American marathon runner Michael Andropolis sets his heart on representing his country at the Olympic games. Meanwhile his marriage has fallen apart and his children have no respect for him... See full summary »
Steven Hilliard Stern
A successful but stressed mathematics professor (Clayburgh) goes to her father's wedding and falls in love with her father's bride's son (Douglas), a prematurely retired pro baseball player... See full summary »
Jerry, not a member of the 'protest generation' but is instead, an 'All American boy,' is drafted into the Army, just as things begin to go well for him. He decision to flee to Canada ... See full summary »
While doing a series of reports on alternative energy sources, an opportunistic reporter Kimberly Wells witnesses an accident at a nuclear power plant. Wells is determined to publicise the incident but soon finds herself entangled in a sinister conspiracy to keep the full impact of the incident a secret. Written by
Dave Jenkins <email@example.com>
Breaking her ankle on the set of this film meant that Fonda could no longer practice ballet as she had been for years. She took up aerobics instead, which led to her famous exercise home video franchise. See more »
When Hector is stuck in his car after the crash, a fireman is getting him out with a hydraulic rescue tool also know as a "spreader". The sound when he operates this tool is the sound that a chainsaw makes, but a spreader does not make any sound due to the fact that it is hydraulic. See more »
"The China Syndrome" is perhaps the first horror film that is not necessarily following the rules of the genre. It takes place in the contemporary '70's, and features people in the normal profession of broadcast television news. But, when a news story about the leakage of nuclear energy breaks; let's just say - there is your monster.
Jane Fonda is absolutely superb as Kimberley Wells, an ambitious Los Angeles reporter relegated only to fluff pieces by her sexist boss (Peter Donat). She wants something juicier, and gets it, in the form of an accident at a nuclear power plant facilitated by Jack Godell (Jack Lemmon with expressions too numerous to count). Her hippie radical cameraman (Michael Douglas, who also produced) photographs the incident without the plant's knowledge and they both agree that public safety is a valid story. The network brass doesn't think so, and soon both Fonda and Douglas are entangled in a web of legalities concerning the tape.
The crux of the film is Lemmon's character. A man torn between loyalty to his company and telling the truth - even in the face of grave consequences. What makes this horror scenario so compelling is that these are true flesh-and-blood people stuck in the most extraordinary of circumstances faced with both a threat of cosmic proportions as well as a human one.
This is a remarkably chilling thriller, and I'm disappointed that it's not taken more seriously (as both art and tract).
38 of 43 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?