7.2/10
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83 user 37 critic

Silkwood (1983)

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

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at Amazon

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

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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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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El caso Silkwood - Escándalo nuclear 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$35,615,609
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Motion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name and location of the plutonium plant that Karen Silkwood worked for was the Kerr-McGee Cimarron Fuel Fabrication Site, which was situated near Crescent, Oklahoma. However, the picture was not shot in Oklahoma. See more »

Goofs

After Karen's first contamination, she and Drew are at home and Drew is laid out on the bed playing his banjo and black (X) marks can clearly be seen on the quilt. These are not actor position marks, but (repeating) parts of the quilt pattern. Drew's body lining up on the marks is just chance. 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 Opera (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Karen Looks Through Files
Written and Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
See more »

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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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