Soylent Green (1973)

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A detective investigates the murder of a high ranking member of a company that provides food to the masses.


Genre

Dystopian

Characters/Groups

Thorn - Charlton Heston

Shirl - Leigh Taylor-Young

Tab - Chuck Connors

Simonson - Joseph Cotten

Hatcher - Brock Peters

Martha - Paula Kelly

Sol Roth - Edward G. Robinson

Gilbert - Stephen Young

Kulozik - Mike Henry

The Priest - Lincoln Kilpatrick

Donovan - Roy Jenson

Charles - Leonard Stone

Santini - Whit Bissel

The Exchange Leader - Celia Lovsky

Usher 1 - Dick Van Patten

Book 1 - Morgan Farley

Book 2 - John Barclay Book 3 - Belle Mitchell

Book 4 - Cyril Delevanti

Attendant - Forrest Wood

Attendant - Faith Quabius

Mrs. Santini - Jane Dulo

Brady - Tim Herbert

Wagner - John Dennis

Bandana Woman - Jan Bradley

New Tenant - Carlos Romero

Fat Guard - Pat Houtchens

The Furniture Girls - Joyce Williams, Beverly Gill, Cheri Howell, Jennifer King, Erica Hagen, Suesie Eejima, Kathy Silva, and Marion Charles

Desk Attendant - Jeff Winkless

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

"The year: 2022, The place: New York City, The population: 40,000,000."

An outside alert system tells the populace that curfew is about to start for those without permits. Thorn gets out of bed, while an advertisement on the television promotes Soylent Red and new Soylent Green, made from Algae. Richard then interviews Governor Santini, but Sol Roth turns off the television. Thorn asks Sol what information he found on the cases he is working on, but none of them are cases he can complete. The power starts to flicker and Sol gets onto a bike connected to a generator and starts peddling which makes the power return. As Thorn eats a dinner of synthetic food, Sol tells him about when the food was real, before pollution. Thorn leaves his apartment and hops down the stairs in between people who are sleeping on them. Donovan walks up to Gilbert and gives him two handmade tools. Shirl is in her apartment playing a video arcade when Simonson walks up to her and she thanks him for buying the video arcade for her. Tab walks in and tells Shirl they need to go grocery shopping. They buy a few pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables from Brady, who gives them a discount. He then gives Shirl something special, a cut of beef. Gilbert uses the tools Donovan gave him to break into the wealthy part of the city. He then breaks into Simonson's apartment and gives him the message that he has become unreliable and they can't risk the catastrophe. Gilbert then kills Simonson.

After Simonson's murder, Charles takes Thorn to Simonson's apartment after telling him the alarms went out of order last week. Thorn walks into Simonson's apartment and shows his badge to Shirl and Tab. Thorn then tells Tab to get him some liquor and tells Tab he noticed Simonson didn't seem to struggle against his attacker. Thorn asks where Tab was when Simonson was murdered and has him right a sworn statement. Thorn then washes himself with a bar of soap in the bathroom after smelling the bar of soap. Thorn interviews Shirl and she tells him Simonson never hit her and she would never cheat on him. Wagner and the Sanitation Squad enter the apartment and bag Simonson's body and Shirl remarks to Tab that she remembers there was a ceremony when her grandmother died. Thorn takes Tab's statement and gets a ride home from Wagner. He shows Sol everything he took from Simonson's apartment including paper, pencils, the bar of soap, towel and bourbon and hands him two large Soylent Oceanographic Survey Reports from 2015 to 2019. He then pulls out the fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. Bandana Woman goes to get her death benefits. Thorn arrives at the police station while Kulozik is having his planning meeting. Thorn goes into Hatcher's office and is chastised for being late and Hatcher asks him about the progress of his cases. When he finds out he still has no information on one of the cases he suggests Thorn get rid of Sol and get a new Book. Hatcher asks about the Simonson case and Thorn tells him he thinks he was assassinated.

