Movies That Shook the World

MOVIES THAT SHOOK THE WORLD will give viewers an in-depth look at the most important films of all time from a fresh perspective: how popular culture influenced their creation, and how they, in turn, influenced society once they were released.

Our pilot episode on THE CHINA SYNDROME reveals the genesis of that film in the clash between the nuclear industry that grew up in the 50s and 60s, versus the environmental movement of the 70s. In exclusive interviews with star and producer Michael Douglas, writer Mike Gray, environmental activist Erin Brockovich and many others, we learn how the nuclear industry “forgot to mention” to the public the fact that in certain accidents, nuclear reactors could melt down and release massive radiation. When writer Mike Gray discovered this, he decided to pen an explosive screenplay to alert the public. When the film was released, the nuclear industry and many others attacked it as a fantasy that could never happen, pure Hollywood liberal propaganda. Then two weeks later, Three Mile Island proved the filmmakers had got it right. America has not licensed a single nuclear reactor since.

In nine half-hour episodes of MOVIES THAT SHOOK THE WORLD, we’ll turn this unique lens on THE GRADUATE, FATAL ATTRACTION, THE BIRTH OF A NATION, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, DO THE RIGHT THING and THE EXORCIST. Interviewees include Spike Lee, Glenn Close, Ann Archer, Stanley Jaffe, Giancarlo Esposito, Michael Douglas, Peter Bart, Al Franken, Bill Nunn, Mario Van Peebles, Richard Edson, Debbie Allen, Adrian Lyne, Ione Skye, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Martha Coolidge, Julie Dash, Craig T. Nelson, Andrea Dworkin, Zach Galligan, Linda Gray, Buck Henry, Sherry Lansing, Kasi Lemmons, Catherine McKinnon, Michael Medved, Erin Brockovich, Roger Ebert, Barbara Hershey, Katie Rophie, Richard Schickel, Thelma Schoonmaker, John Lurie and many others.

Executive Producers: Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato
Supervising Producer: Gabriel Rotello
Producers: Natalie Aaron & Jim Eckles