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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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Popularity
3,738 ( 130)
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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Pirate Radio USA is a feature length documentary about the underground world of unlicensed radio in the USA, where people play what they want and say what they want-unless the FCC catches ... See full summary »

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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:

1 Boat. 8 DJs. No Morals. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene with Midnight Mark and all of his naked groupies (cut from the U.S. release) is an homage to the U.K. album cover of Jimi Hendrix's album "Electric Ladyland", even down to the placement of the girls. See more »

Goofs

When Quentin salutes his crew, The Count salutes him, and in the next shot The Count is raising his hand to salute. See more »

Quotes

Angus: The way I look at it, the world couldn't survive without my comedy, and who's going to have the moral backbone to play the Seekers when the mood is right?
Dave: They've split up.
Angus: I intend to celebrate the back catalogue.
Dave: I intend to stop you doing so.
Mark: [silently stands up and lights a cigarette]
Simon: As some of you know, my wife left me after 17 hours of marriage, but I survived that because I live for music. And now, with nothing else to live for, I'm willing to die for it as well.
'On-The-Hour' John: I've always lived for news ...
[...]
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 Saturday Night Live: Blake Lively/Rihanna (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Silence Is Golden
(1964)
Written by Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio
Performed by The Tremeloes
Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

 
In a 60s party mood - no more.. but no less, either
8 August 2009 | by steinereltSee all my reviews

Although the film received its fair share of criticism for its historical inaccuracies and feeble plot, in my view, the film does exactly what its authors set out to achieve and - not only in terms of the soundtrack - rock it really does.

If you're looking for an evening of pure escapist fun, feeling generally nostalgic and cool about the legacy of the 60s fashion and music, and would like to forget history for a while and go with the party mood, go see this film - you won't be let down and you'll get what you're looking for: an amazing soundtrack (although, as many didn't hesitate to point out, not entirely historically accurate), with the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Dusty Springfield, The Hollies, Jimmy Hendrix, Buddy Holly, and many many more, with the charismatic Bill Nighy and a bunch of other not-quite-so-ordinary eccentric characters, more or less familiar to you, depending on how you enjoy British (and American) comedy (e.g. IT Crowd). Even if you don't know the actors, even if you're not into the music of the 60s, you've got pure feel-good fun thrown in to top it off for a great evening of the 60s Rock'n'Roll partying. And it's partying in the true 60s sense of the word.

On the other hand, if you're looking for profound plot development, historical accuracy and consistency, or a true story of a real pirate radio station Caroline that inspired the story, or, in fact, would like to see a true depiction of the life in the UK in 1966, do NOT go see this film, because you might leave disappointed.

It's as simple as that.

So, a definite recommendation for cinema viewing because of the necessary volume that the speakers allow you there to enjoy the music to the fullest (and, let me say one more time what music it is!), but stay out if you're not in a party mood.

I give it 8/10 for the feel-good, cool entertainment it brings and.... well, for the Rock'n'Roll.

Have fun!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

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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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