Soylent Green (1973) Poster



The music which played when Edward G. Robinson was "going home": - The overture was the principal theme from the first movement of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, the "Pathetique." - When the visual presentation starts, the music is the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Symphony #6 (The Pastoral)". - When the flock of sheep appear, the music is "Morning" from Edvard Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite #1". - At the end of the presentation is "Asas Death", also from the "Peer Gynt Suite".
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In very poor health with cancer, Edward G. Robinson was almost totally deaf when he made this movie, and only able to hear anyone if they spoke directly into his ear. Because of this, scenes with him talking to other people had to be shot several times before he got the rhythm of the dialogue and was able to respond to people as if he could really hear them. And because he was unable to hear director Richard Fleischer yell "cut" when a scene went wrong, Robinson would often continue acting out the scene, unaware that shooting had stopped seconds earlier.
The video game in Simonson's apartment, "Computer Space", 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". The video game was painted white for the movie but the original color was either yellow, red or blue.
The word "Soylent" is a holdover from the Harry Harrison novel "Make Room! Make Room!" upon which this film is based. In the novel, the word is supposed to suggest soybeans and lentils.
The scene where Thorn and Roth share a meal of fresh food was not originally in the script, but was ad-libbed by Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson at director Richard Fleischer's request.
All of the dialogue for actor Mike Henry ("Sgt. Kulozik") was dubbed. The actor's slight Southern drawl did not fit in with the New York cop character he was playing.
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.
The original title of Harry Harrison's book, "Make Room! Make Room!" was changed by the producers, who feared that audiences would confuse it with the Danny Thomas' TV series Make Room for Daddy (1953).
Martha's small jar of strawberry jam was said to cost $150. After adjusting for 40 years of inflation (from 1972 when this movie was filmed), that would be equivalent to $750 now in 2012.
Among the buildings in the matte "skyline" in the nighttime background of future New York City in the scene where Gilbert crosses the drainage ditch, one can see the Marina City towers (Chicago) and the Transamerica Pyramid (San Francisco).
When Thorn informs the priest in the overcrowded church that Simonson is dead, the priest says, "There should be a requiem Mass, but there's no room. Should I make room?" This is a wink to the film's source material, the novel "Make Room! Make Room!" by Harry Harrison.
This was the last film shot at MGM Studios back-lot on Overland Blvd. and Culver Blvd. in Culver City, California. The lot was razed in 1973 to make room for an assisted living community and condominiums.
According to the book 'Future tense: The cinema of science fiction' by John Brosnan, Harry Harrison showed up one day on the set and passed out copies of the source book to the cast and crew. He also gave Edward G. Robinson pointers on his character.
The technical consultant for the film was Frank R. Bowerman, who was president of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers at the time.
This film's opening prologue states: "The Year: 2022. The Place: New York City. The Population: 40,000,000".
The pencils that Thorn gives Sol are Palomino Blackwings, as distinctive by the gold colored flat eraser end. These pencils are highly sought after and considered to be excellent pencils. Notable users of Blackwings include: writer John Steinbeck, animator Chuck Jones, author Truman Capote, composer Johnny Mercer, composer Quincy Jones, author E.B. White, and animator Don Bluth.
NYC punk band Eleventh Hour's fourth album ("Bill of Last Rites") contains a song written about the film titled "Soylent Night."
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Thorn discovers that he is too late to stop Sol's suicide, he begins to cry. According to a 1997 interview with Robert Osborne on Turner Classic Movies, Charlton Heston was really crying because he was so moved by Edward G. Robinson's performance. Robinson knew he was dying from cancer and kept it from the cast and crew. He knew this would be his last film, and his death scene was the last scene he ever filmed. He died just ten days after shooting wrapped.
The movie's line "Soylent Green is people!" was voted as the #77 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
A small, green spirulina-based cracker called "Soylent Green" (officially licensed by MGM) was released in July, 2011. The box does not use any images or characters from the film, but rather attempts (humorously) to be an actual product. The ingredients list does not list "people."

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