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Soylent Green

Soylent Green

4.2 13
Director: Richard Fleischer

Cast: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young


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Richard Fleischer directed this nightmarish science fiction vision of an over-populated world, based on the novel by Harry Harrison. In 2022, New York City is a town bursting at the seams with a 40-million-plus population. Food is in short supply, and most of the population's food source comes from synthetics manufactured in local factories -- the dinner selections


Richard Fleischer directed this nightmarish science fiction vision of an over-populated world, based on the novel by Harry Harrison. In 2022, New York City is a town bursting at the seams with a 40-million-plus population. Food is in short supply, and most of the population's food source comes from synthetics manufactured in local factories -- the dinner selections being a choice between Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow, or Soylent Green. When William Simonson (Joseph Cotten), an upper-echelon executive in the Soylent Company, is found murdered, police detective Thorn (Charlton Heston) is sent in to investigate the case. Helping him out researching the case is Thorn's old friend Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson, in his final film role). As they investigate the environs of a succession of mad-from-hunger New Yorkers and the luxuriously rich digs of the lucky few, Thorn uncovers the terrible truth about the real ingredients of Soylent Green.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
"Soylent Green is..." no longer much of a surprise since Charlton Heston's climactic line has joined Planet of the Apes' "You maniacs" rant in the oft-quoted annals of Heston overacting. One of a cycle of early-'70s downbeat eco-science fiction films akin to Silent Running (1971) and Heston's The Omega Man (1971), Soylent Green presents Heston as another dystopian savior in a future shock vision that teeters on the fine line between clever and stupid. When not sleeping with dead magnate Joseph Cotten's comely "furniture" Leigh Taylor-Young (apparently feminism went down the drain with the food supply), Heston attempts to solve the mystery of Cotten's murder. The sickly green exterior haze, people sleeping on stairs, and the bulldozers that disturbingly clear riots, however, are enough to tip us off to the insidious secret ingredient in everyone's favorite bio-engineered snack long before Chuck witnesses the "waste" processing plant himself. Still, the opening montage of 20th century decay and Edward G. Robinson's heartfelt performance (in his final film) as a man old enough to know how beautiful and well-fed the earth used to be give moments of emotional heft to Soylent Green's ominous -- and still timely -- message about environmental desecration.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary by Leigh Taylor-Young and director Richard Fleischer; Vintage featurettes A Look at the World of Soylent Green and MGM's Tribute to Edward G. Robinson's 101st Film; Charlton Heston sci-fi movies essay; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlton Heston Detective Thorn
Edward G. Robinson Sol Roth
Leigh Taylor-Young Shirl
Chuck Connors Tab
Joseph Cotten Simonson
Brock Peters Hatcher
Dick Van Patten Usher
Celia Lovsky Exchange Leader
Morgan Farley Book 1
John Barclay Book 2
Belle Mitchell Book 3
Cyril Delevanti Book 4
Forrest Wood Attendant
Faith Quabius Attendant
Jane Dulo Mrs. Santini
Tim Herbert Brady
John Dennis Wagner
Jan Bradley Woman with scarf
Carlos Romero New tenant
Joyce Williams Live stock girl
Erica Hagen Live stock girl
Beverly Gill Live stock girl
Cheri Howell Live stock girl
Paula Kelly Martha
Stephen Young Gilbert
Mike Henry Kulozik
Lincoln Kilpatrick Priest
Leonard Stone Charles
Whit Bissell Santini
Roy Jenson Donovan

Technical Credits
Richard Fleischer Director
Lloyd Anderson Production Manager
Pat Barto Costumes/Costume Designer
Jack Baur Casting
Samuel E. Beetley Editor
Robert R. Benton Set Decoration/Design
Norman Burza Costumes/Costume Designer
Joe Canutt Stunts
Edward C. Carfagno Production Designer
Betsy Cox Costumes/Costume Designer
Gerald Fried Musical Direction/Supervision
Stanley R. Greenberg Screenwriter
Robert R. Hoag Special Effects
Richard H. Kline Cinematographer
A.J. Lohman Special Effects
Augie Lohman Special Effects
Daniel S. McCauley Asst. Director
Fred Myrow Score Composer
Walter Seltzer Producer
Harry W. Tetrick Sound/Sound Designer
Russell Thacher Producer
Bud Westmore Makeup
Charles M. Wilborn Sound/Sound Designer
Matthew Yuricich Special Effects

