Charlton Heston, Edward G Robinson, Joseph Cotten, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors, Brock Peters and Paula Kelly head the strong cast for director Richard Fleischer’s exciting, intelligent and well-crafted 1973 dystopian sci-fi movie.
Its story is set in a broken-down, overpopulated, food-short 21st-century New York City, where mass murder is linked with a government-organised new process for producing food. Heston gets a key career role as Detective Thorn, who has to investigate the death of William R. Simonson (Cotten), one of the bosses of the sinister Soylent conglomerate.
Soylent Green is powerfully directed by Fleischer from screen-writer Stanley R Greenberg’s crisp adaptation of Harry Harrison’s novel Make Room! Make Room! Among the film’s series of involving actors playing intriguing characters, Robinson is very touching in his final role as Sol Roth, an old research man, living with Heston’s Detective Thorn, and who is able to recall all data from the past.
Also in the cast are Stephen Young, Mike Henry, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Roy Jenson, Leonard Stone, Whit Bissell, Celia Lovsky, Jane Dulo, Dick Van Patten, Tim Herbert, John Dennis, Jan Bradley and Carlos Romero.
In 2016, a remake is in development.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4041
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