A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.
All of that would be of no matter unless it wasn't a cracking good film which it certainly is. It's superbly cast for one thing not only with a dream-team of Lemmon, Fonda and Douglas in the main roles (all garnered deserved Oscar nominations for their work) but it's also well cast in the supporting roles too. The plot is convincingly believable at almost every stage with only the somewhat contrived melodramatic climax slightly at odds with what had gone before.
The film makes telling points about corporate greed over safety considerations still relevant in every walk of business today, but also confronts the limits of free speech and obviously, the debate on the use of nuclear power as an energy source in today's society, but at a more basic level it's just a top-class thriller which ratchets up the tension throughout.
The acting just couldn't be better, Fonda is convincing as the lightweight "feel-good spot" TV reporter who scents a real story for the first time, Douglas as the rule-bending maverick camera-man desperate to get the story out there and Lemmon in one of his last great roles as the company man whose loyalty is tested by his own conscience when he becomes aware of the cover-ups at the plant.
Sure the fashions and depicted technology to name but two elements are dated as only a film set in the 70's can be, but the message of the movie combined with its entertainment value easily transcends these to deliver a taut, exciting and thought-provoking film which was one of the best of, in my opinion, a great decade for Hollywood movie-making.
- Jan 9, 2016