China Syndrome

( 2 )

Overview

This gripping 1979 drama about the dangers of nuclear power carried an extra jolt when a real-life accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania occurred just weeks after the film opened. Kimberly Wells Jane Fonda is a TV reporter trying to advance from fluff pieces to harder news. Wells and cameraman Richard Adams Michael Douglas, who also produced are doing a story on energy when they happen to witness a near-meltdown at a local nuclear plant, averted only by quick-thinking engineer Jack ...
See more details below
This VHS is Not Available through BN.com

Overview

This gripping 1979 drama about the dangers of nuclear power carried an extra jolt when a real-life accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania occurred just weeks after the film opened. Kimberly Wells Jane Fonda is a TV reporter trying to advance from fluff pieces to harder news. Wells and cameraman Richard Adams Michael Douglas, who also produced are doing a story on energy when they happen to witness a near-meltdown at a local nuclear plant, averted only by quick-thinking engineer Jack Godell Jack Lemmon. While Wells and Adams fruitlessly attempt to get the story on their station, Godell begins his own investigation and discovers that corporate greed and cost-trimming have led to potentially deadly faults in the plant's construction. He provides evidence of the faulty equipment, which could lead to another meltdown the "China syndrome" of the title, to the station's soundman to deliver to Wells and Adams at a hearing on nuclear power. However, on the way to the hearing, the soundman is run off the road by evil henchmen, leading Godell to realize that his own life is threatened, possibly by his bosses at the plant. Driven to the edge of a breakdown, Godell takes over the plant's control room at gunpoint and demands to reveal his findings on TV. The plant's management, however, has other plans, and the facility itself is becoming dangerously unstable. Whether or not you agree with the film's clear anti-nuclear bias, its sobering message and riveting, realistic story and performances are still difficult to ignore.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Sharper and more focused than most of the catastrophe/conspiracy films to crop up in the late '70s, James Bridges' The China Syndrome benefits from strong performances from Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and (co-producer) Michael Douglas. The film's pronounced anti-nuclear message might have come across as preachy in the hands of a lesser director, but Bridges imbues the film with a sense of unrelenting tension and documentary-style realism. More than a mere indictment of nuclear power and its questionable safety practices, the film also presents a knowing look at hypocritical television news broadcasts and the suppression of information on all levels. In one of the more eerily unfortunate instances of cinematic timing, the Three Mile Island power plant disaster occurred only 11 days after The China Syndrome's release.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/4/1996
  • UPC: 043396601598
  • Original Release: 1979
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jane Fonda Kimberly Wells
Jack Lemmon Jack Godell
Michael Douglas Richard Adams
Scott Brady Herman De Young
James Hampton Bill Gibson
Wilford Brimley Ted Spindler
Peter Donat Don Jacovich
Richard Herd Evan McCormack
Daniel Valdez Hector Salas
Stan Bohrman Peter Martin
James Karen Mac Churchill
Michael Alaimo Greg Minor
Lewis Arquette Hatcher
E. Hampton Beagle Mort
Alan Beckwith Technician
Donald Bishop Hearings Chairman
Frank Cavestani News Reporter
James Hall Harmon
Betty Harford Woman at Demonstration
Clay Hodges SWAT Squad Leader
Donald Hotton Dr. Lowell
James Kline Jim
Darrell Larson Young Demonstrator
Paul Larson D.B. Royce
Dan Lewk Donny
Ron Lombard Barney
Joe Lowry Security Agent
Michael Mann TV Consultant
Dennis McMullen Robertson
Roger Pancake Gate Guard
Nick Pellegrino Borden
Rita Taggart Rita Jacovich
Technical Credits
James Bridges Director, Screenwriter
Bernadine M. Anderson Makeup
Willie D. Burton Sound/Sound Designer
Rick Carter Production Designer
T.S. Cook Screenwriter
James A. Crabe Cinematographer
Sally Dennison Casting
Donfeld Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Douglas Producer
Bruce Gilbert Executive Producer, Producer
Mike Gray Screenwriter
George Jenkins Production Designer
Kim Kurumada Asst. Director
Henry Millar Jr. Special Effects
James Nelson Associate Producer
Arthur Jeph Parker Set Decoration/Design
David Rawlins Editor
Don Schoenfeld Makeup
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A rare combination of an urgent message and vigorous entertainment.

    "The China Syndrome" is a terrifically exciting, brilliantly directed film that sweats suspense. The suspense here makes "North By Northwest" look like a picnic. Will the atomic plant blow up? Will Fonda and Douglas save the day? The tense screenplay has you holding on to your seat belts at all times. Jane Fonda is absolutely electric as the ambitious Los Angeles reporter Kimberly Wells, while Jack Lemmon as plant foreman Jack Godell, in his best role since "The Apartment", captures the full anguish of the tormented technician. Terrifying as it is, the film is much more than a thriller. It's a film full of urgency that cannot be dismissed. Power is what it's all about. One of the most controversial and often debated issues of the decade was whether or not the convenience and efficiency of the nation's nuclear power plants were worth the obvious risks they entailed. Curiously, however, the Seventies managed to produce only one feature film dealing with the subject, "The China Syndrome", an excellent, thought-provoking "doomsday" thriller that became the first major screen success of 1979. The film, a big-budget, major-studio production directed by James Bridges that featured Fonda, Lemmon and Michael Douglas in perhaps their finest roles in the decade, involved a full three years of preparation before it was finally released to theaters. Michael Douglas, who produced as well as starred in the film as photographer Richard Adams, his first production since "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" {1975), had for many years been fascinated by the idea of making a picture about a nuclear accident, but in the project's early stages he had a great deal of trouble finding someone willing to finance such an enterprise. Most of the companies and individuals Douglas approached felt that a film dealing with a nuclear mishap would be too disturbing to attract a large audience. Of course, when the picture was eventually made and released, it became an immediate hit, and somewhat ironically an accident nearly identical to that in the movie occurred at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania two weeks after "The China Syndrome" had its premiere. As a result, the film became more significant and hard-hitting than Douglas ever dreamed possible. Three Mile Island benefited not only the picture, but the credibility of leading lady Fonda who also co-produced. Cover stories in "Time" and "Newsweek" prominently tied "The China Syndrome" in with the whole nuclear issue, and of course, the actress shortly waged a national campaign against nuclear power plants. [filmfactsman]

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews