVD OFFER IN SPECIAL FEATURES?

    The VHS editions had NO special features so it is nice to have the following 'Special Features' on the DVD along with a cleaner print and sharper sound;

    -----> Feature-length audio commentary by Leigh Taylor-Young and director Richard Fleischer

    -----> Vintage documentary "A Look at the World of Soylent Green"

    -----> "MGM's Tribute to Edward G. Robinson's 101st Film"

    -----> "Charlton Heston Sci-Fi Movies" essay

    PLUS THE USUAL DVD NICETIES: Interactive menus --> Theatrical trailer --> Scene access --> Languages: English & Fran?ais Subtitles: English, Fran?ais & Espa?ol

    -*-> ABOUT THE FILM -- 1 OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES <-*-

    FIRST THOUGHTS:

    Soylent Green is one of those films that makes me yearn to shout its punch line. From reading the reviews here I can see I am not alone in this, but I shall refrain from giving away that part of the film.

    IN A NUTSHELL: COULD THIS HORRIFIC VISION OF THE FUTURE BE WAITING FOR US?

    Soylent Green is a film based on the science fiction novel of the same name by Harry Harrison.

    Its 2022 A.D. and the Earth has finally exceeded its carrying capacity as a result of the environmental desecration which continued and expanded throughout the industrial revolution and now into the post-industrial stagnancy that has followed. The plight of the world is shown to us through Detective Thorn [Charlton Heston] and Sol Roth [Edward G. Robinson] who are a kind of dyfunctional odd-couple who literally live and work together. Thorn is investigating the murder of Simonson, a member of the board of directors of the 'Soylent Corp.'. Sol Roth is a 'Police Book' whose job is to gather research material relevant to Thorn's investigation. Contrary to what might be expected, information is scarce as books are not published anymore [no trees & no paper] and computers don't figure in, at least not on their level. People literally live in the street and food is available in the form of synthetic brickettes of yellow, red, blue and GREEN all courtesy of the SOYLENT corporation.

    Why Simonson [Joseph Cotten] was murdered will eventually reveal what Soylent Green is all about and with that goes the entire plot of the film. Getting to that point, we follow Thorn in his investigation and see a world that is beyond depressing, where people don't even recall any beauty or happiness, let alone a real meal or hot running water! An ordinary bar of soap or a celery stick is a miracle and as Thorn puts it, "I'd smoke 2 or 3 of these a day if I could afford them", in regard to cigarettes. People line up for Soylent each day and when it runs out there are food riots which are dealt with by scoops [see cover of Video or DVD] sent by the NYC police Riot Squad. Yes, Thorn occasionally ends up on that detail too between finding murderers.

    In the course of his investigation Thorn gets to know Shirl [Leigh Taylor-Young] who is the 'furniture' in Simonson's luxury apartment and a new love interest for Thorn. Women don't seem to have equal rights in this future world as if it wouldn't already be a miserable enough existence.

    WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY - WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    'Soylent Green' most of all is a message of hope, a desperate wake-up call to the silent majority of humanity screaming -- IT'S STILL NOT TOO LATE! All of us are represented by 'Thorn' and we go through the same learning process as he does with the investigation of the Simonson murder as the vehicle and in the end we may reach the same conclusions.


    BOTTOM LINE: EDWARD G. ROBINSON GIVES ADDED WEIGHT TO SOYLENT GREEN

    Soylent Green gets a lot of help in the credibility department from Edward G. Robinson, in his final role. Robinson makes a common pencil, a celery stalk or a stick of butter seem like treasures meant for royalty. Tears well up in his eyes as he is overwhelmed by the sight of a bar of soap, pencils and a couple of reference books, all part of the graft that Thorn, an honest cop, purloined from Simonson's apartment. Robinson makes all of this alien scenery that we are confronted with every moment seem genuine because we believe he believes it all. His constant bantering and bickering with Thorn in their apartment are some of the best scenes in the movie and provide the film with an anchor to the Earth and humanity of the past in dark contrast with the Earth of the horrible present [our future - their present].

    COMPELLING DYSTOPIAN SCIENCE-FICTION MELODRAMA THAT IS STILL CHILLING AFTER 35 YEARS



    ...more info
  • now I remember
    Hadn't seen this movie for decades. Hasn't been on TV anywhere so I bought it. Now I know why. Simple plot, little or no SPX and just plain boring all around.
    Oh well, they can't all be winners.......more info
  • ZPG means more for you and me!
    Soylent Green came out a full decade before I was even born. I heard about this movie, only by references from my father, and choice Biology teachers/professors. After watching this movie after extensively studying the environment, biology, and ethics in college, I realize that this movie is probably one of the best warnings to those, planning to have more than 2 kids.... the warning is: The more people you have at the table, the smaller each piece of pie becomes. This may be a science FICTION film, but the implications that the film explores about population growth are priceless, and are a lesson that every human being should become aware of.

    On a lighter note, this movie is very fun to watch - if for nothing, other than nostalgia. The sets are entertaining - and the view of the future looked a helluva lot like the 70's, if you ask me. Charlton Heston is entertaining - though I find it interesting that he acted in such a philosophical film, and is now a NRA spokesman with Alzheimer's. Danger! Danger!

