7.2/10
18,012
93 user 41 critic

Silkwood (1983)

Trailer
2:16 | Trailer
A worker at a plutonium processing plant is purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing worker safety violations at the plant.

Director:

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

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Karen Silkwood
Kurt Russell ... Drew Stephens
Cher ... Dolly Pelliker
Craig T. Nelson ... Winston
Diana Scarwid ... Angela
Fred Ward ... Morgan
Ron Silver ... Paul Stone
Charles Hallahan ... Earl Lapin
Josef Sommer ... Max Richter
Sudie Bond ... Thelma Rice
Henderson Forsythe Henderson Forsythe ... Quincy Bissell
E. Katherine Kerr ... Gilda Schultz
Bruce McGill ... Mace Hurley
David Strathairn ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie would represent the first of 3 different pairings of Cher and Meryl Streep. They were in Silkwood, Stuck on You and Mama Mia: Here We Go Again. The third movie is their only musical they've done together, in spite of them both being singers. Ironically, Meryl sings in Silkwood, but not Cher. (Cher is of course the famous singer of those two, having scored several #1 hits over the years including Believe and Turn Back Time). See more »

Goofs

When men looking for radiation search the house, Karen and Dolly are questioned and Dolly is taken away. Soon afterward, in a close shot of Karen, Dolly is in the background. 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 Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates Kwanzaa (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Down The Highway (Reprise)
Written and Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
See more »

User Reviews

 
I think many reviews miss the point
2 August 2003 | by LoliRyderSee all my reviews

One of the things that many movies are missing these days are the small details and things that happen in everyday life - and how we are able to learn about characters through small visual clues rather than the large hammer of exposition-driven dialogue.

For instance, in the scene where the characters are looking at the slides of the trip to Washington: towards the end are two photos with Streep and Ron Silver's character. In the second photo, she leans into him a little bit. That tiny bit of body language makes us wonder - and Kurt Russell's character too. He suddenly moves his arm from around Streep's and suddenly she's aware that something's wrong. It's all in the unspoken. There isn't a preceding scene where she picks up the other guy, or goes to bed with him or even lies to Kurt Russell. It just cuts to this scene, and we the viewer learn along with Kurt that she's been unfaithful - which also reveals a little more about this person Karen Silkwood.

She's not a perfect hero - she's flighty, irresponsible, impulsive and non-committal - so the question becomes, why did she change? Why did she risk her life when she finally truly understood the risks? And how does Kurt Russell come to terms with this changed person he is in love with, given that he is just a guy who knows how to fix a car not save the world?

Watch Mike Nichols' inspired direction; he rarely cuts away in the middle of a scene. A lot of Kurt, Cher and Meryl's acting happens all in one take. *That's* truly good acting and directing.

Good dialogue in a film is in knowing what's happening without it being said. Don't fast forward the first hour - really pay attention and see how much you learn from the small details that will enrich your viewing of this film.


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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Silkwood See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,218,322, 18 December 1983

Gross USA:

$35,615,609

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,615,609
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Motion Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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