7.2/10
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84 user 39 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
Reviews
Popularity
4,710 ( 148)

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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 movie was nominated for five Academy Awards, but failed to win any. 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 Home for the Holidays (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Ride From Texas
Written and Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
See more »

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User Reviews

 
We're all nuked and going to Hell.
30 March 2006 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Apparently, when "Silkwood" came out, Mike Nichols hadn't released a notable movie since "The Fortune" nearly killed his career eight years earlier. If we call this his comeback, then it was sure a good comeback. Donning one of her many accents from over the years - in this case Oklahoman - Meryl Streep plays Karen Silkwood, a plutonium processing plant employee who sought to expose the dangerous conditions in her workplace...and mysteriously died in a car wreck.

This is the sort of opportunity to be idiotically preachy, but the movie never degenerates into that. It shows how the plant's owners poisoned her and psychologically berated her. This brings to mind the overall issue of how the nuclear age affected the whole planet. Nuclear tests by both the US and USSR left the whole world irradiated. Nuclear power may be discredited, but apparently NO PERSON ON EARTH has escaped nuclear fallout. So much for progress.

All in all, "Silkwood" is a really good movie. It's surprising to see Kurt Russell and Cher (as Karen's roommates Drew Stephens and Dolly Pelliker) in this sort of movie; we associate him with kick-ass roles and her with treacly roles. But they do a very good job. Also starring Craig T. Nelson, Diana Scarwid, Fred Ward, Ron Silver, and Bruce McGill.


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