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Pirate Radio (2009)
"The Boat That Rocked" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Music  -  13 November 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 80,886 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 200 user | 191 critic | 31 from

A period comedy about an illegal radio station in the North Sea in the 1960s.



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Title: Pirate Radio (2009)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Adamsdale ...
Ike Hamilton ...
Stephen Moore ...


"The Boat That Rocked" is an ensemble comedy in which the romance takes place between the young people of the '60s and pop music. It's about a band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain, playing the music that defined a generation and standing up to a government that wanted classical music, and nothing else, on the airwaves. The Count, a big, brash, American god of the airwaves; Quentin, the boss of Radio Rock -- a pirate radio station in the middle of the North Sea that's populated by an eclectic crew of rock and roll DJs; Gavin, the greatest DJ in Britain who has just returned from his drug tour of America to reclaim his rightful position; Dave, an ironic, intelligent and cruelly funny co-broadcaster; and a fearsome British government official out for blood against the drug takers and lawbreakers of a once-great nation. Written by Production office

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They rocked. They rolled. Then they sank. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and some sexual content including brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

13 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pirate Radio  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,904,380 (USA) (13 November 2009)


$7,994,115 (USA) (1 January 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | (as dts)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although purely fictional, the film does reference many of the actual events surrounding pirate radio. Namely, like the pirate radio ship, the Ross Revenge', the movie's ship is red with the station's name in white paint on the deck. Radio Caroline's ship, the Mi Amigo sank, complete with fleeing DJs unable to save the ship's vast record collection and as in the film's finale, its extremely high mast rose out of the sea where it stayed for many months. Also a DJ did marry on a pirate radio ship as Simon does in the film. Additionally the DJs are seemingly composites of popular radio personalities of the time such as Tony Blackburn (also unlucky in love in his early days ala Simon Swafford, when his rocky marriage become apparent in his radio show) and the wacky Kenny Everett has traits similar to Angus Nutsford. Dave Lee Travis, Whispering Bob Harris, American DJ Emperor Rosko and Johnnie Walker also are seemingly portrayed in the film. See more »


The characters frequently use vernacular that was not made popular until much later than 1966. Characters refer to protection as 'condoms,' which were much more commonly called 'Johnnies' in the 60s. Also, Young Carl is told that when dealing with Thick Kevin, it was important to "think outside the box," a term not coined in general use until the early 90s. See more »


Dave: So tell us Mark, now at the very end - what was your secret? How did you get all them girls?
Mark: Simple. Don't say anything at all.
'Young' Carl: Nothing?
Mark: Nothing. Then, when the tension becomes too much to bear, you finally, finally, you just say: "How about it, then?"
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is an additional scene after the credits have ended. See more »


Featured in Great Movie Mistakes 2: The Sequel (2011) See more »


She'd Rather Be with Me
Written by Gary Bonner (as Garry Bonner), Alan Gordon
Performed by The Turtles
Courtesy of Flo & Eddie, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

It could have been a lot better
22 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I could hardly wait for this movie to come out. The whole concept could have really worked. But the historical inaccuracies. There was tunage from the future (Jimi Hendrix came out a year later -The Stone's Jumping Jack Flash was a year after that), current surfer/skater dialog ("dude!"), and the new millennium hip lesbian scene did me in. When I watch a period piece, I would like to be swept away, even in as in a comedy as this one.

And yes, the soundtrack rocked. The cast was terrific. There were lots of funny scenes. But this is not the 60s that I knew and studied.

I would wait for the DVD to rent.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where are the Beatles? practicalhope
I really enjoyed this movie...until... onepimptiger
folks in the 60s weren't nostalgic for the 60s wilbrifar
Stuff taken out for US release JimF29
Crew?! northern_lad
What album does Carl's Dad Save? jaytosh522
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