People wait in line to get their ration of water and Soylent Green and Thorn waits for Tab to leave his apartment and then enters the building. He asks the Fat Guard where Tab lives and is pointed to his apartment. He knocks on the door and Martha answers the door. Thorn then goes through Tab's apartment and leaves after stealing a spoon filled with jam. He returns home and has a nice meal prepared by Sol from the items he took from Simonson's apartment. Sol gives Thorn biographical information about Simonson from the last report in 2006. Sol tells Thorn the oceanographic survey's were highly classified. As Thorn is walking to the police station he notices someone following him. He calls Hatcher and tells him what he is working on and Hatcher tells him he will have to come in in the morning. Hatcher hangs up the phone and tells Donovan, who is sitting across from him, about Thorn and Donovan stresses the need for the precinct to work with the Governor's office. Shirl is having a party with The Furniture Girls in her apartment complex. Thorn goes to her apartment and tells her Simonson was assassinated and asks her who Simonson's friends were. She tells him he took her to church and would suddenly cry sometimes and then she and Thorn have sex. Charles walks into the apartment and starts assaulting the women. Thorn exits the bedroom and tells him stop and that he asked them there for questioning. Shirl asks Thorn to stay overnight and that the New Tenant is coming tomorrow. Thorn decides to stay when Shirl mentions she has hot water and they turn down the air conditioning to its coldest level and kiss again.

He walks to a church and finds a child next to their dead mother and gives the child to a nun. Thorn approaches The Priest and tells him he is investigating the murder of Simonson. Thorn asks him what Simonson told him during his confession and The Priest tells him to come back tomorrow and that the truth is destroying him. He then walks away from Thorn. Thorn goes to the police station and Hatcher asks him to sign paperwork closing the Simonson case, but Thorn refuses. Kulozik then tells Thorn, Hatcher put him on riot control duty. Donovon goes up to Santini while Santini is taking Mrs. Santini and their children to a tree sanctuary, and tells him Thorn has refused to close the case. Santini then orders The Priest and Thorn killed. Tab goes to the church and then murders The Priest in the confessional. At the Soylent Green line, a woman complains that she was shorted on the amount of Soylent Green she was given and taken away. As Thorn is patrolling the area, he is watched by Gilbert. Kulozik tells Thorn they are running out of Soylent Green and to pass the word in case their is a riot. Kulozik tells the crowd the supply of Soylent Green has run out and the crowd starts to riot. Riot Control Scoops are sent to quell the crowd and they use scoopers attached to the front to pick up rioters and thrown them into the trailer. As the riot is happening, Gilbert starts shooting at Thorn, missing him multiple times and instead hitting bystanders. Thorn reaches Gilbert, who shoots him in the calf, but before he can shoot Gilbert, Gilbert is crushed by a scooper. Tab returns to his apartment and is beat up by Thorn who asks him who is paying his bills. Tab eventually attacks Thorn who tells him he will get life in a waste disposal factory for attacking a cop. Before leaving, Thorn threatens Tab that if anyone follows him again, he will return and kill him and Martha.

Thorn goes to Shirl's apartment and they hug. Sol goes to the Supreme Exchange and shows The Exchange Leader and Books the copies of the oceanographic survey. Shirl wakes up Thorn and tells him she patched up his leg as best she could. She suggests they leave and go to another city, but he tells her the cities are all the same. The Exchange Leader and Sol discuss their findings from the report that the algae in the oceans have disappeared and Soylent Green is made from people. The New Tenant arrives and tells Shirl how he wants things. He then tells her sometimes he will have friends that will come over and want to have sex with her. Sol goes to the euthanasia building. Thorn gets home and finds a note telling him Sol is going home. Sol walks up to the Desk Attendant and tells him his favorite color and choice of music. Sol is then taken to a room by an Usher 1 where he is stripped by Attendant and another Attendant. Sol is then shown video of green fields and animals as classical music plays. Thorn forces the Usher to take him to Sol's room and they tell each other they love each other and Sol tells Thorn, Soylent Green is made of people and he is euthanized.

Thorn goes to the waste disposal factory and jumps on a truck. It takes him to the Soylent factory where his driver is switched out for a truck that is leaving. He enters the factory and watches as bodies are dumped into a vat and turned into Soylent Green. Thorn is spotted by workers and forced to flee. He returns to his apartment but notices some men waiting for him outside. He calls Hatcher, but the line is busy and then calls Shirl and tells her to stay with the New Tenant. He tells Hatcher he needs help and then runs as the men approach his position. A gunfire erupts and Thorn makes his way to the church, but is shot by Tab in the chest on the way. Tab follows him into the church and shoots a woman when he hears a noise. Thorn tackles Tab, but is punched away. As Tab is going in for the kill, Tab stabs him with a knife and kills him. Hatcher runs to Thorn and Thorn tells him he needs to go the Exchange and tell them he found proof the oceans are dying and Soylent Green is made from people. Thorn is then taken away in a stretcher as he yells to Hatcher that he has to tell the Exchange that Soylent Green is people and they have to be stopped.