The China Syndrome
What's it About
To the consternation of her bosses, ambitious TV reporter Kimberly Wells (Fonda) wants to get away from doing cheesy lifestyle segments and latch on to a serious story. She inadvertently finds it when she and cameraman Richard Adams (Douglas) go to cover a day in the life of a nearby power plant, and witness some frightening irregularities. Not surprisingly, the powers-that-be don't want their cover blown on these life-threatening issues, but senior plant official Jack Godell (Lemmon) won't accept a cover-up, and bravely attempts to get the story out, with Kimberly's help.
Why We Love It
This tense and timely nail-biter is effective not only because director James Bridges gets all the fundamentals right, but because its explosive subject matter would soon hit home with a terrifying real-life incident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. Lemmon's Godell is a shattering portrayal, for which the actor received an Oscar nod, and Fonda is appealing and believable as a journalist who wants to be more than a pretty face. Co-star Douglas also produced.