HOLLYWOOD'S 'NUCLEAR' FLICKS

Nuclear power and radiation run amok! It's a plot line which has figured in many films - from B-movies to Academy Award winners. You may recall how one of the earliest scripts had Godzilla mutated and summoned from the depths by the atomic bomb tests of the '40s and '50s. The following film list includes sci-fi, adventures and dramas. How many do you remember?

First Yank Into Tokyo -- 1945
American, War
Director: Gordon Douglas
Cast includes: Tom Neal, Barbara Hale, Marc Cramer, Richard Loo
Synopsis: Of interest as the first Hollywood film to involve the subject of nuclear warfare. An American poses as a Japanese soldier to rescue a nuclear scientist POW.
(Available on videocassette)

The World, the Flesh, and the Devil -- 1959
American, Science Fiction
Director: Ranald MacDougall
Cast includes: Harry Belafonte, Inger Stevens, Mel Ferrer
Synopsis: Belafonte and Stevens are the only survivors of a global-scale nuclear accident.
(Available on videocassette)

The Horror of Party Beach -- 1964 grassy
American, Horror
Director: Del Tenney
Cast includes: John Scott, Alice Lyon, Allen Laurel, Marilyn Clark
Synopsis: One of the first anti-nuclear films. The dumping of radioactive waste off the coast of Connecticut turns a dreamy beach day into a nightmare when creepy monsters
invade the surf.
(Black and white, available on videocassette)

Red Alert -- 1977
American, Drama
Director: William Hale
Cast includes: William Devane, Michael Brandon, Adrienne Barbeau, Ralph Waite, David
Hayward, M. Emmet Walsh
Synopsis: A thriller stemming from an accident at a nuclear power plant. Based on the novel Paradigm Red by Harold King. (Available on videocassette)

The Chosen -- 1978
American/Italian, Horror/Science Fiction
Director: Alberto De Martino
Cast includes: Kirk Douglas, Agostina Belli, Simon Ward, Anthony Quayle
Synopsis: A nuclear power executive discovers his son is plotting to destroy the world by utilizing nuclear power.
Originally titled HOLOCAUST 2000.
(Available on videocassette)

The China Syndrome -- 1979 jane
American, Drama
Director: James Bridges
Cast includes: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, Scott Brady, James Hampton,Peter Donat, Wilford Brimley James Karen
Synopsis: Reporters Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas inadvertently film an accident taking place at a nuclear power plant and confront the industry's cover-up. (The title refers to nuclear jargon for the worst conceivable reactor accident: the reactor core overheats and melts through the plant floor, theoretically all the way through the earth to China.) (Available on videocassette)

Island Claws -- 1980
American, Science Fiction
Director: Hernan Cardenas
Cast includes: Robert Lansing, Steve Hanks, Nita Talbot, Barry Nelson
Synopsis: A leak at a Florida nuclear reactor turns crabs into giant killers!
(Available on videocassette)

The Children -- 1980
American, Horror
Director: Max Kalmanowicz
Cast includes: Martin Shakar, Gil Rogers, Gale Garnett, Jesse Abrams
Synopsis: School children become radioactive when a toxic gas from a nuclear power plant invades their school bus. It gives the kids a weird symptom: anyone they hug burns up.
(Available on videocassette)

Chain Reaction -- 1980
Australian Adventure
Director: Ian Barry
Cast includes: Steve Bisley, Arna-Maria Winchester, Ross Thompson, Ralph Cotterill
Synopsis: A thriller about the aftermath of a nuclear plant accident that contaminates a worker and a two civilians, who then take on the industry. (Check out the cameo appearance by Mel Gibson as a car mechanic.)
(Available on videocassette)

Stronger Than the Sun -- 1980
British, Drama
Director: Michael Apted
Cast includes: Francesca Annis, Tom Bell
Synopsis: A nuclear power plant worker tries to expose a radioactive leak.

