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Pirate Radio (2009)

The Boat That Rocked (original title)
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2:20 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Richard Curtis

Writer:

Richard Curtis
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4,627 ( 116)
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Hadley Michael Hadley ... Mr. Roberts
Charlie Rowe ... James
Lucy Fleming ... Mrs. Roberts
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... The Count
Tom Sturridge ... Carl
Ian Mercer ... Transfer Boatman
Bill Nighy ... Quentin
Will Adamsdale ... News John
Tom Brooke ... Thick Kevin
Rhys Darby ... Angus Nutsford
Nick Frost ... Dave
Katherine Parkinson ... Felicity
Chris O'Dowd ... Simon
Ike Hamilton ... Harold
Stephen Moore ... Prime Minister
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Storyline

This movie is an ensemble comedy in which the romance takes place between the young people of the 1960s 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 (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a big, brash, American god of the airwaves; Quentin (Bill Nighy), 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 (Rhys Ifans), the greatest DJ in Britain who has just returned from his drug tour of America to reclaim his rightful position; Dave (Nick Frost), 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pirate Radio See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,904,380, 15 November 2009

Gross USA:

$8,017,917

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,348,784
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS (as dts)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Alistair Dormandy's (Sir Kenneth Branagh's) secretary was originally known as "Miss Clitt" in early versions, but is now only known as "Miss C", presumably due to much being made of having two character names doubling as innuendo. See more »

Goofs

When they start the final record by Procol Harum, we watch a single at 33rpm. That is possible as it was a very long track. Nevertheless when we have a second view of the turntable a few shots layer, it obviously plays at 45rpm. See more »

Quotes

Gavin Cavanagh: Think of me when you come.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to all who worked and broadcast on the pirate stations - all those wonderful years, all day and all of the night. See more »

Alternate Versions

US distributor, Universal have chosen to re-title the film as "Pirate Radio" and release it under Focus Features in US territories. This new version will be edited for length by director Richard Curtis after some European reviewers cited its 135 minute running time as a factor in its diminished success. See more »

Connections

References The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

To Sir with Love
(1967)
Music by Mark London
Lyrics by Don Black
Arranged and conducted by Mike Leander (uncredited)
Performed by Lulu
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A good-humoured and moving British comedy as a tribute to pop-rock
18 June 2009 | by yris2002See all my reviews

If you think of "Four weddings and a Funeral" or "Notting Hill", you will be a little disappointed, being here the overall tone not so brilliant, dialogues not so sparkling, however, the both humorous and moving atmosphere of Richard Curtis's comedies is still recognizable.

I think the real protagonist in "The boat that rocked" is music, that sound pop-rock that in the 60's began to move the world, and to be opposed by the establishment as a dangerous weapon in the hands of the multitudes, as a threat to a well consolidated but no longer valid system. Among unreal situations, a totally-lacking plot, among odd and eccentric characters, what only matters is that power of music to revive one's spirits, to give voice to the most uncontrolled, animal, ancestral instincts of man. And thus becomes, in my opinion, the most vivid scene that of those hundreds of records floating on the water, the symbol of a generation, of an era that was then ready to explode, and that no strict establishment could have wiped away, even once illegal radio stations were shut down.

No revolutionary message is conveyed: it's a good-humoured and at intervals melancholic tribute to a generation who, maybe ingenuously, but deeply, and truly believed in out of time-values, friendship, respect, love, and believed that music was a strong, and powerfully effective means to convey them. Even if you don't belong to that generation, each of us has experienced, one or more times in one's life, the communion of a piece of music with the most sensitive chords of our soul: it's about something emotional, but also physical and that's what the director just wants to celebrate.

If you are fond of music, or simply you have once in your life been moved by a song, you will like this movie, or at least enjoy it for what it is, without the necessity of too much criticism.


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