7.4/10
100,404
223 user 188 critic

Pirate Radio (2009)

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

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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
Reviews
Popularity
2,025 ( 19)
1 win & 8 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 Ike Hamilton ... Harold
Stephen Moore 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 '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

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 | Germany | France

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:

£1,804,773 (United Kingdom), 5 April 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,904,380, 15 November 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,994,115, 1 January 2010
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The album Bob grabs at the end is the 1967 record, "The 5000 Spirits Or The Layers Of The Onion" by Incredible String Band. 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

Angus: And the bride is blushing now as the groom is gazing into her eyes. You can almost see Cupid fluttering his wings above their heads
[imitating wings flapping, then cawing]
Angus: No, that was a seagull.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is an additional scene after the credits have ended. 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

Referenced in After Hours: Formed a Band (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Father and Son
(1970)
Written by Cat Stevens
Performed by Cat Stevens
Courtesy of Universal-Island Record Ltd
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A smart and witty story about love and friendship ON A BOAT!
14 August 2009 | by cypheristikalSee all my reviews

Dude, I went into this only caring that it was starring Philip Seymour (?) Hoffman, and pretty much had little expectations as long as the movie was entertaining- well it was. The very well-scripted (all-star casted) characters created as organic a cast performance as I can remember seeing since Milk. The story of pirate radio leaves its foamtrail through the leaders of p2p filesharing and their unwavering declaration that art should be enjoyed by all, not only the few who are able to pay more than a meal's worth to be able to purchase a copy of the product, pre-packaged by an Industry that is certainly not furthering music as an artform. Getting back to the movie. This roll of film has put it together in a way that's only really reserved for (good) Academy Award winning pictures, but it doesn't get all Curious Case of Benjamin Button on you. The superb cast of actors all deliver quite genuine performances, even though it takes some growing into (like the movie) but there's enough sarcastic profanity that doesn't push it over the comfort zone. The tale of Radio Rock and its crew is one that transcends personality and nationality. Lots of sex and friendship and love, this movie is the antithesis of the consumeristic slavery of our civilization and is a (loose) guide to what we should all strive for in life. The Hitler-like English committeeman in charge with taking care of the Radio Pirates is an unabashedly serious caricature of government-led regulators holding the link between revenue generating industries and the voices of progress, each always trying to tip the balance in their favor. The plot gracefully glides into its climax and with no extended cuddling it exits leaving us a nice retrospective of the experience. For the patient and passionate viewer, this film is highly recommended.

-cypheristikal


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