No Nukes -- 1980
American, Musical/Documentary
Director: Julian Schlossberg, Danny Goldberg, Anthony Potenza
Cast includes: Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Doobie Brothers, John Hall, Gil,Scott-Heron, Bonnie Raitt,
Carly Simon, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Jesse Colin Young, Jane Fonda
Synopsis: Rock stars convene to protest nuclear power. Includes 1950s pro-nuclear video clip. (Also known as THE MUSE CONCERT: NO NUKES)
(Available on videocassette)

The Plutonium Incident -- 1980
American, Drama
Director:Richard Michaels
Cast includes: Janet Margolin, Bo Hopkins, Joseph Campanella, Powers Boothe, Bibi Besch, Nicholas Pryor
Synopsis: Taking a cue from the Karen Silkwood story, this film features an activist struggling to spur employees to action after a power plant accident. The company tries to intimidate her.
(Available on videocassette)

Human Highway -- 1982
American, Drama
Director: Bernard Shakey (Neil Young), Dean Stockwell
Cast includes: Neil Young, Russ Tamblyn, Dennis Hopper, Sally Kirkland, Dean Stockwell, Charlotte Stewart, Devo
Synopsis: A zany anti-nuke comedy, including Neil Young concert footage and a glowing, radioactive rock band (Devo) contaminated from a nearby plant.


The Being -- 1983
American , Horror/humor
Director: Jackie Kong
Cast includes :Martin Landau, Jose Ferrer, Dorothy Malone, Ruth Buzzi
Synopsis:
A nuclear waste site gives birth to a creature that terrorizes an Idaho town.
(Available on videocassette)

Silkwood -- 1983
American, Biography
Director: Mike Nichols
Cast includes: Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher, Craig T. Nelson, Diana Scarwid, Fred Ward, Ron Silver, Charles Hallahan, Josef Sommer, Sudie Bond, Henderson Forsythe, E. Katherine Kerr, Bruce McGill, David Strathairn, M. Emmet Walsh, Ray Baker, Tess Harper, Anthony Heald
Synopsis: Whistleblowers face an uphill battle against an Oklahoma nuclear parts factory when they try to expose unsafe practices, and when one employee becomes contaminated.
Based on the story of Karen Silkwood.
(Available on videocassette)

*Note: Check out the true, fact-based story of Karen Silkwood.

In Our Hands --1984
American, Documentary
Director: none credited
Synopsis: Documentary about the June 1982 anti-nuclear rally in New York City.
Includes speeches, music, and appearances by Helen Caldicott and Benjamin Spock, Pete Seeger, Carly Simon, Peter, Paul & Mary, Holly Near, Roy Scheider, Ellen Burstyn, Jill Clayburgh, Orson Welles, Meryl Streep, and others.

Choke Canyon -- 1986
American, Action/Adventure
Director: Chuck Bail
Cast includes: Stephen Collins, Janet Julian, Lance Henriksen, Bo Svenson
Synopsis: A heroic physicist tries to stop the dumping of nuclear waste the day before Haley's Comet is due to pass by the earth. Includes aerial stuntwork.
(Available on videocassette)

Class of Nuke 'Em High -- 1986
American, Horror/Comedy
Director: Richard Haines, Samuel Weil
Cast includes: Janelle Brady, Gilbert Brenton, Robert Prichard, R.L. Ryan
Synopsis: A nuclear waste spill near a New Jersey high school spawns monsters and mutates a few straight-A students.
(Available on videocassette)

Dead End Kids -- 1986
American, Comedy/Drama
Director: JoAnne Akalaitis
Cast Includes: Ellen McElduff, Ruth Maleczech, George Bartenieff, David Brisbin
Synopsis: The complete title is DEAD END KIDS: A STORY OF NUCLEAR POWER. The history of nuclear power is presented in a dramatic narrative. Adapted from an
off-Broadway production by Mabou Mines. Music by David Byrne and Philip Glass.
(Color and B&W)

Chernobyl: The Final Warning -- 1991
Russian/American
Director: Anthony Page
Cast includes: Jon Voight, Jason Robards , Sammi Davis, Annette Crosbie
Synopsis: Filmed on location, the docudrama centers around Robert Gale, the California surgeon credited for helping victims and Armand Hammer, the business magnate. Voight's
first television appearance in 22 years.
(Available on videocassette as FINAL WARNING)

The Naked Gun 2: The Smell of Fear -- 1991
American, Comedy
Director: David Zucker
Cast includes: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, O.J. Simpson, Robert Goulet
Synopsis: Big-wigs from the oil, coal, and nuclear power industries conspire to prevent the US from adopting a new energy policy. Frank Drebin comes to the rescue.
(Available on videocassette)

Touch and Die -- 1991
American, Thriller
Available on videocassette
Director: Piernico Solinas
Cast includes: Renee Estevez, Martin Sheen, David Birney, Franco Nero
Synopsis: A journalist follows the trail of plutonium thieves and uncovers a scheme in which nuclear power advocates funnel money into the coffers of a pro-nuclear candidate.
(Available on videocassette)


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