7.4/10
101,504
227 user 189 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
1,553 ( 742)
1 win & 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 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:

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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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:

£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

Gavin Kavanaugh (Rhys Ifans) was probably based on "Admiral" Robbie Dale, who was a long-term pirate DJ. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, during the trivia game, one of the characters guesses "Jimi Hendrix," though this is set in 1966. Jimi Hendrix moved to England in mid-1966, but didn't release his first single until 1967, which is when his fame began. See more »

Quotes

Harold: [the crew has decided to stay on the ship and keep broadcasting having nowhere else to go, Harold is the last one left] I *do* have somewhere else to go
[pause as crew looks at him. Quentin gives an "alright" shrug]
Harold: But it's Peckham so I'm staying
[all start backslapping and saluting]
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

Hang on Sloopy
(1965)
Written by Bert Berns and Wes Farrell
Performed by The McCoys
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A showcase for some great music.
10 June 2009 | by wisewebwomanSee all my reviews

Anyone looking for a plot or decent script should write their own.

I saw this under the title "Good Morning England" in Paris last night and it reminded me somewhat of "Across the Universe" another film based on its fabulous sound track.

It is a Good Old Boys type of film with women delegated to minor paper thin caricatures of sex-starved sixties rock fans, devoid of motivation or depth. One particular scene is particularly yucky as it involves one of the main characters, an innocent, plotting to secretly rape a woman.

The pirate station resembled nothing of what was prevalent on the air waves in my teen years and the boat was far too heavily populated. But it was a great premise for a film and the cast looks as if it is having a ball. Philip Seymour Hoffman, always appearing as if he was one day overdue for a good hosing down, is marvellous, as is Bill Nighy - can any other actor do understated elegance like he can? - in the role of the Radio Station's owner, living, of course, on the ship. None of these characters have any domestic or home lives and we know next to nothing about them. Thin as onion skin characterizations. Emma Thompson is terrific (and uncredited) and barely recognizable in a key role, as is Kenneth Branagh overplaying an overblown heavy.

Go for the music only and suspend any expectation of a good story. The ending signals from two miles away but everyone is having such a rollicking good time that it is hard not to laugh and share their glee. Be sure to stay till after the credits have rolled.

7 out of 10, the sound track is a must buy.


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