MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 390 this week

The China Syndrome (1979)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  16 March 1979 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 17,825 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 59 critic

A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 02 Aug 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 23 Aug 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 16 Jul 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 41 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The China Syndrome (1979)

The China Syndrome (1979) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The China Syndrome.
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Klute (1971)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi
Running (1979)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
Stars: Michael Douglas, Susan Anspach, Lawrence Dane
Tribute (1980)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A shallow Broadway press agent learns he is dying just as his son by his ex-wife arrives for a visit.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Robby Benson, Lee Remick
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A woman wakes up next to a murdered man. Did she do it herself, and if not, is she in danger herself?

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges, Raul Julia
Marathon Man (1976)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider
Coming Home (1978)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A woman whose husband is fighting in Vietnam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A businessman's professional struggles begin to conflict with his personal life over the course of two days.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Heineman
Certificate: M Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York
Cat Ballou (1965)
Comedy | Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman seeking revenge for her murdered father hires a famous gunman, but he's very different from what she expects.

Director: Elliot Silverstein
Stars: Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Michael Callan
Coma (1978)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a young female doctor notices an unnatural amount of comas occurring in her hospital she uncovers a horrible conspiracy.

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Michael Douglas, Rip Torn, Geneviève Bujold
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The loons are back again on Golden Pond and so are Norman Thayer, a retired professor, and Ethel who have had a summer cottage there since early in their marriage. This summer their ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda
Missing (1982)
Drama | History | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When an idealistic writer disappears during the Right Wing military coup in 1973 Chile, his wife and American businessman father try to find him.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Scott Brady ...
...
Peter Donat ...
...
...
Daniel Valdez ...
Stan Bohrman ...
...
Michael Alaimo ...
Donald Hotton ...
Khalilah Ali ...
Paul Larson ...
Edit

Storyline

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 <david.jenkins@smallworld.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

People who know the meaning of "The China Syndrome" are scared. Soon _you_ will know. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El síndrome de China  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 8,390,477 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Because the Three Mile Island accident, which resulted in the release of radioactive steam, occurred just weeks AFTER release of this movie, many people associate the movie with Three Mile Island. However, the potentially FAR more dangerous "Incident at Browns Ferry" (Alabama) happened in 1975, four years earlier, and was caused by a number of construction flaws, operational issues, and safety failures. Brown's Ferry Alabama is more properly the "true" basis of this story. No similar situation happened in California. See more »

Goofs

When Jack Godell scrutinizes the trace which illustrates the vibration he is so concerned about, the close-up of the trace shows a barely wavering line with one incident of more violent activity. In the longer shot, showing Godell holding the trace, the line fluctuates to a far greater extent over its entire length. See more »

Quotes

Jack Godell: What makes you think they're looking for a scapegoat?
Ted Spindler: Tradition.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Somewhere in Between
by Stephen Bishop
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Still Relevant After (Nearly) 25 Years
2 September 2003 | by (Georgia, USA) – See all my reviews

This is *not* a great film about nuclear power. It plays too fast and loose with reality for that--especially in a cringe-inducing scene where two scientists describe the consequences of a reactor accident. The catastrophic damage they describe is (even opponents of nuclear power would agree) a worst-case scenario, not the inevitable result of a breakdown in the reactor cooling system. Three-Mile Island suffered such a breakdown, and the surrounding "area the size of Pennsylvania" remained habitable.

That said, this *is* a great (and surprisingly subtle) film about complex technological systems, how they fail, and how the organizations that manage them go awry. Subtle? Well: 1) Jack Godell, the whiste-blowing hero, is a flawed and self-doubting normal human being rather than a crusader in shining armor; 2) His co-workers at the plant (as opposed to the "suits" they work for) are sympathetic working-class guys who gripe (as does everybody now and then) about burdensome government regulations and the clueless public; 3) The flaws in the plant are subtle, not glaring. The film, in other words, plays a lot fairer than you'd expect given its reputation (and pedigree).

Does this film have a definite whiff of late-70s, post-Watergate America about it? Sure. Does it have a political edge? Yes. For all that, though, it's still (sadly) relevant--our technology, and the people who are supposed to make it work, still fail us. See the movie, then skim the recent (August 2003) report on the Columbia disaster; the more things change. . .


46 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
with Japan's nuclear disaster now... kimasabe90035-1
Nuclear safety Rammu
Karl Grossman says NRC knew chances of core meltdown in US within 20yrs mickeyone
Any Other Nukes Seen This Movie? tspencer227
Good guys in compacts, bad guys in gas guzzlers kag2
HELP !!!!!!!!!!! unfabulous36
Discuss The China Syndrome (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page