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Soylent Green
1. World Gone Mad [2:26]
2. When Food Was Food [4:38]
3. Shopping [2:45]
4. Necessary Death [2:50]
5. Thorn on the Case [4:40]
6. Thinking of Shirl [3:50]
7. Great Man's Leavings [3:32]
8. Thorn's Report [3:27]
9. Fielding's Place [5:00]
10. Fine Dining [2:43]
11. Very Important Man [2:34]
12. Connections and Friend [3:56]
13. Keep It Friendly [5:03]
14. Luxurious Invitation [3:06]
15. Truth Destroying Me [3:20]
16. Involved in High Places [3:08]
17. Riot Control [2:54]
18. Killer's Target [2:01]
19. Get Off My Back [2:12]
20. No Place to Go [2:56]
21. Where God Is [1:23]
22. New Tenant [1:08]
23. Sol Goes Home [3:56]
24. Parting Words [5:19]
25. Hidden Passenger [3:37]
26. Final Product [4:13]
27. Shooting to Kill [3:15]
28. It's People [3:51]
29. End Credits [2:47]


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Soylent Green 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I knew the 'surprise' ending from the trailer, before even seeing the movie. The concepts in this movie are very interesting but the props/scenes have not aged well. It seems like it may have been a very cheap movie to make at the time. I think the movie was cut short - I would have liked to have seen at least a tiny bit what happened after the main character announces what the 'big secret' is with Soylent Green. This movie is a predecessor to the Matrix Trilogy in a way. It's set in the future, the planet's been changed due to the humans' behavior at the time, and the 'secret' that the trailer refers to is also similar to the Matrix story in a sense. As far as being in the future, there is no evidence of advanced technology whatsoever. Everything looks identical to the time period it was shot at, but various concepts mentioned in the movie points to a dismal future. Almost no one can afford an education, almost no one knows what food tastes like outside of the byproducts of supposed 'soy/lentil' ingredients made by the Soylent Corporation. Almost no one knows what plant/animal life was like in the past. It's maybe worth a quick rental.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In its year, Soylent Green was an epiphanic experience for a young man of 18 years - that would be me. One thing reviewers all seem to miss is the multi-media image and music sequence that opens the movie and does a first rate job of setting the mood. Contrary to what you may hear, the technology was cutting edge at the rich end of the movie characters' class system and archaic "about 70's" at Thorn's "Heston's" level. For example, Thorn and Sol drank and washed from 60's model Igloo coolers and the rich dead guy's bodyguard had a "countertop" stove that was a prototype in the 70S, only seen in Popular science. It looked old. Edward G. was a class act all the way. His "feast" scene with Heston was a classic for the ages. "Watch for Thorn eating an apple right down to the stem!" Ed's death scene was a stunning vision in those years. I'm sure the jaded youth of today can't really appreciate that. My 16 year old son saw this with me and was haunted by the concept, so it ain't so dated, by my way of thinking. A classic, I'd say. Geophys55
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
It's the year 2022 in New York City. Many things have changed, yet much is the same. Housing is a challenge, getting "food" that is life giving is also a challenge, then there are some things that are the status quo; and some people want to maintain the status quo. For example, women are still "objects" for men's pleasure. Abuse is rampant. The present problems, do they have solutions? Who can be trusted? Who is in control of all the social systems? Is the future on New York City headed toward an artificial reality? Think of today 2009, many places in the world are faced with a housing crisis, an education crisis, racism, sexism, pollution, and a need for adequate land space, just to name a few situations that need to be tackled; in 2022 will there be solutions? This DVD speculates how the future will unfold. Charlton Heston plays Thorn and he is trying to uncover a mystery, maybe you will want to "see" what he discovers. Soylent Green with Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, and Edward G. Robinson gives us "food" for thought. *Favorable review: thought provoking. For comic relief after watching this you may want to see the DVD "Prosperity." Review title: Depression Time Comedy. This is the story of a family trying to hold onto their business during the Great Depression. There are some touching moments and a sense of real despair. Yet there are times of great comic relief. Learning to deal with human nature and handling family relationships is all part of this comical "adventure" story. Funny antics help you deal with this depression time tale of woe. *Enjoyable entertainment. *Favorable review: comical and delightful "characters." ** Review for: Prosperity (with actors: Marie Dressler, Polly Moran, Anita Page, and Norman Foster)
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very poignant and important film that is still vivid in my mind after twenty years. A great plot and excellent actors. Perhaps a preview of the world to come? Or just a good movie to watch?
jbrande55 More than 1 year ago
Simple plot line , good performances, good production value , and the DVD was a bargain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie has two very fine and interesting things: the music(Simphony 6th by Beethoven is just wonderful)and the still actual plot (Do you remember the temperature of the earth is growing time by time?). And don't forget,some situations of this movie are lived day by day in a lot of places of our (happy) world! Soylent green is a movie that everyone has to see,so we can realize why the nature is our most great wealth. Bye from Italy. I am a big fan of science fiction movies (without space ships....!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recalled this movie when I was walking soybeans in Iowa, Soybean Green, they made a movie of this and it struct me that soybeans have had a mojor impact on American society. They have probably saved or ecology.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember watching this with my Dad eons ago when I was a kid. I honestly believe that movie had an impact on my life. It affected the way I view our fragile ecology and demanded that I respect nature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie should be required viewing for every human. Chillingly current.