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The China Syndrome
Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon




Overview -
A modern nightmare nearly becomes reality in this timely, tension-filled story about an "incident" at a nuclear power plant. Jane Fonda stars as Kimberly Wells, an ambitious TV reporter covering a story on energy sources who is present at a nuclear plant when a startling accident occurs that nearly causes the meltdown of the reactor. A newsreel cameraman accompanying Wells, played by a determined Michael Douglas, captures the incident on film--but the television station won't air the footage. Though the plant's corporate heads are quick to deny the possibility of any real danger, Jack Godell (Jack Lemmon), the plant's veteran engineer, discovers faulty equipment at the plant. Attempting to tell others about his findings, Jack soon realizes that someone is trying to kill him to keep him quiet, leading him to an act of utter desperation. The film is a marvel to behold--at turns gripping, stirring, exhilarating, and maddening, with fabulous performances, especially by Lemmon, who is simply marvelous. In a bizarre bit of synchronicity, the film was produced just before the March 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

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More About The China Syndrome

 
 
 

Overview

A modern nightmare nearly becomes reality in this timely, tension-filled story about an "incident" at a nuclear power plant. Jane Fonda stars as Kimberly Wells, an ambitious TV reporter covering a story on energy sources who is present at a nuclear plant when a startling accident occurs that nearly causes the meltdown of the reactor. A newsreel cameraman accompanying Wells, played by a determined Michael Douglas, captures the incident on film--but the television station won't air the footage. Though the plant's corporate heads are quick to deny the possibility of any real danger, Jack Godell (Jack Lemmon), the plant's veteran engineer, discovers faulty equipment at the plant. Attempting to tell others about his findings, Jack soon realizes that someone is trying to kill him to keep him quiet, leading him to an act of utter desperation. The film is a marvel to behold--at turns gripping, stirring, exhilarating, and maddening, with fabulous performances, especially by Lemmon, who is simply marvelous. In a bizarre bit of synchronicity, the film was produced just before the March 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

Awards:
1979 - Cannes - Best Actor Winner

Main Cast & Crew

James Bridges - Director
Jane Fonda
Jack Lemmon
Michael Douglas
Scott Brady
James Hampton
Peter Donat
Wilford Brimley
James Karen

 

Details

Blu-Ray Disc Format
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Run Time: 123
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 014381001341
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Rating: PG (MPAA)
  • Release Date: May 1999

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Disaster
Nuclear Destruction
Suspense
Thriller
Recommended
Reporters
Theatrical Release
Essential Cinema

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Synopsis:
In this socially conscious thriller, an ambitious female newscaster and her cameraman, a former 1960s radical with a penchant for conspiracy theories, witness and capture on film a potentially disastrous nuclear accident. Joining forces with a concerned engineer at the plant where the near-meltdown occurred, the reporter and the cameraman attempt to expose the subsequent cover-up.

Notes:
Theatrical Release: March 16, 1979. The film was produced just before the March 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania; reporters viewed the film in preparation for visiting the site. The only music that appears in the film is Stephen Bishop's "Somewhere In Between." It plays only during the title sequence. SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE did a famous parody of the film, a skit called THE PEPSI SYNDROME, starring Garrett Morris.

Reviews:
"...[A] compelling thriller about the perils of nuclear energy....Superior performances by Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas..." - 03/07/1979 Variety


"...Smashingly effective....[Fonda] keeps getting better and better." - 03/16/1979 New York Times, p.C16

 

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