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Pirate Radio (2009)

The Boat That Rocked (original title)
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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
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Popularity
2,810 ( 302)
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:

On air. Off shore. Out of control. 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:

$7,994,115
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

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

Goofs

When Rhys Darby's character has been thrown off the boat to 'swim', there is the shadow of a camera on the backs of the crew members who threw him off. See more »

Quotes

Quentin: So... expelled?
'Young' Carl: That's right.
Quentin: What for?
'Young' Carl: I suppose smoking was the clincher.
Quentin: Drugs or cigarettes?
'Young' Carl: Well, both.
Quentin: Well done! Proud of you. So your mum sent you here in the hope that a little bracing sea air would sort you out?
'Young' Carl: Something like that.
Quentin: Spectacular mistake.
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

Featured in The 81st Annual Academy Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

She'd Rather Be with Me
(1967)
Written by Gary Bonner (as Garry Bonner), Alan Gordon
Performed by The Turtles
Courtesy of Flo & Eddie, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good, honest fun.
14 April 2009 | by Baldrick44See all my reviews

Richard Curtis' first 'non romantic comedy film' is really another romantic comedy film- it's just that the romantic bit gets swamped within 20 other sub-plots so you try and not notice.

The Boat That Rocked sees Carl ( Tom Surridge ) go aboard Radio Rock- a pirate radio station owned by Quentin ( Bill Nighy ) whose DJ's (Phillip Semour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Chris O' Dowd, Rhys Darby, etc. ) broadcast 24-hour rock and roll music to the UK. They are adored by the populace but hated by the government, including the Minister of Communications ( Kenneth Branagh ) and his chief subordinate ( Jack Davenport ) who aim to shut them down.

If that was the extent of the plot then it would probably be a 100 mins film. However the Boat That Rocked has so many little sub-plots- many seeming like excuses to put in another montage or cameo cast appearance that the time has ballooned out to 154mins and it does tell at times. Furthermore, while Richard Curtis is entitled to look back on these days with an air of nostalgia, he sometimes seems to get a little too weepy eyed with the story.

But these faults are more than made up for in the performances; all of which are good- and some are outstanding. Phillip Seymour Hoffman's Count is a lovable character who approaches everything with great gusto, while Chris O' Dowd's Simple Simon has a wonderful part in the middle section of the movie which brings a little bit of emotion to what is a pretty emotionally vacant movie. Nick Frost is cheeky as Dr Dave and finally Rhys Darby- fresh from Flight of the Conchords- simply shines in his role as the unpopular and daggy Angus who nonetheless gets arguably the best line in the whole movie.

Overall the Boat That Rocked is silly and entertaining fun. It does get overweight by a looong script, but the soundtrack and the cast are good enough to carry it through.


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