7.4/10
21,994
105 user 61 critic

The China Syndrome (1979)

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

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ON DISC
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Today, only a handful of people know what it means... Soon you will know. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An Element Of Risk  »

Box Office

Gross:

$51,718,367 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Jane Fonda dyed her waist-length fair hair to a show-stopping red for the film. This was because she had noticed that most of the on-camera female newscasters she had observed had sported dyed hair. Fonda once said of this: "I'm acting out my Brenda Starr (1989) fantasy!". See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film, Michael Douglas makes the mistake of pronouncing the word "nuclear" as the incorrect "noo-kyoo-ler". (A mistake he also makes in The Game). See more »

Quotes

Kimberly Wells: [defending her cameraman] He's good, I think he's good. He's won a lot of awards.
Don Jacovich: I'm sure. Hothead award, Foulmouth award, Can-of-worms award...
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Crazy Credits

The end credits run in total silence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Burt Reynolds/Anne Murray (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Somewhere In Between
by Stephen Bishop
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Art imitates life
17 December 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

As someone who lives a sneeze away from TMI, I can tell you how this movie was received in my area...people were terrified.

The administrators at TMI were hardly forthcoming about the situation. Some of the advice we got now seems laughable; I was in HS at the time, and for our protection, the teachers closed all the windows...wow. My one social studies teacher went to see the movie, and when they got to the part about the meltdown destroying an area the size of PA, he said that people started screaming.

So this movie is pretty surreal for me; it seems that it was only dumb luck that kept the plant from a meltdown. Every now and then I drive past it, and it still seems as sinister as it did then. Watching "The China Syndrome" seemed like watching the local news.


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