The Movie Snob takes in a classic.
Soylent Green (B). I caught this movie the other day as part of The Magnolia’s ongoing classic film series. It’s a 1973 sci-fi flick set in New York City. The year is 2022, the Earth is overheated and overcrowded, and most of the impoverished population is fed with rations of unappetizing wafers called things like Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow, and yes, Soylent Green. When a director of the Soylent Corporation is murdered in his plush high-rise apartment, a somewhat crooked cop named Thorn (Charlton Heston, Antony & Cleopatra) takes on the case. It’s good, cheesy fun as Thorne follows the trail, uncovers Soylent’s ugly secrets, and cozies up to the decedent’s lovely mistress Shirl (Leigh Taylor-Young, TV’s Peyton Place). The depiction of NYC as a dilapidated city coming apart at the seams has a Philip K. Dick feel to it, but the movie is actually based on a sci-fi novel by Harry Harrison called Make Room! Make Room! I recognized Dick Van Patten (TV’s Eight Is Enough) and Chuck Connors (Old Yeller), but not Joseph Cotten (The Third Man) in the role of the Soylent magnate who’s marked for murder.