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Soylent Green (1973)

PG | | Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 9 May 1973 (USA)
3:27 | Trailer

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In the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a big company CEO.



(screenplay), (novel)
3,650 ( 119)
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Priest
Gov. Santini
Usher #1


In 2022, Earth is overpopulated and totally polluted; the natural resources have been exhausted and the nourishment of the population is provided by Soylent Industries, a company that makes a food consisting of plankton from the oceans. In New York City, when Soylent's member of the board William R. Simonson is murdered apparently by a burglar at the Chelsea Towers West where he lives, efficient Detective Thorn is assigned to investigate the case with his partner Solomon "Sol" Roth. Thorn comes to the fancy apartment and meets Simonson's bodyguard Tab Fielding and the "furniture" (woman that is rented together with the flat) Shirl and the detective concludes that the executive was not victim of burglary but executed. Further, he finds that the Governor Santini and other powerful men want to disrupt and end Thorn's investigation. But Thorn continues his work and discovers a bizarre and disturbing secret of the ingredient used to manufacture Soylent Green. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


People need it...in the year 2022. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 May 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Make Room! Make Room!  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The video game in Simonson's apartment, Computer Space (1971), was one of the first coin-operated video games, manufactured by Nutting Associates in 1971 and designed by Nolan Bushnell, who later founded Atari and designed Pong (1972). The video game was painted white for the movie but the original color was either yellow, red or blue. See more »


When Thorn enters the apartment with the women the strap from his shoulder holster which goes around his right shoulder is in a figure 8. When he steps into the bedroom the strap is going straight around his shoulder and untwisted. See more »


[first lines]
Voice over PA: First stage removal. First stage removal. Streets prohibited to non-permits in one hour. Streets prohibited to non-permits in one hour.
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Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: SST: Death Flight (1989) See more »


Peer Gynt Suite No.1, Op.46: II. 'Aase Death'
Edvard Grieg
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A classic even after 30 years
15 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

This was Eddie Robinson's 101st film and his last, and he died of cancer nine days after shooting was complete. All of which makes his key scene in the movie all the more poignant.

Although some of the hair and clothing styles are a bit dated (also note the video game shown in the film), but the subject of the film is pretty much timeless. Heston said he had wanted to make the film for some time because he really believed in the dangers of overpopulation.

Several things make this film a classic. The story is solid.

The acting is top-notch, especially the interplay between Heston and Robinson, with nice performances also by Cotten and Peters.

The music is absolutely perfect. The medley of Beethoven, Grieg, and Tchaikovsky combined with the pastoral visual elements make for some truly moving scenes. This was the icing on the cake for the film.

And the theme (or the "point") of the film is a significant one. Yes, it's a film about overpopulation, but on a more important note it's a cautionary tale about what can go wrong with Man's stewardship of Earth. It's in the subtext that you find the real message of the film. Pay attention to what Sol says about the "old days" of the past (which is our present), and note how Thorn is incapable of comprehending what Sol is saying.

This film is one of my top sci-fi films of all time.

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