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The China Syndrome ()


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

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Awards:
  • Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations.
  • See more »
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Cast verified as complete

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Kimberly Wells
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Jack Godell
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Richard Adams
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Herman De Young
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Bill Gibson
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Don Jacovich
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Ted Spindler
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Evan McCormack
Daniel Valdez ...
Hector Salas
Stan Bohrman ...
Pete Martin
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Mac Churchill
Michael Alaimo ...
Greg Minor
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Dr. Lowell
Khalilah Ali ...
Marge
Paul Larson ...
D.B. Royce
Ron Lombard ...
Barney
Tom Eure ...
Tommy
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Borden
Daniel Lewk ...
Donny
Allan Chinn ...
Holt
Martin Fiscoe ...
Control Guard
Alan Kaul ...
TV Director
Michael Mann ...
TV Consultant
David Eisenbise ...
Technical Director
Frank Cavestani ...
News Reporter
Reuben Collins ...
Sportscaster
E. Hampton Beagle ...
Mort
David Pfeiffer ...
David
...
Hatcher
Dennis McMullen ...
Robertson
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Rita Jacovich
James Hall ...
Harmon
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Waitress (as Carol Helvey)
Trudy Lane ...
Alma Spindler
Jack Smith Jr. ...
Tom
David Arnsen ...
KXLA Cameraman
Betty Harford ...
Woman at Demonstration
Donald Bishop ...
Hearings Chairman
Al Baietti ...
Pro-Nuclear Witness
Diandra Morrell ...
Sasha
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Young Demonstrator
Roger Pancake ...
Gate Guard
Joe Lowry ...
Security Agent
Harry M. Williams ...
Fire Rescue
Dennis Barker ...
Jaws of Life
Joseph Garcia ...
Highway Patrolman
James Kline ...
Jim
Alan Beckwith ...
Technician
Clay Hodges ...
SWAT Squad Leader
Val Clenard ...
Val Clenard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert A. Bowen ...
Camera operator (uncredited)
John Philip Dayton ...
Young Photographer (uncredited)
Peter Paul Eastman ...
Reporter (uncredited)
...
Board Member (uncredited)
Robert S. Woods ...
(uncredited)

Directed by

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James Bridges

Written by

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Mike Gray ... (written by) &
T.S. Cook ... (written by) and
James Bridges ... (written by)

Produced by

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Michael Douglas ... producer
Bruce Gilbert ... executive producer
Penny McCarthy ... assistant producer
James Nelson ... associate producer
Jack Smith Jr. ... assistant producer

Cinematography by

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James Crabe ... director of photography

Film Editing by

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David Rawlins

Editorial Department

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Francesca Emerson ... assistant editor

Casting By

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Sally Dennison

Production Design by

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George Jenkins

Set Decoration by

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Arthur Jeph Parker

Costume Design by

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Donfeld

Makeup Department

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Bernadine M. Anderson ... makeup artist: Ms. Fonda (as Bernadine Anderson)
Kaye Pownall ... hairstylist (as Kay Pownall)
Don Schoenfeld ... makeup artist

Production Management

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James Nelson ... unit production manager
James A. Dennett ... production manager (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Kim Kurumada ... first assistant director
Barrie M. Osborne ... second assistant director (as Barrie Osborne)
Joel Chernoff ... second unit director (uncredited)

Art Department

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Rafael Caro ... art department staff
Rick Carter ... art department staff (as Richard Carter Jr.)
Joseph Hurley ... art department staff (as Joe Hurley)
Terry E. Lewis ... property master (as Terry Lewis)
William Maldonado ... construction coordinator
Richard McKenzie ... art department staff
Rudy Reachi ... assistant prop man
Ray Villalobos Sr. ... paint foreman (as Reynaldo Villalobos)
R. Chris Westlund ... lead man (as Chris Westlund)
S. Bruce Wineinger ... construction foreman (as Bruce Wineinger)
Jimmy Day ... labor foreman (uncredited)
Roy 'Bucky' Moore ... third assistant property master (uncredited)
William Ladd Skinner ... set designer (uncredited)

Sound Department

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Fred J. Brown ... sound effects editor (as Fred Brown)
Willie D. Burton ... sound mixer (as Willie Burton)
Gene Corso ... sound effects editor
Les Fresholtz ... re-recording mixer (as Lester Fresholtz)
Marvin E. Lewis ... boom man (as Marvin Lewis)
Mary McGlone ... sound effects editor
Michael Minkler ... re-recording mixer
Lorane Mitchell ... sound effects editor
Arthur Piantadosi ... re-recording mixer
Samuel C. Crutcher ... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Robert W. Harris ... cable person (uncredited)

