A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When the film was first released on 16 March 1979, nuclear power executives soon lambasted the picture as being "sheer fiction" and a "character assassination of an entire industry". Then twelve days after its launch, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident occurred in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It was commented how the events had left nuclear executives embarrassed with egg on their faces. See more »
When Jack sets down his coffee cup, just after the earthquake, the handle points towards the edge of the counter. In the close up the handle points to the corner. 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.
See more »
When THE CHINA SYNDROME was released, plenty of right-wing critics and pro-nuke supporters blasted this film, particularly since its three leading stars were all known for their liberal politics and their overt distrust of nuclear power. But it only took two weeks and a near-catastrophic accident at Three Mile Island to shut those critics up.
Fonda and Douglas are the L.A. news crew that witness a potentially nasty accident at the Ventana nuclear power plant. Douglas films the event through the plant's soundproof glass; but the TV station will not air the footage, fearing a massive lawsuit. It is thus up to Fonda and Douglas to get at the truth, despite a massive attempt by the plant's owners to cover up the accident.
But a conscientious shift supervisor (Jack Lemmon) has uncovered certain defects in the plant's pump support structure. He believes that these defects were the cause of the accident and that, though it would be extremely costly and lengthy, if repairs aren't made, the next accident could be apocalyptic. But he can't get anyone who works with him to believe his story. The result is a nightmarish climax that pulls various political, technological, and human interest stories together in one disturbing package.
While obviously quite politically liberal in nature, THE CHINA SYNDROME, well directed and co-written by James Bridges (THE PAPER CHASE), is also fundamentally a message movie about the inherent dangers of putting technology and nuclear power together. Fundamentally, nuclear power can NEVER be made safe because people can NEVER be perfect. That is what the film is saying; and in a highly entertaining and suspenseful way, it says it brilliantly.
31 of 50 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?