The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.

Karen Silkwood: I remember in high school her saying, 'Now what'd you want to take that science class for? There's no girls in that science class. You take home ec, why don't you? That's the way to meet the nice boys.' 'Mom,' I said, There ain't no boys in home ec. The boys are in the science class.' She hated when I said, 'Ain't.'
[on the deceased former workers of a nuclear plant]
Angela: They all look as though they died before they were dead.
Karen Silkwood: You think I contaminated myself, you think I did that?
Mace Hurley: I think you'd do just about anything to shut down this plant.
Dolly Pelliker: [to Karen] Who's gonna rape you that you ain't already fucked?
Drew Stephens: Sweetheart, it's like you're two people. I'm in love with one of them. But the other one is just...
Karen Silkwood: A real pain in the ass.
[Karen is digging through a filing cabinet, trying to find the film negatives and records from the plant. When she turns around she sees Morgan next to her and nearly screams]
Karen Silkwood: [gasps] Morgan!... jesus you scared me!
Morgan: Had to.
Karen Silkwood: ...I'm doin' somethin' good.
Morgan: I know what you're doing, and you're the wrong person to be doing it. It's dangerous... that's all I'm going to say.
Morgan: Can't breathe.
Doctor at Union Meeting: What?
Morgan: [Morgan is afraid to say more than a few words to the union doctor in case the plant finds out] ... We can't breathe.
Quincy Bissell: Oh yeah, there's uh, there's a lot of stuff here about respirators... uh, we got these contamination...
[Drew sees Winston standing outside, gawking at Karen and Dolly's quarantined home]
Drew Stephens: What are you doing here?
Winston: Just looking around... same as you.
[Winston bounces his empty beer can off the front porch and leaves it in the grass. Drew walks past him and Winston smiles, but suddenly Drew turns around and punches him in the side of the head]
Winston: These pills don't look like enemas to me.
Karen Silkwood: Winston, do you know what these are? These are little tiny time capsules, like the ones you see on TV. They clear up your nasal passages for up to twelve... hours straight...
[Karen sneezes into her hand loudly, then wipes it on Winston's lab coat]
Karen Silkwood: Excuse me.
Winston: God bless you.
Winston: It doesn't matter whether you work in plutonium or dog food because they ain't gonna give you a thing, there's nowhere left to go! You close this plant down and then what? You're gonna be up in Washington, but we're gonna be down here outta work! Your cancer's a maybe, that's all it is, a maybe...
Paul Stone: I don't think it's the smartest, getting involved.
Karen Silkwood: We already got involved.
Dolly Pelliker: Well Hurley works there, you think he'd work there if he was gonna get the cancer?
Mace Hurley: We're getting a room for Dolly... we can help you, we want to help you! We can help you with a place to stay, we can help you with money!
Karen Silkwood: [tearfully] ... but first I have to sign somethin' right? Sayin' I did all this?
Mace Hurley: Just in your own words what happened.
[holds out a notebook and pen]
Karen Silkwood: Okay... uh, in my own words... I'm contaminated... I'm DYIN'.
[Karen drives away through the crowd of rubberneckers in a rage, and Hurley glares at her car worriedly]
[first lines]
Man on the intercom: Name?
Karen Silkwood: Karen Silkwood.
Drew Stephens: Drew Stephens.
Dolly Pelliker: Dolly Pelliker.
Gilda Schultz: Karen, I LIKE MY JOB!
Karen Silkwood: [about her kids] I had 'em in the car... I could've just driven away with 'em and headed straight for Oklahoma...
Drew Stephens: What would you have done with them?
Karen Silkwood: ...I don't know...
Dolly Pelliker: [on marriage] Goddamn government fucks you comin' and goin'.
Karen Silkwood: What's that?
Winston: ...Well, what do you want with it?
[Karen licks his finger and dips it in Winston's sandwich]
Karen Silkwood: Mystery meat, hmm?
Winston: There's no mystery!
Karen Silkwood: My urine sample container! Somebody put plutonium in my urine sample container!
Karen Silkwood: What should I wear on the plane?
Angela: Uh, somethin' that won't wrinkle!
Drew Stephens: Yeah, like a shroud, maybe!
Angela: I get sooooo tired of yer jokes...
Drew Stephens: [about Dolly and Angela having sex] Make enough noise there, Dolly?
Dolly Pelliker: You two ain't exactly a silent movie yourselves.
Karen Silkwood: I work in metallography, and uh... well, um, quite frequently we have negatives altered.

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