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Soylent Green [DVD] [1973]

4.5 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

8 new from £13.99 8 used from £7.97 1 collectible from £23.99

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Product details

  • Actors: Charlton Heston, Chuck Connors, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Leigh Taylor-Young, Edward G. Robinson
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Mono
  • Language: English, Spanish, French, German
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jan. 2013
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AISK8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,406 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description


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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In a grim and ugly future, the year 2022, a venal cop (though no worse than the rest and better than most) investigates a murder. It looks like an assassination. Nothing was stolen even though the corpse was rich and his apartment opulent beyond the wildest dreams of the masses of people living in poverty on the streets below. Did some sinister power need to keep this man quiet? What didn't they want him to say? Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston) has the help of his 'book', Sol (Edward G Robinson) who, lacking any high-tech resources such as computers, consults books and his old friends at a sort of information exchange facility. Everything is in short supply except humanity. Food and water is short, accommodation, power, clothing, paper - everything - and every space is filled with the swarming, desperate masses. Thorn finds a couple of weighty tomes in the dead man's apartment and passes them to Sol who almost swoons with delight at the sight and feel of real, solid, beautifully bound books. He takes them to the exchange and he and his friends mine their resources for information. What they find is unbelievable, horrible, repellent. Sol is moved to do something extreme, both to relieve his shattered mind of the intolerable shock and to lead his friend Thorn to irrefutable proof of the terrible truth.
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'.
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Format: DVD
Fred Myrow's music score is the first thing that jumps out, seeing the movie again after a gap of, oh, twenty years or so. It really is one of the best scores of the seventies and does its job of scene-setting and world-building beautifully. Coupled with the still-powerful photomontage intro to the world of the year 2022 (three years after Blade Runner, funnily enough)it drops us right into the story with maximum eloquence and minimum fuss, where (as in the aforementioned Blade Runner) we meet a policeman in a dystopian world who has a case to solve, a mystery to unravel and certain truths to uncover.

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.
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Format: DVD
What a fantastic film. No special effects, no gore, no gratuitous sex, just a superb plot brought to life by superb acting and great filming.

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!
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Format: DVD
A bit dated but a very good movie. The basic story is a murder who dunnit set in the not so far future. But this isn't its strong side. It is a movie about a world that has squandered its resources and is crowded with overpopulation. Fresh food is only for the rich and employment for the lucky. Beautiful girls make their living as "furniture" in the houses of the rich while the common unemployed masses sleep anywhere they can. The futuristic view is very dim in a different way from Blade Runner, the world is a bright hot desert and people are obliged to live in overcrowded cities. Life is worth very little. The dialogue is very well written as well and the movie has plenty of memorable quotes. The best ones are between Det. Thorn (Charlton Heston) and Sol (Edward G. Robinson) an old man that remembers the world before the apocalypse. On a side note the main actress Leigh Taylor-Young became an active enviromentalist after playing in the movie and you will think about it too after watching it. Because even if it is a bit dated the message is still clear. Makes you think if you and I shouldn't be doing a bit more to preserve the world for future generations.

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.

Would you believe bodyguards are buying strawberries for 150 D's a jar?
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