Soylent Green [DVD] 
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While Soylent Green may be one of the many dystopian visions of the future, the film stands out because it's one of the few titles that addresses current environmental issues head on. Adapted from Harry Harrison's novel Make Room, Make Room, it gives us a nightmarish vision of an over-populated, polluted future on the brink of collapse--a vision that gets uncomfortably closer every year. Charlton Heston as police officer Thorn investigates a murder in between suppressing food riots and uncovers the nightmarish truth about Soylent Green, the new foodstuff being sold to the poor.
The film neatly combines police procedural with conspiracy thriller. Heston's scenes are counterpointed by more elegiac ones in which the centenarian Edward G Robinson as his friend Sol broods on the world he has outlived--his death in a euthanasia chamber is a gloriously lachrymose moment, which he plays to the hilt. Heston, too, is good as Thorn, a morally equivocal cop who loots the apartments of the victims whose deaths he investigates--he's a man just getting by in an impossible world.
On the DVD: Soylent Green on disc comes with a commentary from director Richard Fleischer, the highpoint of which is a memorable description of what it was like to work with the brilliant ailing, entirely deaf Robinson. He is joined by Leigh Taylor-Young whose work on the film as heroine led to years of serious environmentalist commitment. It has a useful contemporary making-of documentary and touching shots of Robinson's 100th birthday party with telegrams from Sinatra and others. The feature itself is presented in anamorphic widescreen with its original mono sound. --Roz Kaveney
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Top Customer Reviews
The film was made in 1973 and it must be one of the earliest environmentalist stories to have a go at man-made global warming. Pollution is killing the oceans. The climate has heated the land, making farming unproductive. Winter has been obliterated by the 'greenhouse effect'. The only food most people can get hold of is a kind of biscuit called 'soylent'.Read more ›
Charlton Heston is the policeman and there's something very powerful and affecting about watching so monumentally physically present an actor grappling with, and falling before, the unblinking "it" of the mystery he pits himself against. Yes, we all know what that mystery is concealing at this stage, but let's not spoil it for any first-time viewers.
Edward G Robinson is Heston's room-mate and only friend, an older man from a dead age. The scenes between the two are abolutely lovely. There's real affection here, but it's quietly expressed. Remember film acting before Robert De Niro started squinting and Al Pacino started shouting? Remember when the character was more important than the star turn or the persona of the star?
Robinson and Leigh Taylor-Young embody the remnants of a human, humane world. But one of them is dying and the other is only of value in this world of 2022 as "furniture"- a sex object included in the rental price of a flashy apartment. Joseph Cotten and Chuck Connors are the men who thrive in this world. But one of them is literally killed by the truth of what it takes to succeed here, and the other is more than halfway to becoming a flesh-and-blood pre-echo of The Terminator.
A late classic from Richard Fleischer. Give it another look.
The writer's vision of the future for the earth is chilling and he is perhaps closer to an accurate prediction than he could ever have dreamed of. The revelation at the end of the film is a real shocker!
All in all a good sci-fi movie, with a well written dialogue and a horrible vison of the future. I give it 4 stars for these are all superior to the story itself, which is mostly dated. A worthy film for many reasons and worth the buy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic futuristic film, not to be missed. Prompt delivery and well packaged.Published 1 day ago by Ms S Cashell
This film is one of the 3 Sci Fi Classic films that Charlton Heston made along with The Omega Man and the original, and never equalled, Planet of The apes. Read morePublished 2 months ago by English Gent
It's a great movie, which has actors. And soylent green is a healthy food source for the general publicPublished 2 months ago by Darkbeaker