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Soylent Green (1973)

 -  Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  9 May 1973 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 39,468 users  
Reviews: 231 user | 133 critic

With the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a CEO with ties to the world's main food supply.

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Title: Soylent Green (1973)

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A post-apocalyptic tale based on a novella by Harlan Ellison. A boy communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex, and they stumble into an underground society ... See full summary »

Director: L.Q. Jones
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In a futuristic, overpopulated world, mankind strives to come up with a new food source.

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Cast

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Storyline

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, 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

Taglines:

It's the year 2022... People are still the same. They'll do anything to get what they need. And they need SOYLENT GREEN. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

9 May 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando el destino nos alcance  »

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A sign saying "Green Day" appears in the film. Some people suggest that this is where the rock group got their name from. The font on the store-front window matches that used on Green Day's Uno, Dos, and Tres albums. See more »

Goofs

This movie deals with the theme of "What would happen with an overpopulated Earth?" Throughout the film, people vie to get their hands on the Soylent Green product because food is in very short supply, as we can see during several scenes. Sol even talks about when grocery stores had eggs, butter, etc, and even strawberries, which are now at $150 per jar. With Soylent Green being introduced as the newest food product, it raises the question of what people were eating prior to this. Usually, runaway populations are curbed by the lack of food and water. Since Soylent Green is now available, it apparently solves the food supply issues, but it begs this question: Where did the people of overpopulated Earth get their food and water beforehand? Wouldn't most of the population have starved to death? See more »

Quotes

[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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Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: The Old Man and the Lisa (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A classic even after 30 years
15 August 2003 | by (Dallas, TX) – 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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