7.2/10
16,382
84 user 38 critic
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
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: 6 Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A substance-addicted actress tries to look on the bright side even as she is forced to move back in with her mother to avoid unemployment.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid
Evil Angels (1988)
Certificate: 12 Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A mother whose child was killed in a dingo attack in the Australian Outback fights to prove her innocence when she is accused of murder.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, Dale Reeves
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A film is being made of a story, set in 19th century England, about Charles, a biologist who's engaged to be married, but who falls in love with outcast Sarah, whose melancholy makes her ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Reisz
Stars: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae
Heartburn (1986)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A food writer pregnant with her second baby finds out her husband is having an affair.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels
Certificate: 16 Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live with Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol
Ironweed (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An alcoholic drifter spends Halloween in his home town of Albany, New York after returning there for the first time in decades.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Carroll Baker
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A career woman reassesses her parents' lives after she is forced to care for her cancer-stricken mother.

Director: Carl Franklin
Stars: Meryl Streep, Renée Zellweger, William Hurt
Moonstruck (1987)
Certificate: AL Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Loretta Castorini, a bookkeeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she has agreed to marry.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis
Edit

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
Edit

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:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 March 1984 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

El caso Silkwood - Escándalo nuclear See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

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 Psych: There Might Be Blood (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


37 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 84 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed