Wednesday, April 19, 2023


 On April 19, 1973 Soylent Green premiered in the United States. This science fiction film became a cult classic, and foresaw the devastating effects of global warming decades before the phrase "climate change" came into popular use. It takes place in the year 2022.

The movie is also a murder mystery. The main character, Robert Thorn (played by Charlton Heston), is a police officer investigating the killing of a powerful man in an overcrowded New York City plagued by scorching temperatures and a lack of fresh food. Most people without wealth are condemned to eat government issued wafers made from questionable ingredients, such as Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow, and the infamous Soylent Green. 

Soylent Green features several scenes between Thorn and his roommate, a retired police analyst named Sol Roth, played by Edgar G. Robinson. These scenes are the highlight of the film, and Robinson's performance was praised by critics, even those who didn't like the movie. In one scene, when Thorn presents a piece of fresh beef he's procured, Roth breaks down in tears. 

Edgar G. Robinson was profoundly deaf at this stage in his career, and had to memorize not only his lines, but the lines of the other actors so that he could perform in front of the camera. This fact only served to demonstrate his skills and professionalism. Sadly, he passed away just a few weeks after production ended and didn't live to hear the praise surrounding his performance.

The film ends with Thorn learning about the motive for the murder he's investigating, and the terrible truth behind Soylent Green. If you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about. And if you haven't seen it, well...what in hell are you waiting for?

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