Special Effects by

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Bruce Mattox ... special effects assistant
Henry Millar Jr. ... special effects

Visual Effects by

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Richard Edlund ... miniature photography
Michael L. Fink ... electronic consultant (as Mike Fink)
Richard E. Hollander ... electronic consultant (as Richard Hollander)
James F. Liles ... special photographic effects
Matthew Yuricich ... matte paintings
Stuart Ziff ... electronic effects
Peter Anderson ... visual effects (uncredited)

Stunts

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Bob Harris ... stunt coordinator (as Bobby Harris)
Carey Loftin ... stunt coordinator
Hubie Kerns Jr. ... stunt driver (uncredited)
Bryce Guy Williams ... stunt double: Jack Lemmon (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

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James O. Blair ... gaffer (as James Blair)
Robert Duggan ... best boy grip
Robert Isenberg ... camera assistant (as Bob Isenberg)
Hal Landaker ... video consultant
Tom Prophet Jr. ... key grip
Daryl Smith ... best boy electric
Peter Sorel ... still photographer
Mike Sweeten ... camera operator
Reynaldo Villalobos ... second camera (as Ray Villalobos)
John Szajner ... second camera assistant (uncredited)

Casting Department

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Stanzi Stokes ... assistant casting (as Stanzi Foster)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Aggie Guerard Rodgers ... costumer: ladies (as Agnes Rodgers)
Eddie Marks ... costumer: men (as Edward Marks)

Location Management

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Douglas E. Stoll ... location manager (as Douglas Stoll)

Music Department

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Michael Boddicker ... musician: synthesizer
Jim Henrikson ... music editor
Francesca Emerson ... assistant music editor (uncredited)
Dan Wallin ... score mixer (uncredited)

Transportation Department

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Edward Baken ... transportation captain (as Eddie Baken)
Craig Pinkard ... transportation coordinator

Other crew

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Marty P. Ewing ... production assistant (as Marty Ewing)
Debbie Getlin ... assistant: Mr. Bridges (as Deborah Getlin)
Richard Holley ... helicopter pilot (as Rick Holley)
Alan Kaul ... technical advisor: news
Ronnie Kramer ... production secretary
Doe Mayer ... video sequences designer
Bruce Nahin ... production assistant
Ramon Pahoyo ... craft service (as Ramone Pahoyo)
Eileen Peterson ... publicist
Ken Ryan ... production auditor (as Kenneth Ryan)
Marshall Schlom ... script supervisor
Gayle Simon ... researcher
Teddy Stewart ... researcher
Richard Thomason ... helicopter pilot
David Arntzen ... production assistant (uncredited)
Blanche Bisbing ... assistant auditor (uncredited)
Dale Bridenbaugh ... nuclear technical advisor: MHB Technical Associates (uncredited)
Ron Eisenman ... first aid (uncredited)
Karina Goodman ... production assistant (uncredited)
Richard Hubbard ... nuclear technical advisor: MHB Technical Associates (uncredited)
Eileen McGuire ... accounting assistant (uncredited)
Gregory Minor ... nuclear technical advisor: MHB Technical Associates (uncredited)
Francesca Rivieri ... assistant to executive producer (uncredited)
Howard R. Schuster ... financing (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
Taglines Today, only a handful of people know what it means... Soon you will know. See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • The Sanest Man (United States)
  • This Is Kimberly Wells Live (United States)
  • Killer Watt (United States)
  • What Price Power (United States)
  • Film At 11 (United States)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 122 min
Official Sites
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Language
Color
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Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $6,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

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Trivia When the film was first released on 16 March 1979, nuclear power executives soon lambasted the picture as being "sheer fiction" and a "character assassination of an entire industry". Then twelve days after its launch, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident occurred near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was commented how the events had left nuclear executives with egg on their faces. See more »
Goofs When a reactor is "SCRAM"ed it does not initiate the use of massive cooling systems. The SCRAM process is the rapid (4 second or less) insertion of the control rods into the core which shuts the reactor down by absorbing the neutrons. If the control rod SCRAM fails, then the reactor can be SCRAMed by using a neutron absorbing liquid injected into the core from pressurized tanks (no pumps.) Also, in addition to the cooling pumps, there is an Emergency Core Cooling System which injects a large amount of cooling water into the core if the primary colling system fails. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in The Making of 'The China Syndrome' (1979). See more »
Soundtracks Somewhere In Between See more »
Crazy Credits The end credits run in total silence. See more »
Quotes Churchill, Mac: Richard, I want that goddamn film.
Richard Adams: You can kiss my ass!
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