THE CHINA SYNDROME
1979, Sony Repertory, 122 min, USA, Dir: James Bridges

The title of this riveting thriller refers to the possibility that a malfunction at a nuclear power plant could cause radioactive material to melt through the floor, “all the way to China.” Bright and ambitious TV reporter Jane Fonda is on assignment with her cameraman Michael Douglas at a Southern California power plant when she learns of an impending control-room crisis involving plant supervisor Jack Lemmon. While the nuclear power industry greeted the film’s premiere with howls of protest, the Three Mile Island accident that followed less than two weeks later gave it a chilling credibility.