    This film should be required curriculum in high school biology classes....more info
  • Soylent Green days are coming...
    For Sci-Fi enthusiasts, this is a must. Based on Harry Harrison's "Make room ! Make room !", the movie shows an apocalyptic (..but indeed possible..) situation in year 2020. Don't miss it ! ...more info
  • Humanity on the road to extinction
    Soylent Green was originally released May 9th 1973, two weeks after April 22nds Earth Day celebration. For years afterward, Soylent Green would air on Earth Day. Last April 22nd I was unable to find it on TV : (

    Whatever your views on Global Warming: whether you believe the facts, and fear polar bear and wolf populations may be in danger; or whether you believe scientists who study 'global dimming' and fear pollution is reflecting Sol's rays away from Earth - or if you'd prefer to see Global Warming; or whether you believe: the only things we know about Global Warming, are what the powers-that-be want us to know, and probably for reasons having nothing to do with Global Warming; or, even if you believe, since we're being told about Global Warming, then without a doubt the Earth must be cooling... whatever you believe... this movie presents a disturbing possibility. Pollution and ecological devastation on a massive scale. And the future's not here yet: Who's to say things won't be worse in 2022 than they are portrayed in the movie Soylent Green?

    In 2022 Thorne (Charlton Heston) is a detective in NYC where unemployment is at 50% and 40 million people cram into the city rioting over 'Soylent' food wafers. Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow and now Soylent Green. Thorne lives in a small apartment he shares with Sol 'the book' Roth (Edward G Robinson). Sol, an older man, has a hard time dealing with the new reality. Each night Thorne has trouble getting home from work. Bodies of the homeless cover the stairwell!

    Thorne is sent to investigate the murder of 'Simonson' a man on Soylent Corporation's board of directors. Thorne interrogates Simonson's girlfriend or 'furniture' as she is called, Shirl (Leigh Taylor). "He cried, a lot", she says. They discuss old people. Shirl looks barely 16, but, growing up in this world, it's clear she is the one Simonson leaned on as he tried to adjust to the new reality.

    As the mystery deepens friend Sol brings Thorne before 'the Exchange' a group of older scholars. Celia Lovsky, as the Exchange leader, gives the pivotal performance of the movie. The Exchange has uncovered scientific reports from Soylent Corporation. The Plankton Farms are failing. Even Earth's Plankton are dying. You can see it in her eyes. "The facts played with his sanity", she says of Simonson. "The Corporation feared he had become unstable". Are their kind doomed to extinction? The tasty Soylent Green wafers needed may become in short supply.

    Thorne returns home to find a note left for him by Sol saying he's gone home. The truth is too much for Sol. Thorne rushes to a nearby 'sleep (euthanasia) center', but it's too late. Sol's not dead yet but he's already taken the fatal dose. This was Edward G Robinson's (Sol's) last movie. He was suffering from terminal cancer. It's said the tears Robinson and Heston cry are real.

    Sol's body gets dumped in a dump truck along with the others and Thorne jumps up on the truck to follow. Dump trucks from all over converge on a Soylent plant, the company that manufactures the tasty Soylent Green treats so much in demand. Sol and the others bodies are loaded onto an assembly line at the plant. Thorne follows. The bodies are being processed, and at the end of the assembly line emerges, Solyent Green!

    Thorn is spotted by security. He manages to escape but is shot in the hand. Back in the city Thorne is carried off on a stretcher, "They're breeding us like cattle!", "You've got to tell people", "Soylent Green is people".

    In one scene in Shirl's apartment, a video game is shown. Said to be the first time such a game was shown on TV. Perhaps a prop to give the movie a futuristic look. I think I just wanted to play the video game. Some reviewers have said there's a homosexual element to this movie, in that, there are 20 million homeless people outside his house yet Thorne is living with another dude. I've never noticed the love affair myself watching the movie. ...more info
  • Still waiting for it
    I will be willing to send you any details that help other customers. But I have not received the movie yet. According to Amazon prediction of approximate delivery, the item should be arriving today, May 15, at the latest. Unless this occurs in the afternoon today, this did not happen. I understand that there may be some delay, due to the international delivery process, so I expect to get it in the next few days. especially because whatever I have bought from Amazon in the past has always arrived to my door without any problem. M. Ferreira....more info
  • Soylent Green is...Airline Food
    Drought! Pestulence! Famine! Overpopulation! Global Warming! Al Gore Nirvana! On the surface this is a contrived and ultimately predictable flick. Darned if I don't like it, though. Silly, yes, but it goes down real smooth if you don't think too hard about it. The stoic Chuck Heston gives the movie some street cred and Edward G. in his final role is engaging as Heston's police researcher. On a more serious note it would make a great double-bill with Douglas Trumbull's classic "Silent Running" starring Bruce Dern....more info
  • A Possible Future???
    This is a rather scary look at what could be a possible future if things continue the way they are heading. Our food supplies becoming more depleted due to unfavorable growing conditions, climatic extremes, lack of water and nutrient-poor land as well as overpopulation continuing at an uncontrollable and alarming rate. This type of recycling may become a necessity. Hopefully, it would at least be voluntary as the movie depicts. An eye-opener for sure....more info
  • Classic Sci Fi
    If you are a fan of 50s, 60s and 70s SciFi, this is a great movie. Even though it's a bit dated, some of the issues (over population, global warming, polution, etc.) are very much a part of today's environment. Very thought provoking story line and reasonably good acting contribute to the movie's enjoyment. The DVD's picture quality is good and views well. Overall, a good solid movie and should be part any serious SciFi fan's collection....more info