7.4/10
21,900
102 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.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
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:

An Element Of Risk  »

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

Star Jack Lemmon said of this film: "I signed on for 'The China Syndrome' and then waited over a year for filming to begin. Not only did I get a marvelous role but I had the satisfaction of being part of a film project that deals with a very dramatic subject, and it makes for a very dramatic movie." See more »

Goofs

Michael Douglas's cameraman more than once supposedly films something - including the footage of the reactor control room - without having a battery pack connected to the camera. The camera simply wouldn't work without it. He also frequently uses the light meter incorrectly - the white dome has to be pointed towards the light source you are measuring. See more »

Quotes

Bill Gibson: 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.
Bill Gibson: 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.
Bill Gibson: Yes sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits run in total silence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Megan Mullally/Clay Aiken (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Somewhere In Between
by Stephen Bishop
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


69 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page