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Silkwood (1983)

Meryl Streep , Kurt Russell , Mike Nichols  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

Price: $49.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher, Craig T. Nelson, Fred Ward
  • Directors: Mike Nichols
  • Writers: Nora Ephron, Alice Arlen
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: October 7, 2003
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AM6IS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,921 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Silkwood" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Meryl Streep is stunning (The New York Times) in this shocking true story about one woman's struggle against a huge corporation. Nominated* for five Academy AwardsÂ(r), including Best Actress (Streep) and Best Supporting Actress (Cher), this daring, provocative and critically acclaimed drama just 'shouldn't be missed (Newsweek)! Karen Silkwood (Streep) lives a free-spirited existence with two friends (Kurt Russell and Cher) who work with her at an Oklahoma nuclear facility. It's only when she discovers she's been exposed to radiation that Karen's conscience awakens, and soon she is digging for evidence of wrongdoing at her company. But her sudden zeal for safer working conditions may come at a high price as she alienates friends and possibly even puts herown life in peril.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary Movie - But It Gets Worse... October 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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong with Meryl Streep and Mike Nichols. September 28, 1999
By A Customer
Mike Nichols is one of the best directors in Hollywood history ("The Graduate", "Working Girl"), and Meryl Streep is the greatest there ever was and there ever will be ("Sophie's Choice", "One True Thing", "Kramer vs. Kramer".) I don't think anyone needs convincing to view this film. The film is based on a true story, and the subject matter it deals with is very important. Karen Silkwood's bravery and courage gives you hope, even though you know the film will end tragically(if you know who Karen Silkwood was). The film is horrifying to the viewer, if the viewer allows him/herself to relate to the situation and the characters. Cher is great as Silkwood's gay roomate. Streep can make you cry and make you laugh, but what a lot of people don't know is that she can also sing. She sings "Amazing Grace" so well. Mike Nichols has a way of engaging his viewers, that is so mysterious and great.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep is Electrifying! November 27, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Meryl Streep earned her third Best Actress Oscar nomination in a row with her powerful and sobering portrayal of the real-life Karen Silkwood. The filmmakers took liberties in retelling the story, but Streep, Kurt Russell and Cher are simply fantastic. If you love well made drama with real performances from stars as well as supporting characters this is a must see. And if you love Streep, there is no choice, you must own this! She'll blow you away!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As seen through the eyes of a nuclear chemist: March 20, 2002
By A Customer
I saw this movie while I was doing chemistry research with nuclear waste at one of several national laboratories here in the US. I cannot tell you which one it was- I *can* say that it wasn't LANL (Los Alamos National Laboratory), although the contamination there is appalling (look it up on the web!).
It was absolutely haunting to watch "Silkwood" and then go to work the next morning. There is so much the government doesn't tell the general public about the disastrous conditions in the labs, where we worked, that literally date to the days of the Manhattan Project. If the press only knew just a *few* of these things, the shockwaves would shake the US. I saw plenty of "accidents" (more like disasters) involving spills of concentrated solutions of plutonium compounds ... and was contaminated, once, myself.
The movie just gave me chills. No, in real life, they don't scrub you down with harsh brushes if you're contaminated (plutonium and other fission products are VERY dangerous if they enter through a break in the skin, into the bloodstream), but there was definitely enough in this film to give me chills at work.
I'm still a chemist, but won't work with plutonium again. And, hopefully, this review will remain anonymous.... Through this review, and stories I've told my friends, I've done my share of "whistle-blowing", and it's not a safe thing to do.
See this movie, and you'll think twice about how you feel about the "blue collar" workers involved in the mass production of nuclear warheads in the US.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Streep is very convincing as Karen Silkwood May 5, 2007
I am always amazed at the vastly different characters Meryl Streep has believably played in her long career. Her portrayal of Oklahoma nuclear plant worker/activist/martyr is particularly memorable. Though I believe the movie was actually filmed in Texas the filmmakers do a great job of creating working class Oklahoma in the 1970's. Both Kurt Russell and Cher are surprisingly good in their parts and the secondary characters are also well cast. An important movie that should not be overlooked.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Frustrated by the Slow Pace.
Viewed: 3/14
Rate: 7

3/14: Silkwood the movie doesn't really start until maybe one hour into it. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Austin Somlo
4.0 out of 5 stars Oldie but goody
Love to be able to find a place to find old movies😃. Boy I'm dating myself lol keep those oldies coming😉
Published 27 days ago by Michelle Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must see!!
Sooo happy to find this video,I hadn't seen this movie for a long time. Finding it was like striking gold. Excellent movie
Published 2 months ago by jennie tracy
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD is Garbage
This DVD will not play!!!! How do I get a replacement. Why does this movie come through a different company?
Published 3 months ago by Brenda Trivett
5.0 out of 5 stars Based on Fact
This movie recalls an incident from the first atomic plant to produce electricity. Both actors present a stellar performance in depicting a true incident. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ivan Pierce
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic that you should watch.
A classic movie that I would highly recommend watching, it deals with corporate coverup at its very worst. Watch it even though it has Cher in it ;)
Published 4 months ago by Scott Schiffmacher
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value for the price
As a Meryl Streep fan, buying this VHS tape was a good decision. The quality met my expectations and will be viewed multiple times.
Published 4 months ago by Donelle M. Knudsen
1.0 out of 5 stars Cannot play this DVD version
This item was listed as a DVD. It is a certain kind of DVD that cannot be viewed with a regular DVD player. There must be a better way to advertise this. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kathleen Schneider
5.0 out of 5 stars OLDIE BUT GOODIE
In these hard economic times when everyone is fighting for jobs it was nice to view this movie with my family as a subtle reminder to not diminish their integrity and stand up for... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bonita J. Stanwick
4.0 out of 5 stars So Typical of Big Utilities
Streep did an excellent job portraying Silkwood. Big utilities will go to any length to protect it's nuclear power. An early Erin Brockovich only from the inside as an employee. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Linda Edwards
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