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Pirate Radio

468 customer reviews

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(Apr 13, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the creator of Love Actually and Notting Hill comes a trip back to the freewheeling, free-loving ’60s when the very rock music that inspired a generation was censored by the government. When a group of rebellious deejays decides to defy the ban, they take to the seas to broadcast music and mayhem to millions of adoring fans. Featuring a soundtrack that includes The Who, The Kinks, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and many more, it’s a feel-great film based on a true story that critics cheer is “exuberant!” (John Powers, Vogue)

Pirate Radio recalls American teen exploitation films of the 1950s, in which square authority figures wanted to keep rock 'n' roll's corrupting influence from children, who just wanted to dance. Though set in 1966 Great Britain, this high-spirited comedy will strike a resonant chord in anyone who ever snuck their transistor radio under their pillow at night to have their world rocked. Musically, 1966 was the best of times (the killer soundtrack spins a Who's Who of vintage vinyl, including the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield, and, yes, the Who). But the kids weren't alright. The BBC broadcast less than an hour of rock music a day. Pirate radio stations broadcasting from ships anchored off the coast exemplified rock's rebellious spirit. Like Almost Famous, Pirate Radio views this outlaw world through the eyes of an innocent, Carl (Tom Sturridge), sent by his mother (Emma Thompson in a saucy cameo) to the good ship Radio Rock, operated by his godfather (a dapper Bill Nighy). He comes aboard a "posh tosser," but he gradually forges a bond with these fellow misfits who have dedicated their lives to making musical waves. Richard Curtis, who wrote and directed Love, Actually and wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, has assembled a see-worthy crew, including Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Count, the scruffy resident Yank; Rhys Ifans as Gavin, his rival; Nick Frost as randy Dave; and Rhys Darby (from Flight of the Conchords) as fall guy Angus. Curtis doesn't run the tightest of ships. He's a bit montage-happy, and he allows Kenneth Branagh to go overboard as the uptight politician bent on shutting Radio Rock down. Some, too, may carp that several of the songs weren't made for those times. But if you're going to lose your virginity, it's best lost to Herb Albert's 1968 ballad "This Guy's in Love with You." While a bit choppy, we rate Pirate Radio at least a 7: it's got a great cast, an even better beat, and you can dance to it. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Feature Commentary with Director Richard Curtis, Producer Hilary Bevan Jones, and Actors Nick Frost and Chris O'Dowd

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh
    • Directors: Richard Curtis
    • Writers: Richard Curtis
    • Producers: Eric Fellner, Hilary Bevan Jones, Tim Bevan
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Focus Features
    • DVD Release Date: April 13, 2010
    • Run Time: 117 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00320J6WS
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,667 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Pirate Radio" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    103 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Emily on April 27, 2010
    Format: DVD
    I am heartbroken! When I originally watched Pirate Radio I didn't realize it was the UK version. It was fantastic, the story, the music everything I couldn't wait till it came out on dvd. Then when it finally came out I couldn't find it anywhere to buy it. Not even Walmart was carrying it in their stores which I thought was strange. Finally I came to Amazon and bought mine. Wow what a butchered piece of crap. I don't know why the 2 dvd's are so different. Yeah the dvd's do contain the deleted scenes, most of which were included in the UK version but it's not the same. If you are going to buy Pirate Radio do yourself a huge favor and find a way to get the UK version. Watch out for the coding for your dvd player as UK dvd's don't play in USA dvd players, but from what I understand you can get the blue ray and get the UK version that way.

    What a way to butcher a movie that was so great!!!! Someone seriously needs smacked for this one!
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    66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Katrina-UK on April 7, 2009
    This film has just come out in the UK. For once, we (in the UK) got this film released here first. Its usually the other way round! Absolutely loved this film from beginning to end. It captures the essence of that era perfectly, and it is a film I could watch again and again. The whole cast's acting was superb throughout. My biggest surprise came from Rhys Ifans who portrayed the sex god DJ Gavin fantastically. What a sexy voice for the radio - shame I can't mention one DJ on air at the moment who sounds the same...!

    Unfortunately, I myself, was born in 1979, so wasn't around in that decade. However I took my mum to see this film as she was 21yrs old in 1966. She remembers listening to the pirate radio station in the middle of the North Sea, and remembers all the political controversy surrounding it. She thought it was a great film too.

    If you appreciate the best music of all time, proper rock n roll from the 60's/70's, then you will love this film. It's a real feel good movie that you will appreciate if you ever wished you had lived through that era, or you were lucky enough to experience it first hand.
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    30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By R. Sanders on October 10, 2010
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    IF you want to know what it was like to listen to your radio in the mid 60's in Europe, buy this movie!

    My family moved to Brussels in early 1964 when I was a teen. At that time, in early 1964 all I had to listen to was Radio Luxemburg. That station only played the first minute of any rock song, I have no idea why. In the summer of 1964 Radio Caroline started up, a pirate radio station. There were two of them, one in the North Sea and one south of England. I listened to radio caroline south all the time. They not only played a whole song, they actually played songs from everywhere, the west to east coast of America and British songs. This movie portrays the station as kinda crude in their language. Truthfully....YES! I will never forget New Year's Eve 1964 at 11pm, lying in my bed listening to them and hearing things I NEVER heard on American radio. I was lying there in pain trying not to laugh too loud for my parents to hear me as I heard their jokes. There were two DJ's on that night until midnight, both drunk!

    The person who started Radio Caroline was an American and he named them for Caroline Kennedy. The radio control room you see in the movie is an exact replica of the control room on Radio Caroline.

    Though this movie is fiction, the truth is that there was a wedding performed on Radio Caroline North and Radio Caroline South did sink in a force 10 gale, much to the glee of the British government.

    This movie shows the audience exactly what it was like in Europe in the mid 60's with the freedom of pirate radios, like nothing America ever had, or the world will ever have again!
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    18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By M. Bailey on January 22, 2011
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This is the British version of "Pirate Radio" and is formatted for Europe. I play it on my computer and it works fine. There are some big differences, making this purchase rewarding if you are a fan of "Pirate Radio". The characters are developed better in this version. Sometimes different music is used. The scene of Mariannne's second visit is staged for the night they become illegal which is highly improbable. The American cut is much better for this scene. The assistant of the Labor Party bad guy, Kenneth Brannaugh, actually boards the ship and the inference of sabotage is established. I remember in real life the suspicion that the Royal Navy planted a remote detonated mine on a radio ship. At any rate this version is very entertaining and a must for "Pirate Radio" fans. The music is great.
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    35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio VINE VOICE on November 14, 2009
    Pirate Radio sports a stellar cast including
    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Tom Sturridge, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Emma Thompson (all too brief appearance)and Kenneth Branagh. When rock and roll exploded in the UK, the government and radio stations banned play over the airways. Rogue radio stations broadcast from ships offshore. Pirate Radio captures the exuberance and the bigger than life radio personalities that emerged with the new culture. Rated R for profanity and sexual situations, this film is full of laughs and any weaknesses are compensated for with an awesome soundtrack. Great way to spend an evening.
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