Anniversary Post: Soylent Green

Soylent Green

On this day, 19 April, in 1973, the classic film Soylent Green was released. It’s become one of those films that everyone knows of but few have actually seen. And that is due to the icon line, “Soylent Green is people!” I’m not a huge Charlton Heston fan, but the man could deliver a line!

When I was a kid, there was a very popular commercial with a jingle, “Mutual of Omaha is people you can count on when the going’s tough.” I took to singing (with slight melodic changes), “Soylent Green is people…” And just stopped it there.

But the truth is that the whole cannibalism aspect of the plot hardly matters. Soylent Green is a very good dystopian movie with a typically 1970s paranoid ending. I think this is why more people don’t watch it: they think they’ve already seen it.

The same goes for other films like it. For example, I think The Sixth Sense is an excellent film. But it’s widely written off as nothing more than a film with a clever twist. A second viewing shows that it’s a heartbreaking drama.

Of course, the other reason that people don’t watch Soylent Green is that it isn’t new. However, I wonder if Redbox units stored past classics there wouldn’t be a notable number of rentals. After all, people listen to old songs on jukeboxes. But I’m probably being far too optimistic.

Also on 19 April

Actor Hugh O’Brian (The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) was born in 1925, Jayne Mansfield (The Girl Can’t Help It) in 1933, and Dudley Moore (Bedazzled) in 1935.

Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) is 74 and Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) is 41.

Soylent Green via Wikipedia under Fair use.

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