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New York. 2022 A.D. Teeming with jobless, homeless people. Teetering onthe edge of anarchy, the government rations synthetic food. Those whocontrol the supply have unlimited wealth and power--as long as no onediscovers the awful truth behind the source of Soylent Green.Academy Award-winner Charlton Heston (Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments)stars as Thorn, possibly the last honest detective on the undermannedpolice force, who investigates the brutal murder of a prominent memberof the Soylent Company, manufacturers of the artificial nourishment.During the course of his probe, Thorn discovers the horrifying mainingredient of the mass-produced food. Caught between personal integrity,the quest for justice and knowledge that could lead to the death ofmillions, will Thorn expose the deadly secret?]]>
Top Customer Reviews
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
Detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) lives in a tiny, seedy apartment with his "book", Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson). A "book" is like an assistant, picking and assigning cases and performing research. To reach the streets, he must step over the dozens of homeless bodies camped out on the stairs of the apartment. Sol assigns Thorn the homicide case of William R. Simonson (Joseph Cotton). Simonson lives in a posh apartment complex complete with "furniture", which includes a woman. His "furniture's" name is Shirl. Shirl and Simonson's bodyguard Tab Fielding (Chuck Conners) were out shopping when the murder occurred inside the apartment. (Check out Shirl's "new" video game)
The murder is a puzzle to Thorn, who believes Simonson wasn't just murdered but assassinated. He steals two books from Simonson and has Sol research them. (He also steals real food, booze, soap, a towel, paper, and pencils - items not available to the general public) When Thorn finds out Simonson was the director of Soylent and friend to Governor Santini, his chief attempts to pull him off the case and close it. But there's too much mystery surrounding the murder, and Thorn refuses to give up until he solves the puzzle of Simonson and the secrets of Soylent.Read more ›
It's based on Harry Harrison's book "Make Room, Make Room!", which is itself half story/half documentary about over-population and environmental damage. The film uses the environmental disaster the world has become, and the resultant starvation, as a kind of backdrop, while the main story, it seems, is simply about a murder being investigated by Charlton Heston.
The film very cleverly shows you all the realities of living in that bleak world by the way Heston brilliantly takes all sorts of terrible situations totally in his stride. As he leaves his apartment, he has to step over people sleeping on the steps; the air outside is murky and has a faint green glow; even though he's a detective, he sometimes has to get involved in food riot control and only has a helmet for protection; he has to recharge his apartment's batteries using a bicycle; his watch keeps breaking, but no-one is making new ones anymore. Similar small touches abound throughout the film, and taken together have a deep impact on you as you think about them after the film.
Edward G. Robinson, in his last performance, plays Heston's partner, whose speciality is information and where to get it. He's an old man, and, finally, despair at the state of the world gets to him. His ultimate fate, the murder that Heston is investigating, and the environmental hell all around them, are all brought together right at the end, in a gripping finale. As the horrible truth dawns upon Heston, he cries out the answer: a four word phrase that encapsulates the horror of the world all about them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A real classic movie, albeit, a bit dated for today's crowd. But, very enjoyable and certainly works as a cautionary tale. Are we really that far off from this being a reality?Published 17 days ago by C. Maziarz
I thought the movie dragged on and on, but it sure does make you think! When this movie was made it was pure science fiction. Now, not so much. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Sammy HB
A classic movie. At the time bought this in 2002, Amazon was the only place I could find it. A good story and there were no problems with playback.Published 20 days ago by TraylWokker
A treasure of a movie. Great performances by all actors. That last chance to see Edward G. Robinson..Published 21 days ago by J. Woodward
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