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4.5 out of 5 stars35
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 January 2011
Karen Silkwood (superbly played by Meryl Streep) worked in one of the laboratories of the Kerr-McGee nuclear processing facility in Crescent, Oklahoma and her job involved making pultonium pellets for nuclear reactor fuel rods. She became a union activist and became concerned about the lax security and practices within the facility that she regarded as health and safety hazards to the workers there. Without the knowledge of her employers she examined x-rays taken of structures and pipes in the plant and claimed that when faults were found within the facility as revealed by the x-rays the evidence on the plates was removed to save the company the considerable cost of carrying out repairs.

In 1974 she became repeatedly contaminated and accused the management of lacing the urine samples she had to provide following the first contamination. Her house was also found to contain high levels of radiation so she underwent tests at the Los Alamos Laboratory and it was confirmed that she had an abnormally high level of radiation within her body exposing her to the risk of contracting cancer.

She carried on her union activities making herself very unpopular with the management at the plant especially when she gave evidence to the Atomic Energy Commission and she became convinced she was being targeted by the company because of what she was doing. On 13 November 1974 she was killed when her car careered off the road and the circumstances surrounding her death have been the subject of debate and speculation ever since.

On the day she died she met a reporter from the New York Times and took a sheaf of documents with her which were never found when the car was found.

It is at this point that the film ends but events following the crash are just as interesting as the issues covered in the film. The patrolman who found the car said there were two tablets of sedatives in the car and a quantity of marijuana. There were skid marks on the road indicating that the car had careered out of control and damage and traces of paint chips were found on the rear of Silkwood's car which could have been caused by another car ramming into the back of her vehicle.

Silkwood's family took Kerr McGee to court and were awarded $515,000 in damages which was later reduced to $5,000 but in 1984 this decision was reversed and the £515,000 award was reinastated.

Streep plays Silkwood as a committed union activist who may have paid the ultimate price of alienating her employers and it is significant that the facility she worked in was closed a year after her death and is still contaminated ground.

We will never know how her life ended and the director of the film, Mike Nichols, leaves it to the audience to speculate about whether Silkwood was murdered by her employers or was the victim of an tragic accident.
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on 27 March 2011
Excellent movie when the US could still produce something with a message, something real, with no need for special effects.
Excellent acting by all, including Cher and Kurt Russel. I do not agree with Amazon's review that the movie lacks delivering a conclusion. There is no need for a real conclusion, the movie and its acting should be taken the way it is.
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This is the story of Karen Silkwood who was murdered by persons unknown as she was on her way to expose the awful safety breaches at a nuclear facility in the USA in the 70s.

It stars Meryl Streep and Cher who both act their socks off in this great drama about the dark side of the nuclear industry.

Definitely a must see film.

You won't be needing a Silkwood Shower after watching this film...but you may need to watch it to understand what that means ;-)
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on 1 December 2010
I remember watching this film on T.V many years ago, back when the BBC actually screened good old movies from the annals of time, and this one really stuck in my mind. Starring a twentysomething Meryl Streep, who plays the role of the eponymous Karen Silkwood, this is based on a true story of a brave woman who worked in a nuclear plant which was rife with major safety issues such as frequent radiation leaks, and when she becomes a victim herself, she decides to go public, and consults influential members of her workers union as to how to go about it. Understandably, this new found interest in safety procedures at the plant does not make her popular with her work colleagues. But such interest attracts attention, which leads to tragedy. Streep is absolutely excellent in this very challenging role. Well worth a look,and a fittingly apt tribute to a truly inspirational woman.
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on 20 February 2005
This a truly gripping film, which is based on true account, which just makes it even better. The acting is superb - from Meryl Streep & Cher. Very sad & unbelievable tale - worth watching again & again.
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on 5 September 2009
A precursor to Erin Brockovich, this is a gritty and powerful drama about a free spirited women who's lack of opportunity in life never hampers her energy. Following an industrial accident her energy is dedicated to fighting big business and proving her true character strength. The powerful cast keep the film to ever being too worthy and ultimately make you care about their lives and hopes.
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on 11 March 2011
Great stunning movie! Cher is divine and Meril Streep is outclass. Kurt Russell the male actor whose performance is always outstanding. To not miss.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 December 2011
Having Meryl Streep, Cher and Kurt Russell as the main three stars of the film certainly makes you want to see the film through to the end.
Based on actual happenings, Silkwood tells the story of an employee at a nuclear plant who has been affected by radiation. Her experiences and attempts to change management attitudes are on display in the film. All three stars perform their roles exceptionally well.
If you want decent drama without the CGI rubbish we have today, then Silkwood is for you.
Enjoy.
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on 3 April 2001
Well, I first saw this movie because I wanted to see how Cher does her job there and in one word it is ASTOUNDING!!! Both Cher and Meryl Streep are just AMAZING in this movie, and the movie is very good, although absoloutly not Nichols best... I would surely recommend this movie ,just to see Cher and Streep's fabolous acting!!!
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on 4 March 2015
❤️This film as well another fabulous cast Meryl Streep is fantastic as always first c this film in my teens & as i said in previous post i cry at the watch the film so many time never realised it was bast on tru story until i ordered it & read about wat it was about!...
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