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Customer Review

324 of 346 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all-time Top 100 Films, February 15, 2001
This review is from: Soylent Green [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Soylent Green (Richard Fleischer, 1973)

So what's the difference between schlock and one of the 100 best films ever made? Sometimes, I'll admit, it's a pretty blurry line. That's the case with this gem from the Richard Fleischer stable, a tale of a New York City with a population of forty million and a food supply that comes in little squares of red, yellow, and green.

Thorn (Heston) chews scenery. Roth (Edward G. Robinson) spends his life moaning about how things were better in the seventies. (If only they knew.) The two of them try to get through their lives scavenging from the rich, like everyone else in New York. They have an edge, with Thorn being a cop who treats corruption like a confortable pair of undershorts. A high society murder tips Thorn off that all may not be well with Soylent, the company that makes the majority of the world's food supply, and Thorn and Roth start digging deeper deapite warnings from the victim's old bodyguard (Stephen Young) and Thorn's lieutanant (Brock Peters). The production values are strictly seventies, and it's great to poke fun at various things in the film ("my god, it's 2022 and they're still listening to bad lounge music?"). And yet there's something undefinable about this film that propels it from the realm of bad seventies science-fiction exploitation into the realm of true genius. What that thing is, I don't know; when I figure it out, I'll tell you. But something clicked. Heston's patented god-guns-and-guts character is perfect for the role. Robinson actually looks convincing salivating over a stick of celery. And somehow the movie's last lines are delivered convincingly. It's incredible. Whatever magic they managed to make with this one, Hollywood needs to make more of it. **** 1/2
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 13, 2010 7:56:38 PM PDT
"the victim's old bodyguard (Stephen Young)"

Wasn't that Chuck Connors?

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 1:47:44 PM PDT
PETIT JEAN says:
FOR me there is no discussion that this is the best of that famous HESTON sci-fi trilogy,less fascinating and eerie than APES and OMEGA MAN,but so much better directed by the great,and in my view underrated Richard FLEISCHER;as for those who think that HESTON is a wooden actor,think again;he is a formidable presence throughout the piece,and it"s hard not to be moved by the emotion he displays during the Sol ROTH death scene;for those who wish not to watch tis movie because of HESTON's late political choices,your PC tendancies won't be challenged at all,since HESTON was a liberal at the time...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2010 11:21:13 AM PST
Chuck Connors as Tab Fielding did indeed portray Simonson's (Joseph Cotten) bodyguard.

Posted on Jan 22, 2011 9:02:19 PM PST
bad lounge music is better than the top forty today! it's so bad they have to use autotunes to sing,
it's the worst period of music EVER. so imagine how bad things will be in 2022. already we had 20 years of bad hip hop which is basically the same song over and over, now it's even less produced without any sampling . so primitive and degenerative musically that lounge music looks like a masterpiece in comparison! . and for a audience in 1971 this movie would have looked futuristic. To make fun of the past effects is just a waste of time. however on modern movies it's different. but even effects from the early 90's look dated now. so what? they were fine then. and people in 1970 , were sure flying cars would be here and moonbases in the 80's ! so why poke fun at a forty year old movie? lame.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2011 9:13:39 PM PST
Agreed, the story/acting can carry the sets. Sometimes (as with Blade Runner, everything works perfectly.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2014 12:17:54 AM PDT
Kathy says:
so why am I just now reading these posts from 4 years ago? I watched this movie when it first came out many years ago and have been fascinated by it ever since. I watch it at least once a year now and get more convinced that our world is going through global warming. When I was a young teenager this movie came out.... I know. I'm old, but not as old as this planet.

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 7:37:17 AM PDT
P. Whiting says:
Chuck Connors played the bodyguard. Stephen Young was the poor schlep who was hired to be the hit man.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 16, 2015 10:00:55 AM PDT
A Customer says:
Haha I would take the 70's any day. Excellent comment.

Posted on Apr 15, 2016 3:20:16 PM PDT
I watched this when it was first released. I remember it mainly as an ode to Edward G. Robinson who was near the end of his road. Being a concerned enrironmentalist I was all in for the payhos. A well directed and acted film with poor photographic standards still worth the time.
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