The China Syndrome | 1979

Directed by: James Bridges

The China Syndrome Poster

Main Plot

"The China Syndrome" follows a television reporter and her cameraman who stumble upon a potentially catastrophic incident at a nuclear power plant. As they investigate further, they discover a cover-up by the plant's management, putting their lives in danger. With the help of a whistleblower, they must expose the truth before a disaster of catastrophic proportions occurs. The film explores the dangers of nuclear power and the ethical dilemmas faced by those who uncover the truth. Directed by James Bridges, "The China Syndrome" is a gripping thriller that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.


  • Jane Fonda's character in The China Syndrome is Kimberly Wells, a television reporter who uncovers a potentially catastrophic cover-up at a nuclear power plant.
  • Jack Lemmon's character in The China Syndrome is Richard Adams, a shift supervisor at a nuclear power plant who becomes involved in uncovering a potentially catastrophic incident.
  • Jack Godell, a shift supervisor at a nuclear power plant, discovers a potentially catastrophic flaw and risks everything to expose the truth about the plant's safety concerns.

Ending Explained

In the concluding moments of "The China Syndrome," the truth about the potential nuclear disaster at the fictional Ventana power plant is finally exposed. Kimberly Wells, a television reporter, manages to secretly capture evidence of the plant's dangerous condition on camera. As she and her cameraman attempt to escape, they are pursued by the plant's security personnel. Eventually, they reach the control room, where Jack Godell, a disillusioned engineer, takes drastic action to prevent a catastrophic meltdown. He sacrifices his own life by manually shutting down the reactor. Kimberly and her cameraman narrowly escape the plant's explosion, and her footage is broadcasted, revealing the horrifying reality of the nuclear power industry. The film ends with the public demanding answers and accountability, igniting a national debate on the safety of nuclear energy.

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James Bridges Jane Fonda Jack Lemmon Michael Douglas