Skip to comments.“Soylent Green is People!”
Posted on 04/06/2008 6:10:40 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob
Charlton Heston died this week at the age of 84. He had two careers, and both were larger than life. His family used that phrase in the statement they issued about his death. They spoke the simple truth.
With his furrowed brow, his chiseled chin, his stentorian voice, he was cast in heroic roles from early in his career. But he took on similar roles in life, as the head of the National Rifle Association for five years, but also as a campaigner for issues that mattered to him, such as color-blind rather than color-driven civil rights. He was a major contributor to the Martin Luther King Memorial in Los Angeles.
The part of his career that moved seamlessly from the silver screen to real life and back, was the role of the hero, standing up against all odds. Speaking the truth. Facing death unafraid, for a worthy cause. There is entirely too little of that kind of leadership in American society today. It is nearly unknown in civilian society, though still commonplace among the military and in police departments.
Heston was a student of history, and of the citizens who created this nation, 232 years ago for the Declaration of Independence, 221 years ago for the Constitution. He knew that the signers of the Declaration mutually pledged our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor by their approval of that treasonous document.
Of course, modern students arent encouraged to read the Declaration of Independence, First, there is the tendency of high school history classes to discard all of American history prior to the Civil War. Then, there is that pesky reference to divine Providence just prior to the mutual pledge. Modern teachers in public schools do not encourage students to ask questions about such subjects as sacred Honor or divine Providence.
By contrast, both the film and real world careers of Charlton Heston were wrapped up in such matters. Charlton Heston was a great man, not because he played great men on screen, but because he was a great man by example. There is tremendous irony in the fact that the Associated Press devoted a paragraph in its obituary of Heston to talk about Michael Moores contretemps with Heston.
Moore had the class to post a photograph of Heston on his website, the years of his life, and Hestons familys request that donations be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund. The AP had the lack of class to include in Hestons obituary Moores website address and the fact that Moore had declined to comment. Michael Moore had the decency to recognize the difference between him and Heston. The AP lacked that decency.
Most of Hestons roles placed him at turning points in history (The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur) or worse, at points after history had turned ugly, explaining the loss after the fact (Planet of the Apes and The Omega Man). I prefer to use one of his lesser films to explain his essential role on screen and in real life.
Soylent Green (1973) takes place in the crowded, brutish and nasty world of 2022. Natural foods like vegetables and meat have disappeared, except for the very wealthy. Heston plays Police Detective Thorn, investigating the murder of an official of the Soylent Corporation, which manufactures food for the 40 million people now in New York, and across the world.
Sol Roth is a researcher and friend, played by Edward G. Robinson. He discovers the beginnings of the terrible truth, and then he goes to one of the Death Centers, where he gets his favorite colors, favorite pictures, and favorite music, as the poison courses through his body. Thorn then follows the corpse of his friend to the manufacturing plant where he discovers that Soylent Green is people! He states that with his arm upraised from his stretcher as he is carried out of a tattered church the floor of which is filled with sick and dying people.
In short, great men see beyond the here and now. Great men warn us about the vile futures that await us if we pay to little attention to where we are headed. In most instances, great men die unheeded, and the awful visions they foresaw, then tragically come to pass. A prime example of this was Winston Churchill and his warnings about Adolf Hitler when there was still time to stop him with minimal bloodshed, though Churchill did live to lead his nation through the war that should have been avoided.
Was Charlton Heston in a league with Winston Churchill? I dont go that far. Was he a far greater man than most who aspire to and hold public office today? Beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Charlton Heston, 1924-2008.
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About the Author: John Armor practiced in the US Supreme Court for 33 years. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu He is running for the 11th Congressional District of North Carolina.
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John / Billybob
Heston marched with Dr. King and stood up tall for Civil Rights back when it was a dangerous career move.
The Left will never even approach the level of Charlton Heston. Rest in Peace, Mr. Heston. You were a class act.
Godspeed, my friend.
As Sol told him in Soylent Green: “Go with God.”
He sure was.
I prefer “Get your stinking paws of me, you damn dirty ape!”
Charlton Heston, now there was a Man.
I must of saw Soylent Green 30 years ago. Didn’t even remember it as a Charlton Heston film.
The Omega Man coulda kicked any liberal`s ass.
Yeah, but I was just going by the title of this thread.
One of the giants has left us. And we are poorer for it.
RIP to one of our best.
Having seen this movie at least 10 times, I’m torrenting it now so I can get 11. I wish I had Charlton Heston’s voice...it’s so powerful. “It’s a Madhouse!!”
“Get your filthy paws off me you damned dirty ape!”
Can I have his gun now
Are you fit to own it? If so, pass it on. He would.
"Mmmmmm. My favorite snack. Soylent green with some fava beans and a nice chianti."
Take a Kid to a Gun Show.