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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>
The film's writer Mike Gray was originally scheduled to direct after his documentary The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971) had been successful but the Columbia Pictures' executives rejected Gray as he was an untried commodity and as such Gray was replaced with James Bridges. See more »
In the introduction to the news, the announcer names Kimberly Wells' segment "California Close-Up" but the anchorman calls it "California Now." See more »
Mr. Mc Cormack I can't take responsibility for this.
Evan Mc Cormack:
What's your alternative? Let this maniac wash out a billion dollar investment? At least this buys time, it will take the press an hour to get here.
I wouldn't count on it.
Evan Mc Cormack:
I'm counting on you to take care of the goddamn press. Now you do your job and I'll do mine.
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Centrally focused on the nuclear power industry, James Bridges's film contains a subtext indicting the news media, particularly television. His story leaves no room to doubt that there is a nexus between the moguls of the two industries which influences the way stories are, first, treated and, secondly, presented.
He may exaggerate to make his point, but he makes it so prominent that its place cannot be overlooked in examining the whole of the film.
Bridges also knows Hitchcock's trick of frustrating the audience with the passage of time. When Kimberly's crew is waiting at a public hearing for Jack to arrive with evidence, the performance of the enviro-protesters with their neat clothes, neat black gags and silent protest is as excruciating as nails scraping a blackboard. The audience is more anxious than the characters for an arrival to put an end to it.
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