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Silkwood (Widescreen)

Meryl Streep , Kurt Russell , Mike Nichols    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 96.16
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Product Description


Based on the harrowing account of whistle blower Karen Silkwood, this 1983 film directed by Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Postcards from the Edge) is as much a character study of a woman galvanized by injustice as a story of the dangers of nuclear power and the extremes of corporate greed. When Karen discovers unsafe conditions and reckless protocol at the plant where she works, her actions in uncovering the dangers that lie at the plant not only cause a rift between her and her lover (Kurt Russell) and her best friend (Cher), but they threaten her very life. Streep gives yet another bravura performance as a wild child in Oklahoma forced to confront the harsh realities of her life, and the supporting cast, from Cher to Russell to Diana Scarwid is first rate. This true story of the woman who disappeared under mysterious circumstances while trying to find the truth is a well-told, challenging, and emotionally complex tale. --Robert Lane

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars NEVER work in a plutonium plant! Oct. 30 2003
This movie blew me away when I saw it the theater when it first came out...Cher is amazing, and you never think, while you watch the movie, that this IS Cher. Kurt Russell and of course, Meryl Streep, are fantastic, very high caliber performances. The setting, the plant and the other workers, all lend an air of depression and danger, the plant is a place no one in their right mind would ever want to work, no matter how high the salary. As Drew (Russell) explains to Karen (Streep) those aren't Post Toasties you're workin' with..." underlining the extreme danger of working with these substances. When they go to see Karen's children, living with their father and his new wife, it is SO depressing I could hardly watch; I cannot imagine living in such a place and under such conditions...I once went to a place in California called the City of Industry, and it reminded me of that. A real nightmare of industry, right in your front, back and side yards. The workers try hard to have an air of normality, but really, under such hazardous conditions, it is not possible. The gradual, increasing deliberate contamination of Silkwood is so vile, so insidious and so tragic, it is horrifying...better to shoot someone to death, than that prolonged agony and horror she must have endured before they finally succeeded in killing her. Streep's singing, a capella, of "Amazing Grace" over the end credits is heartbreaking, and she does a great job with it...it is an evocative song to begin with; under these circumstances it is dreadfully sad to hear. It is a true nightmare journey into a world where people earn a living exposing themselves to contamination every day, and those who work in nuclear plants, I take my hat off to you...you are truly brave souls. Excellent story, partly because it is true and partly due to the excellent acting, and a real emotional experience and window into another world...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scary Movie - But It Gets Worse... Oct. 17 2003
Based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, a worker at Kerr-McGee's Cimarron nuclear plant who was contaminated with plutonium on several occasions and later died under suspicious circumstances, "Silkwood" was panned by some critics who questioned its accuracy. The film clearly implies that Silkwood was murdered because she was about to expose safety violations at her plant; en route to her late-night meeting with a New York Times reporter, she was run off of the road.
While the movie does deviate from the facts in some instances, it is largely faithful to the important details of the Silkwood case. Richard Rashke's "Who Killed Karen Silkwood" (1981, 2000) - written after Silkwood's parents pursued (and won) a civil case against K-M and based on court documents - presents ample evidence that Silkwood was indeed deliberately contaminated with plutonium and was murdered just days later. In fact, the film doesn't even address the most serious accusations - that Silkwood was part of a larger conspiracy that involved a number of state and federal agencies, that she was spied on by both K-M and the FBI, and that she may have stumbled across an international plutonium smuggling ring.
As a documentary, "Silkwood" does an acceptable job of outlining Silkwood's murder and the events leading up to it. Some of the dramatizations are disappointing but understandable. The lesbian storyline involving Silkwood's roommate Dolly (played by a refreshingly unglamorous Cher) struck me as silly and extraneous, particularly since, in real life, Silkwood's roommate was merely an acquaintance (not a good friend), and Silkwood was the one suspected of being a lesbian.
Nonetheless, as a drama, "Silkwood" certainly deserved its five Academy Award nominations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep at her best...as always Aug. 25 2003
"Silkwood" is based on the final days of Karen Silkwood's life. She stumbles upon documents proving that plutonium is more dangerous than safety inspectors claim. Therefore, many are exposed to high levels, dramatically increasing their risk of cancer. Many blame Karen for the exposure of a coworker. Her life takes many trials on and off the job. Her family life is in jeopardy due to multiple double shifts, and her love life turns rocky due to roommate issues.
"Silkwood" deserving garnered five Oscar nominations. Though it won nothing, it offers the emotional and physical realisms of dangerous working conditions, namely a nuclear plant. Many scenes catch the audience's heart while others scare them. The screenplay writer proves that he thoroughly researched everything. The producer and the director lead the cast and crew to express every drop of heart and soul though this project.
Meryl Streep received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for the role of Karen Silkwook. As always, she proves that she is the greatest living actress. She forces deep, personal emotions to scream to the audience. One could easily mistake her for one that experienced these real life events. She's flawless.
Cher won a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for her supporting role as Silkwood's coworker and roommate. Like Streep, she recearched her character's typical lifestyle as a plant employee and as a lesbian. Though Kurt Russell role didn't demand as much research, he performed his role wonderfully.
This is one of the scariest dramas made. Its heavy impact scenes will never be forgotten by the audience. Those who love "Silkwood", which surely most will, should also watch "Erin Brockovich". Though not plutonium based, it offers the realisms of the law actions.
Warning: those sensitive to such issues should not watch "Silkwood" at night. Though not a horror movie, it still may give people nightmares.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars silkwood
A wonderful addition to my collection. Very pleased with the acting and the story. Sad that it actually happened. Meryl streep was amazing. Cher & Kurt Russell fabulous.
Published on May 28 2012 by Karen Herle
5.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
Silkwood was fantastic. Streep's performance of Karen Silkwood accompanied by Russell was supurb. This film was thought provoking whilst tear jerking in its realism of capitalism... Read more
Published on Dec 27 2003 by dianne e powell
4.0 out of 5 stars Radioactive Thriller!
Meyrl Streep's performance as Karen Silkwood was excellent. She is just a worker at a neucular power plant who is exposed to plutonium and goes to the press to report unsafe... Read more
Published on Dec 26 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Good actors
wasted on a long movie. A waste of excellent talent.
Published on Sept. 15 2003 by chicoer2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Working Class Heroine
Long before I ever saw this film, I used to scratch my head at what I thought was the strange casting. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2002 by Gregor von Kallahann
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-See! As Awakening As "When the Wind Blows"
Although the original camera work is not all glitter and glamour, it's not supposed to be! The message of this film needs to be heard by all, from our world leaders to our children... Read more
Published on April 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars As seen through the eyes of a nuclear chemist:
I saw this movie while I was doing chemistry research with nuclear waste at one of several national laboratories here in the US. Read more
Published on March 20 2002
I own this in VHS and can't think of anyone who has not seen and been captivated by the performances of the gifted Meryl Streep, Cher, and Kurt Russell. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2001 by nadine
5.0 out of 5 stars Silkwood is thumbs up, Peter Alerich's review is a downer!
This is less a commentary of Silkwood, which is terrific movie highlighted by superb performances punctuated by Meryl Streep's, and more a request that Peter Alerich, who wrote a... Read more
Published on April 3 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep is Electrifying!
Meryl Streep earned her third Best Actress Oscar nomination in a row with her powerful and sobering portrayal of the real-life Karen Silkwood. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 1999 by scott a kennedy
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