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Tonto Lives
08-19-2004, 01:16 AM
Don't miss the movie that was a head of it's time.


People will do anything to get what they need.
And they need


SOYLENT GREEN won the Nebula Award as best science-fiction film of 1973. This futuristic film showed the 21st century with an unpleasant future---riots, food shortage and little value for human life. However, despite this, the film makes viewers take a serious look at Earth's diminishing resources in a sober light.


SOYLENT GREEN is set in the Big Apple that is rotten to the core. Smog is everywhere, humidity is constantly oppressive causing a green-house effect, space is at a premium, and the population explosion has crammed more than 40 million people in the greater New York City, many of whom live on the streets, in subways, in abandoned vehicles, or in burnt-out buildings. Because real food costs are so much that no one can afford it, the government provides the people with a synthetic substitute, supposedly made from the plankton. Said to have all the vitamins and nutrients needed to maintain life, this pseudo-food is manufactured by a huge conglomerate known as the Soylent Company. Starving people line up for their quota of 'Soylent Green' wafers, but when there appears to be a lack of the foodstuff, riots breakout. The cities cops quell the trouble by scooping up the rioters with huge garbage-clearing contraptions. Heston (Thorn) is a detective who lives in a seedy apartment with Robinson, an aged researcher who is a walking data bank. Edward G. Robinson (Sol Roth ) is old enough that he can recall what real meat tasted like and what real soap felt like against one's skin. Joseph Cotten (William Simonson ), an executive with the Soylent Company, is murdered by an assassin, and Heston gets the job of investigating the murder. From Cotten's mistress, Leigh Taylor-Young (Shirl ), Heston learns that Cotten had been very depressed for a few weeks before his death. As one of the society's elite, Cotton had little reason to be so depressed, and Heston thinks that Cotten may have been murdered by his bodyguard, Chuck Connors (Tab Fielding ), to prevent Cotten for divulging a big secret. Heston continues prying into this case but then is told by his boss, Brock Peters (Hatcher ), that the governor, has ordered that Heston cease his investigation. A dedicated cop, Heston ignores the order and continues his investigation. When an attempt is made on his life, Heston recovers from the wound and is ready to arrest his would-be assassin, Stephen Young (Gilbert). However, Young is killed before Heston can nail him. Robinson begins his own investigation and winds up in an underground repository of books and records where nobody goes anymore. Uncovering the truth about the Soylent Company, Robinson is able to understand why Cotten became so desperate and that he more-or-less condoned his own death. This terrible truth is also too much for Robinson to bear, and he, too, decides that death is preferable to living with this secret. In this future world, citizens are encouraged to chose to die by going to a place referred to as 'Home'. At this beautiful death clinic, Robinson is made comfortable, by being shown movies and pictures on a wide screen of how Earth once was. While classic music is playing, Robinson beholds movies of running brooks, forest of trees and running dear which he vaguely remembers on Earth of yester-year. Returning to their apartment, Heston finds a note from Robinson stating that he is tired and wanted to go 'Home'. In a panic, Heston rushes to the death clinic to try to stop Robinson from his suicide. But just prior to being injected with a painless but lethal narcotic, Robinson tells Heston what he's discovered about the horrifying truth behind 'Soylent Green'. Heston listens to the grim details in horror that such a thing could be taking place. Robinson finishes his tail with a sigh making Heston promise to tell everyone the truth. Robinson tells Heston that he really cares for him and that he will miss him but is ready for an inner peace. Heston bids Robinson a finally farewell with tears streaming down his face. After Robinson dies, Heston leaves the clinic to find out if the story Robinson told him was true. Hiding aboard a truck filled with dead people who've elected to die at the clinic, Heston rides to the out skirts of the city to a huge factory. Inside, Heston can't believe his eyes as he watches the dead bodies being transported along a conveyor belt to a large manufacturing device, emerging at the other end of the line as the ubiquitous wafers of 'Soylent Green'. Now that he knows the secret, Heston's life is worthless. Heston makes his way back to the city and tries to call his boss to tell someone else the horrible truth about 'Soylent Green'. He is stopped by gunshots being fired at him from behind. Heston runs for his life and is shot by Conner's thugs. As Heston is being carried off on a stretcher with blood dripping from his out stretched hand, he yells, "Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!!"


Heston is at his best with this grim Sci-Fi film. He displays the raw emotion of a man living in a hopeless world. Edward G. Robinson's performance here is excellent also. Ironically, Robinson knew he was dying when he performed in the scene in which his character also faces death. So did the other case members. This scene generated true emotional tears from Heston because he knew Robinson was dying in real life and Heston had such high respect and friendship for this great actor. http://datacore.sciflicks.com/soylent_green/images/soylent_green_large_04.jpg[/img]


I thought Chuck did a fantastic job with this role. He played a tough cop but also showed great emotion during the death scene with Edward G. Robinson. When he cried those tears, my heart broke because I could see that Chuck truly was sadden with the knowledge of the impending death of Robinson in that scene. The love scenes between Chuck and Leigh Taylor-Young were wonderful. This film really made me think what could happen to Earth if we continued to strip her of it's resources. SOYLENT GREEN has become a cult-classic among Sci-Fi fans and many online websites have devoted themselves to this film.


DIRECTOR: Richard Fleisher, 1973


Country of Origin:U.S.
Genre:Mystery; Science Fiction
Color or b/w:Color
Production Co(s).:MGM
Released By:MGM
MPAA Rating:PG
Parental Rating:Cautionary; some scenes objectionable
Running Time:97



Charlton Heston-Detective Thorn
Edward G. Robinson-Sol Roth
Leigh Taylor-Young-Shirl
Chuck Connors-Tab Fielding
Joseph Cotten-William Simonson
Brock Peters-Hatcher
Paula Kelly-Martha
Stephen Young-Gilbert
Mike Henry-Kulozik
Lincoln Kilpatrick-Priest
Roy Jenson-Donovan
Leonard Stone-Charles
Whit Bissell-Santini
Celia Lovsky-Exchange Leader
Jane Dulo-Mrs. Santini
Dick Van Patten-Usher
Tim Herbert-Brady
John Dennis-Wagner
Jan Bradley-Bandana Woman
Carlos Romero-New Tenant
Pat Houtchens-Fat Guard
Morgan Farley-Book 1
John Barclay-Book 2
Belle Mitchell-Book 3
Cyril Delevant-Book-4



Producer-Walter Seltzer
Russell Thacher-Director
Richard Fleischer-Writer
Stanley R. Greenberg (based on the novel Make Room? Make Room? by Harry Harrison)
Source-Harry Harrison
Editor-Samuel E. Beetley
Musical Composer-Fred Myrow
Music Director-Gerald Fried
Art Director-Edward Carfagno
Set Decorator-Robert R. Benton
Special Effects-Robert R. Hoag, Augie Lohman & Matthew Yuricich
Costumes-Pat Barto
Make Up-Bud Westmore
Stunts-Joe Canutt
Cinematographer-Richard H. Kline
(Panavision, Metrocolor)