Director: Mike Nichols
Tagline: On November 13, 1974, Karen Silkwood, an employee of a nuclear facility, left to meet with a reporter from the New York Times. She never got there.
Production Companies: ABC Motion Pictures
Distributors: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Cast: Meryl Streep, Cher, Kurt Russell, Craig T. Nelson, Fred Ward, Diana Scarwid, Ron Silver, Josef Sommer, Bruce McGill, David Strathairn
Writers: Nora Ephron, Alice Arlen
Produced by: Larry Cano, Michael Hausman, Buzz Hirsch, Mike Nichols, Tom Stovall, Joel Tuber
Original Music by: Georges Delerue
Cinematography by: Miroslav Ondrícek
Film Editing by: Sam O'Steen
Genre: Biography | Drama | Thriller
Runtime: 131 min
14 December 1983 USA
Opening Weekend: $1,608,498 (USA)
US Gross: $35,615,609
Worldwide Gross: $85,155,600
Production Dates: September 1982
Filming Dates: November 1982
Filming Location: Albuquerque and Los Alamos (New Mexico), Dallas, Howe, Texas City, Tom Bean (Texas)
Silkwood (Meryl Streep), a worker at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron Fuel
Fabrication Site (near Crescent, Oklahoma), shares a ramshackle
house with two co-workers, her boyfriend Drew Stephens (Kurt Russell)
and her lesbian friend Dolly Pelliker (Cher). In addition to working
tedious hours making plutonium fuel rods for nuclear reactors and
dealing with the constant threat of exposure to radiation, her time
is consumed by an ongoing battle waged against her former common law
husband in an effort to have more time with their three children.
See all photos in the gallery.
- Lily Tomlin auditioned for the role of Dolly.
- The scene where Karen sets off the radiation alarms actually happened. Her level of contamination was forty times the safe limit.
- Cher and Meryl Streep perfom a song "Pretty Little Horses Lullaby" in the movie, written by Georges Delerue.
- When Bette Midler was dropped from the Nicholson-Beatty comedy, Cher auditioned for the role of "Fredrika" but was turned down by Mike Nichols. "There are two kinds of girls in the world: the kind you wanna fuck and the kind you don't." He felt the role called for the latter and for him, Cher wasn't "suitable." "But I'm talented," she yelled. "If you can't see it now, you'll be sorry one day." Nine years later, Nichols cast Cher as Dolly Pelliker in Silkwood.
- Cher earned $150 000 for this role.
- Cher recalled the night she sat, incognito, with a paying audience at an early public showing of the film. "They laughed when my name appeared on screen," she said. "They weren't laughing as the closing credits rolled."
- Cher and Meryl are still good friends. Streep was nominated for Best Actress in 1987 along with Cher. When Cher was announced, just before the cameras cut away from the other four actresses, Streep could be seen springing to her feet in delight and applauding for Cher. During her acceptance speech, Cher thanked Streep personally, as they had worked together on Cher's first film, Silkwood (1983). As the camera briefly cut away to Streep sitting in the audience, she blew Cher a kiss.
- The second time Cher played with Meryl Streep in a movie "Stuck On You" (2003).
- Cher could play with Meryl Streep the third time. "You get lots of scripts, but you donít get things you want to do, and the only thing that Iíve missed that I wanted to do was Mamma Mia. I wanted to have the chance to work with Meryl again, but I was on the road, so I couldnít do it" said Cher
- Arthur Hirsch and Larry Cano were the producers of the film and ultimately received Executive Producer credits. They began working on the movie while graduate film students at UCLA. Their involvement in the making of Silkwood set a precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the protection of confidential sources for film-makers under the First Amendment.
- By its seventh week of release it had expanded to 816 screens and reached #1.
- Real Karen Silkwood was on a Sonny and Cher's concert.
Dolly Pelliker: [to Karen] Who's gonna rape you that you ain't already fucked?
Dolly Pelliker: [on marriage] Goddamn government fucks you comin' and goin'.
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