Soylent Green (original title in English : Soylent Green ) is an American film of 1973 , directed by Richard Fleischer , starring Charlton Heston , Edward G. Robinson and Leigh Taylor-Young in the lead roles and based on the novel Make room! Make room! (1966) by Harry Harrison .
In 2022, in a dystopian future , New York City is inhabited by more than 40 million people, physically separated into a small elite that maintains political and economic control, with access to certain luxuries such as vegetables and meat, and A majority crammed in streets and buildings where it lives with water in bottles, and two varieties of an edible product: red soylent and soylent yellow , which are the only source of food, since natural foods are a privilege for the dominant sectors. The company Soylent is a company that manufactures and supplies processed food from vegetable concentrates to more than half the world. Green Soylent is the new food product released on the market, based on plankton , according to company publicity.
Robert Thorn ( Charlton Heston ) is a detective policeman in the city, lives with his friend “Sun” Roth ( Edward G. Robinson ), an elderly former teacher and officially his assistant (with the position of “book”, investigates data in books About the cases assigned to Thorn) that lives by recalling the past: when the planet was more habitable and there was enough food for all. However, Thorn, who has lived most of his life in the ecological catastrophe, is not interested in these stories, which he finds difficult to believe.
Thorn is involved in investigating the murder of one of the main shareholders of the company Soylent , William R. Simonson ( Joseph Cotten ), who was found dead in his apartment. He decides to visit the place and finds the body in a pool of blood, with multiple blows to the head. He goes around the place and finds things he has never seen before, like a refrigerator with food; Spirits, a shower with hot water and soap, and a library. Later , Simonson ‘s concubine , Shirl ( Leigh Taylor-Young ), a beautiful 21-year-old, euphemistically part of the furniture , and Simonson’s bodyguard Tab Fielding ( Chuck Connors ) arrive . When questioned, Fielding says that Simonson had ordered him to accompany Shirl for shopping, and that for that reason he was not in the apartment at the time of the murder, while Shirl mentions that Simonson had long been troubled. Thorn lets them go, then seizes some food, money and a couple of books, before returning to his own apartment.
Thorn assigns to Sun Roth to investigate who is Simonson and all the information that can of him. He discovers that Simonson was a member of the board of Soylent and Roth decides to end his life in the “Home” after discovering that the world is poisoned and that Soylent Green was made from humans. El Hogar was a place where people voluntarily went to finish their lives and where for 20 minutes before they died, they enjoyed music and beautiful scenes, in which the world is seen as it was before the ecological disaster. While dying, Roth manages to tell Thorn (although only fractions of the message are heard), to continue investigating the murder because evidence was needed that foods were made from the same people (the sea was dying and there was no longer edible plankton At sea), and bring the case before a world court to try to stop them. Following his corpse gives Thorn the real destiny of human bodies, which is none other than to be processed as Soylent Green to be part of said food preparation and that Soylent murdered Simonson for fear he would speak. The end of the movie shows Thorn badly wounded by manifesting to those who help him the terrible hidden reality: “Soylent Green … it’s people … !!” A message that shows that repellent situation but without being able to offer any solution to what has already been generated. Logically directed to the people of the present time urging them to preserve the Earth and its natural environment before it is too late.
During the Cold War and with the rise of communism in Asian countries, in the 1960s and up to 1980 the obsession for the threat of population growth in these countries and the threat of Overpopulation also called demographic explosion . Both the Make Room! Make Room! , By Harry Harrison , as the film Soylent Green are fiction creations built by this phenomenon.
- Charlton Heston – Detective Robert Thorn
- Edward G. Robinson – Solomon “Sol” Roth
- Leigh Taylor-Young – Shirl
- Joseph Cotten – William R. Simonson
- Chuck Connors – Tab Fielding
- Brock Peters – Hatcher
- Paula Kelly – Martha
- Stephen Young – Gilbert
- Mike Henry – Kulozik
- Lincoln Kilpatrick – The Priest
- Roy Jenson – Donovan
- Leonard Stone – Charles
- Whit Bissell – Governor Santini
- Celia Lovsky – Head of Exchange
- Dick Van Patten – Usher 1
- Saturn Award – Golden Scroll 1975 for best science fiction film.
- Prize of the fantastic film festival of Avoriaz 1974: Great prize to Richard Fleischer.
- Nebula Award 1974 for the best dramatic presentation ( Stanley R. Greenberg , screenplay , and Harry Harrison , novel).
- Hugo Award 1974 for best dramatic performance.
Impact on popular culture
The Soylent Green is mentioned in several television series, songs, video games, short films and films, both for dramatic effect as a comic.
- In Futurama , set in the year 3000 , various chapters refer to various food products based on “soylent”, such as “soylent cola” (whose flavor, according to Leela , “depends on the person” ), and in the Chapter “A cook with 30% iron”, in the competition between Elzar and Bender , Soylent Green is the staple food for all dishes. According to the announcer, Soylent Green is “the staple of gourmet cuisine”.
- In The Simpsons , in the chapter Bart to the Future , where Homer offers to Bart a sandwich Soylent Green and Ralph Wiggum asks “are not made with humans?” Or in the episode Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie , in which Homer Simpson says: “Mmmm … soylent green”, in addition to the episode in which the grandfather Simpson tries to have assisted suicide with a machine called Die-Pod, parodying The euthanasia of Sol Roth in film.
- In one of the episodes of the series Starlings there is also a short review on the Soylent green.
- El Listo , a leading character in Xavier Ágeda’s eponymous comic makes mention of the soylent green in the 842 vignette titled “When Fate Reaches Us ” published at http://listocomics.com/ .
- In the game Xenogears , PSX , the Soylent green is mentioned .
- The song Soylent Green by Wumpscut ( Music for a Slauthering Tribe 2 ) refers to the Soylent green as human flesh.
- In the TV series Millennium , the main character Frank Black, to access his computer, has to pronounce the phrase: “Green cookies are human.”
- In the video game Left 4 Dead 2 , in the campaign “Death”, at the end of the campaign and leave the place, in one of the dialogues Zoey says: “Goodbye, Soylent Green is made of humans.”
- In the apocalyptic Spanish short film Fuego in the radios of Cinesín , the sponsoring advertiser is Soylent Green.
- The song ‘Chiron Beta Prime’ by Jonathan Coulton is referred to as Green Soylent, as an ingredient for a cake.
- The song Soylent Green by Iced Earth .
- In the film Atlas of the Clouds , a character makes reference to that the Soylent Green is made of humans.
- In 2013, technology entrepreneur Rob Rhinehart creates a nutritional compound called Soylent with the intention of replacing traditional nutrition, using less time in its preparation and presumably providing complete nutrition.