Soylent Green (1973) Directed by Richard Fleischer: a jpoc movie review
Slightly lame attempt at a future noir..
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Main Cast
Charlton Heston Detective Robert Thorn
Leigh Taylor-Young Shirl
Chuck Connors Tab Fielding
Edward G. Robinson Sol Roth
You can buy this movie and the original novel from
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amazon.co.uk
Rating and viewing notes
Two out of ten.
I first watched this on TV in the eighties. It still turns up late at night from time to time.
My review
Based on a novel by Harry Harrison, Soylent Green is set in a near future stricken by the problems of overpopulation, pollution and climate change. The masses live dismal lives eating little other than synthetic nutrients while the lucky few are able to obtain natural foods and even sometimes real meat.

Although Detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) is a cop, he is still pretty much one of the masses with a life only a little above the very poorest. He is called upon to investigate the murder of one of the privileged elite. With the help of his assistant Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson) and Shirl (Leigh Taylor-Young) the dead man's lover, Thorn discovers that, what looked like a murder in the course of a botched burglary was in fact a deliberate assassination designed to prevent the victim from revealing the terrible secret behind Soylent Green, the new wonder food being pushed to the masses.

Their investigation is hindered by Tab Fielding (Chuck Connors) the dead man's bodyguard who clearly knows more that he is letting on and is keeping a close watch on their progress.

It is an interesting idea for a plot but I am afraid that the movie is let down by lame acting, wooden dialog and a view of the future that seems to be firmly rooted in the tradition of fifties B movies.

Edward G. Robinson is the only cast member who shows any sign of acting ability, everyone else seems to be aiming just to get through their lines in the manner of a high school play.

Movies like Dark Star, Silent Running and even Logan's Run from the same era are better.

It's just about worth watching if it is on TV but it is not worth paying for a tape or DVD.