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Silkwood Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Based on a true story, Silkwood begins and ends with Karen Silkwood ([[Performer~P68676~Meryl Streep~merylstreep]]) driving along a lonely road in 1974, heading to a meeting with a New York Times reporter to deliver evidence of negligence at the Kerr-McGee Plant in Cimarron, Oklahoma. The balance of the film flashes back to Karen's ribald private life with her lover ([[Performer~P62232~Kurt Russell~kurtrussell]]) and her loose-living friends ([[Performer~P12664~Cher~cher]] and [[Performer~P63507~Diana Scarwid~dianascarwid]]). This is in contrast to her humdrum job at Kerr-McGee--or it least it was humdrum until Karen and several other employees become contaminated by radiation. The higher-ups want to sweep this incident under the rug, but Karen thinks that something's fishy, and informs the union of that fact. X-rays of the faulty fuel rods and written proof of the inadequate safety measures that caused Karen's illness are tampered with, forcing Karen to conduct her own private investigation. As she gathers evidence, Karen becomes a pariah to her boyfriend because of her obsession. She finally organizes the evidence into a briefcase, and heads off to her meeting with the Times reporter. She never makes it; the "official" report on her fatal auto accident is that Ms. Silkwood had been drinking and was under the influence of tranquilizers. Kerr-McGee was eventually forced to pay the Silkwood family an enormous settlement because of her contamination, but the full facts behind her convenient accident have never been revealed (though the filmmakers clearly indictate whom they hold responsible). Director [[Performer~P104435~Mike Nichols~mikenichols]] and screenwriters [[Performer~P89040~Nora Ephron~noraephron]] and [[Performer~P79921~Alice Arlen~alicearlen]] surround this true story with a lively, improvisational atmosphere that gets the best out of [[Performer~P68676~Streep~merylstreep]], [[Performer~P62232~Russell~kurtrussell]], and [[Performer~P12664~Cher~cher]], while providing perhaps the fullest on-screen realization of [[Performer~P104435~Nichols~mikenichols]]' theater-based techniques of realistic, character-centered, dialogue-driven filmmaking, as well as one of the first movie screenplays from future director [[Performer~P89040~Ephron~noraephron]]. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:December 14, 1983

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Cher Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1983 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cher Best Supporting Actress 1983 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Kurt Russell Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1983 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Meryl Streep Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1983 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Meryl Streep Best Actress 1983 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Mike Nichols Best Director 1983 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Mike Nichols Best Director 1983 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nora Ephron Best Original Screenplay 1983 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Alice Arlen Best Original Screenplay 1983 Nominee

Cast

Meryl Streep
as Karen Silkwood
Kurt Russell
as Drew Stephens
Cher
as Dolly Pelliker
Craig T. Nelson
as Winston
Diana Scarwid
as Angela
Fred Ward
as Morgan
Ron Silver
as Paul Stone
Charles Hallahan
as Earl Lapin
Josef Sommer
as Max Richter
Sudie Bond
as Thelma Rice
E. Katherine Kerr
as Gilda Schultz
Bruce McGill
as Mace Hurley
David Strathairn
as Wesley
J.C. Quinn
as Curtis Schultz
Kent Broadhurst
as Carl
Richard Hamilton
as Georgie
Les Lannom
as Jimmy
James Rebhorn
as Los Alamos Doctor
Norm Colvin
as Zachary
Ray Baker
as Pete Dawson
Anthony Heald
as 2nd Union Meeting Doctor
Vern Porter
as Bill Charlton
Tom Stovall
as Los Alamos Doctor
Betty Harper
as May Bissell
Bill Cobbs
as Man in Lunchroom
Gary Grubbs
as Randy Fox
Tess Harper
as Linda Dawson
Christopher Saylors
as Buddy
Jim Beaver
as Plant Manager
John Martin
as Man with Flashlight
Graham Jarvis
as Union Meeting Doctor
M. Emmet Walsh
as Walt Yarborough
Will Patton
as Joe
Henderson Forsythe
as Quincy Bissell
Michael Bond
as 2nd Los Alamos Doctor

Crew

Mike Nichols
Director
Mike Nichols
Producer
Michael Hausman
Producer
Alice Arlen
Screenwriter
Nora Ephron
Screenwriter
Miroslav Ondrícek
Cinematographer
Georges Delerue
Composer (Music Score)
Patrizia Von Brandenstein
Production Designer
Richard James
Art Director
Tom Stovall
Associate Producer
Joel Tuber
Associate Producer
Buzz Hirsch
Executive Producer
Larry Cano
Executive Producer
Dennis Peeples
Set Designer
Derek R. Hill
Set Designer
Ann Roth
Costume Designer
Larry Jost
Sound/Sound Designer
Tom Priestley Jr.
Camera Operator
Mary Goldberg
Casting
Richard Brick
Production Manager
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