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Ground Zero (1987)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Mystery | 1 October 1987 (USA)
A second generation cameraman in Australia finds evidence that his father had filmed a nuclear test that allowed aboriginies to be exposed to and killed by radiation. He begins a search for... See full summary »
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4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Trebilcock
...
Prosper Gaffney
Natalie Bate ...
Pat Denton
Burnham Burnham ...
Charlie
...
Commission president
Neil Fitzpatrick ...
Hooking
Bob Maza ...
Walemari
Beverley Dunn ...
Commisioner #1
Alan Hopgood ...
Commisioner #2
Peter Cummins ...
Ballantyne, Australian veteran
Brian James ...
Vice-Adm. Windsor
Bob Hornery ...
Meteorologist
Steve Dodd ...
Freddy Tjapalijarri
Alfred Austen ...
Aboriginal elder
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Storyline

A second generation cameraman in Australia finds evidence that his father had filmed a nuclear test that allowed aboriginies to be exposed to and killed by radiation. He begins a search for a secret that if true, his government has already killed people to keep quiet. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Three decades of deadly conspiracy. Two desperate governments. One ordinary man. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ground Zero.  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$203,144 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When this movie thriller based on the British nuclear tests at Maralinga was about to go into production, the McClelland Royal Commission investigating the British nuclear tests at Maralinga was still going. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superior film noir with a splash of cold war espionage
28 March 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Superior film which is based on a real-life incident. My husband and I kept catching the end of this film on cable, arrested by the spooky music and harsh photography, and were dying to see the entire movie since just seeing the end made no sense to us. When we finally did see the entire film, we both agreed it was one of the best that we'd ever seen and we've watched it many times since.

The film is set in Australia, which immediately takes it out of our American context and into an unknown place. A plane is found, still highly radioactive, buried in the desert; no one knows why but it's been there for over 30 years. There's a skeleton inside, also unknown. There is a human rights trial that runs through the entire film, which attempts to place the blame for nuclear testing within the Aboriginal lands on the Australian government, who are denying it. There are also a lot of Australian agents trying to find something that the hero's father hid long ago just before he "drowned"; something that would clearly show that the Australian government knew and in fact approved of the testing.

Colin Friels is marvelous as the protagonist/hero; he is acted upon, but he is ultimately aware of this and begins to turn the tables. Donald Pleasance is wonderful as a handicapped war veteran who Colin goes to for help in his quest to find out what happened to his father. Donald lives in a kind of geodesic dome structure in the middle of the Australian desert, which he's decorated inside and out with his own apocalyptic paintings.

Due to Donald's hints, Colin finally realizes who is behind his father's murder and he sets out across the vast Australian desert to an Aboriginal holy place. What he finds there is both an ending, as well as a possible beginning to another part of the story.

It is not, however, the end or solution to this ingenious movie, and I would not reveal that for the world. It's too good to spoil here. You must rent, buy or borrow this film and watch it yourself to see exactly how the movie ends, and you won't be disappointed. It is an incredible masterpiece, and I recommend it to everyone.


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