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The China Syndrome [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, Scott Brady, James Hampton
  • Directors: James Bridges
  • Writers: James Bridges, Mike Gray, T.S. Cook
  • Producers: Michael Douglas, Bruce Gilbert, Jack Smith Jr., James M. Falkinburg
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Uca Catalogue
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Oct. 2003
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DK4PC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,763 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Struggling TV reporter Kimberly Wells (Jane Fonda) sees an opportunity to break into hard news after she and her cameraman (Michael Douglas) witness a near meltdown in a nuclear power station. But the network refuses to air their report, whilst the plant's bosses will stop at nothing to ensure information on the incident remains undisclosed. Plant engineer Jack Godell (Jack Lemmon) is determined to expose the cover-up, however, and persuades Kimberley to help him. Both Lemmon and Fonda earned Oscar nominations for their performances, in a film that saw reality overtaking it just weeks after its theatrical release - with the breakdown of the nuclear reactor on Three Mile Island.

From Amazon.co.uk

James Bridges (Urban Cowboy, Bright Lights, Big City) directed this 1979 film that became a worldwide sensation when, just weeks after its release, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident occurred. Jane Fonda (Klute, Julia) plays a television news reporter who is not taken very seriously until a routine story at the local nuclear power plant leads her to what may be a cover-up of epic proportions. She and her cameraman, played by Michael Douglas (Wall Street, American President), hook up with a whistleblower at the plant, played by Jack Lemmon (Save the Tiger, Missing). Together they try to uncover the dangers lurking beneath the nuclear reactor and avoid being silenced by the business interests behind the plant. Though topical, The China Syndrome (produced by Douglas) works on its own as a socially conscious thriller that entertains even as it spurs its audience to think. --Robert Lane --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. L. F. G. Ballinger on 30 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Maybe it was the impact of President Nixon and the Watergate scandal, but no decade has presented the genre of the "conspiracy thriller" as grippingly as the 1970s. Whether it be THE PARALLAX VIEW, ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR or this, THE CHINA SYNDROME, each film managed to combine really thought-provoking themes with well-choreographed helpings of buttock-clenching paranoia to leave cinema-goers satisfied.

THE CHINA SYNDROME holds the nuclear power industry to account as a potentially disastrous nuclear "event" is surreptitiously captured by news reporter Jane Fonda and her maverick cameraman Michael Douglas. Throughout the film, Jack Lemmon's by-the-book power station supervisor slowly unravels, wrestling with his conscience before deciding he must blow the whistle on the dubious tactics being employed by the power station's owners to conceal the severity of what actually happened.

It goes without saying that Fonda, Douglas and Lemmon each give fine performances, with Fonda's Kimberley Wells character also providing the platform with which to take a number of satirical swipes at the broadcast news industry and in particular its attitude towards women.

The Region One edition of THE CHINA SYNDROME is the one which the movie's British fans will want to possess as it includes an excellent two-part documentary discussing the making of the movie and its subsequent impact, particularly as the film seemed to uncannily predict the nuclear accident on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, which occurred a couple of weeks after the movie opened in cinemas. The docmentary includes considerable input from both Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas and their ongoing belief in the THE CHINA SYNDROME's message is undiminished more than 30 years later.

All in all this is an excellent DVD release for one of the great conspiracy thrillers of the 1970s.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By you_talking2me on 8 Feb. 2002
Format: DVD
A surprising drama/thriller from director James Bridges. Produced by and starring Michael Douglas, but the main leads are a terrific Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon showing us once again how diverse he is. The film has some good stand-points on the power of the media and also the politics and morals of those big money makers. It's a must see, and has one of those climaxing endings which makes my heart thump every time I see it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daft on 1 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
I don`t realy want to go too far into the plot, except to say that it`s premise is almost inevitable in real life, a routine breakdown in a neuclear power plant spirals because no-one wants to take responsibility. The screenplay is as precise and accurate as a swiss timepiece, but it`s the quality of the acting that sucks you in, particularly Jack Lemmon`s, performance. You find yourself mentaly and physicaly responding to what he`s gong through, SO convincing is he. Fonda and Douglass are both beautifuly pitched, and would steal any other film, but at his best, and this is at his best, Lemmon was unparralelled. He is everyman in an impossible situation. The story is tense and exiting, believable and definately not dated. The result is totaly engrosing. Sometimes you want a duvet night with beers or candy floss, and why not. Sometimes you want a duvet night with a glass of wine and someone to hold on to. This is for those nights.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ciaran moore on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
As amazon has again dumped all the reviews of the bare bones edition under the graphics for the region 1 SE i will let you know of the extras on the SE disc.It has deleted scenes(3:51) and a 2 part making of which lasts nearly an hour.Hope this helps someone who might actually want the SE.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
"The China Syndrome" is an intelligent, well acted and uncannily prophetic thriller about an accident in an American nuclear power plant that almost led to a core meltdown ; the "China Syndrome". Shortly after the release of this film , fiction became reality after the occurrence of a similar incident at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility in America. Jane Fonda is excellent as a pushy TV broadcaster determined to uncover the truth behind the accident she witnessed while filming a documentary at the plant . Jack Lemmon plays the edgy nuclear plant supervisor perfectly and a shaggy looking, bearded Michael Douglas is impressive in his role as a bolshie cameraman. A searching film , which asks a lot of questions about not only the safety of nuclear power generation , but also about collusion between government ,big business and the media in covering up details of incidents and events which they do not wish the public to know about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dan Craggs VINE VOICE on 4 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
If I were to compile a list of my top ten films, this would certainly be in there. Preferably near the top.
What I love about this film, is its ability to drag you in, and keep you there. Right at the start, it throws you slap bang into the action, and therein you KNOW that one of the characters is right, and you watch him, and the people who agree with him, get beaten down and silenced, time after time.
At the end of the film, there is one scene where the first time I watched it, I actually said 'No! No!' - I won't tell you what it was, since that'd spoil it, but the film comes to a climax in that scene.
I'd be extremely suprised if you could draw yourself away from the screen whilst watching this. It really is engaging. Get it.
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