7.2/10
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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.

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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:
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Earl Lapin
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Max Richter
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Thelma Rice
Henderson Forsythe ...
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Wesley
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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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El caso Silkwood - Escándalo nuclear  »

Filming Locations:

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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where the plant workers are listening to the Union doctor's speech about cancer, and Winston is fanning himself with something folded up into an accordion, it's a paper booklet of facts about plutonium that was handed out in plants across the United States in real-life. 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 iZombie: Fifty Shades of Grey Matter (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Karen Has A Car Accident
Written and Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
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User Reviews

 
We're all nuked and going to Hell.
30 March 2006 | by See 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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