7.4/10
23,065
110 user 68 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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4,241 ( 3,473)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Kimberly Wells
... Jack Godell
... Richard Adams
... Herman De Young
... Bill Gibson
... Don Jacovich
... Ted Spindler
... Evan McCormack
Daniel Valdez ... Hector Salas
Stan Bohrman ... Pete Martin
... Mac Churchill
Michael Alaimo ... Greg Minor
... Dr. Lowell
Khalilah Ali ... Marge
Paul Larson ... D.B. Royce
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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:

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An Element Of Risk  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$51,718,367
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For his role as an anguished engineer in this film, actor Jack Lemmon returned to the kind of dramatic performance that earned him a second Academy Award for his starring role in Save the Tiger (1973). Lemmon's first Oscar win, for Best Supporting Actor in Mister Roberts (1955), was for Lemmon's endearingly funny 'Ensign Pulver' role. For The China Syndrome (1979), Lemmon was Oscar nominated again, in the Best Actor in a Leading Role category, but lost out to Dustin Hoffman for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). See more »

Goofs

After Jack exits the freeway, his pursuers swerve off through the median; a black platform can be seen to give their vehicle a ramp for getting over the curb of the roadway. See more »

Quotes

Evan Mc Cormack: ...and let this lunatic wipe 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 God damn press. Now you do your Job, and let me do mine.
Bill Gibson: Yes sir.
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Crazy Credits

The end credits run in total silence. 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 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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