🎥 Soylent Green – 1973
The Story …
By 2022, the cumulative effects of overpopulation and pollution have caused ecocide, leading to severe worldwide shortages of food, water, and housing.
New York City has a population of 40 million, and only the elite can afford spacious apartments, clean water, and natural food.
The homes of the elite are fortified, with security systems and bodyguards for their tenants. Usually, they include concubines (who are referred to and used as “furniture”).
The poor live in squalor, haul water from communal spigots, and eat highly processed wafers: Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow, and the latest product, far more flavorful and nutritious, Soylent Green …
NYPD detective Robert Thorn lives with his aged friend Sol Roth, a brilliant former college professor and police analyst (referred to as a “Book”).
Thorn is investigating the murder of the wealthy and influential William R. Simonson, a board member of the Soylent Corporation, which he suspects was an assassination. With the help of Simonson’s concubine Shirl, his investigation leads to a priest whom Simonson had visited shortly before his death.
Because of the sanctity of the confessional, the visibly exhausted priest can only hint to Thorn at the contents of the confession. Soon after, the priest is murdered in the confessional by Fielding, Simonson’s former bodyguard.
Under direction from Governor Henry C. Santini, Thorn’s superiors order him to end the investigation, but he continues, fearing that he will lose his job if he files a false report. He soon becomes aware that an unknown stalker is following him.
As Thorn tries to control a violent throng during a Soylent Green shortage riot, he is attacked by the assassin who killed Simonson.
The killer shoots three times at Thorn, but misses, his shots striking bystanders in the crowd. Thorn manages to locate the killer and throw him to the floor. Then the killer shoots Thorn in the leg before being crushed by the hydraulic shovel of a police riot-control vehicle.
In researching the case for Thorn, Roth brings two volumes of the Soylent Oceanographic Survey Report, 2015–2019, taken by Thorn from Simonson’s apartment, to the team of other “Books” (former librarians turned personal researchers) at the Supreme Exchange.
The “Books” conclude from the oceanographic reports that the oceans are dying and can no longer produce the plankton from which Soylent Green is made. This information confirms to Sol Roth that Simonson’s murder was ordered by his fellow Soylent Corporation board members, who knew Simonson was increasingly troubled by the truth and feared he might disclose it to the public.
Roth is so shaken by the truth that he decides to “return to the home of God” and seeks assisted suicide at a government clinic. Thorn rushes to stop him, but arrives too late. Before dying, Roth tells his discovery to Thorn.
Thorn moves to uncover proof of crimes against humanity and to bring it to the attention of the Supreme Exchange so the case can be brought to the Council of Nations to take action.
Thorn secretly boards a waste truck transporting human bodies from the euthanasia centre to a waste-disposal plant, where he witnesses human corpses being processed and turned into Soylent Green. Thorn is discovered, but he escapes.
As he returns to the Supreme Exchange, he is ambushed by Soylent operative Fielding and his men. Finding refuge in the church where Simonson confessed, Thorn kills his attackers but is seriously wounded in a gunfight.
As paramedics tend to Thorn, he urges Chief Hatcher to spread the truth while shouting to the surrounding crowd, “Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!”
- Directed by : Richard Fleischer
- Screenplay by : Stanley R. Greenberg
- Based on : Make Room! Make Room 1966 novel by Harry Harrison
- Produced by : Walter Seltzer and Russell Thacher
- Cinematography : Richard H. Kline
- Edited by : Samuel E. Beetley
- Music by : Fred Myrow
- Distributed by : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
- Release Date : April 19, 1973
- Charlton Heston as Robert Thorn
- Leigh Taylor-Young as Shirl
- Chuck Connors as Tab Fielding
- Brock Peters as Chief Hatcher
- Paula Kelly as Martha Fielding
- Edward G. Robinson as Solomon Roth
- Stephen Young as Gilbert
- Joseph Cotten as William R. Simonson
- Mike Henry as Kulozik
- Lincoln Kilpatrick as The Priest
- Roy Jenson as Donovan
- Leonard Stone as Charles
- Whit Bissell as Governor Henry C. Santini
- Celia Lovsky as the Exchange Leader
- Dick Van Patten as Usher
Film Information :
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