The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paul Stone
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Earl Lapin
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Max Richter
Sudie Bond ...
Thelma Rice
Henderson Forsythe ...
Quincy Bissell
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Gilda Schultz
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Mace Hurley
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Wesley
J.C. Quinn ...
Curtis Schultz
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Storyline

Fairly accurate recounting of the story of Karen Silkwood, the Oklahoma nuclear-plant worker who blew the whistle on dangerous practices at the Kerr-McGee plant and who died under circumstances which are still under debate. Written by Susan C. Mitchell <susanm@indirect.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On November 13, 1974, Karen Silkwood, an employee of a nuclear facility, left to meet with a reporter from the New York Times. She never got there.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El caso Silkwood - Escándalo nuclear  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$35,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Karen Silkwood's parents and former roommate Sherri Ellis were unhappy with the film. Her father believed that Karen was "a whole lot smarter than they showed in the movie," while Ellis objected to Cher's depiction of Dolly, even though it wasn't based expressly on her. "It really spun my head," Ellis told People when asked about the film. "The upsetting thing is the insinuation to I could have snitched on Karen to the company. But I sold the producers of the film the character portrayal rights, and for $67,500 they can defame my character any way they want." See more »

Goofs

Just under an hour into the movie, at the conclusion of the scene where Drew (Kurt Russel) pours the contents of a can of beer over his head before leaving the house, watch carefully as he then walks out of the house and out onto the porch. He can be seen striking his head with considerable force on the porch, hard enough to produce an audible noise and would surely have caused a considerable amount of pain. In the next immediate scene and thereafter, no physical sign of injury can been seen on the actor. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man on the intercom: Name?
Karen Silkwood: Karen Silkwood.
Drew Stephens: Drew Stephens.
Dolly Pelliker: Dolly Pelliker.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Operation Double 007 (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Silkwood Main Titles
Written and Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
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User Reviews

 
We're all nuked and going to Hell.
30 March 2006 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Apparently, when "Silkwood" came out, Mike Nichols hadn't released a notable movie since "The Fortune" nearly killed his career eight years earlier. If we call this his comeback, then it was sure a good comeback. Donning one of her many accents from over the years - in this case Oklahoman - Meryl Streep plays Karen Silkwood, a plutonium processing plant employee who sought to expose the dangerous conditions in her workplace...and mysteriously died in a car wreck.

This is the sort of opportunity to be idiotically preachy, but the movie never degenerates into that. It shows how the plant's owners poisoned her and psychologically berated her. This brings to mind the overall issue of how the nuclear age affected the whole planet. Nuclear tests by both the US and USSR left the whole world irradiated. Nuclear power may be discredited, but apparently NO PERSON ON EARTH has escaped nuclear fallout. So much for progress.

All in all, "Silkwood" is a really good movie. It's surprising to see Kurt Russell and Cher (as Karen's roommates Drew Stephens and Dolly Pelliker) in this sort of movie; we associate him with kick-ass roles and her with treacly roles. But they do a very good job. Also starring Craig T. Nelson, Diana Scarwid, Fred Ward, Ron Silver, and Bruce McGill.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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