There haven’t been too many films about pirate radio but Christian Slater’s Pump Up the Volume is a definite must for all radio anoraks. The Richard Curtis film ‘The Boat That Rocked’ is loosely based on Radio Caroline.
History lesson: In the 1960’s the BBC didn’t play pop or rock music. It played nice classical stuff. Though now the Sixties is well remembered for its music, it was actually hard to hear any of it on radio at the time.. and so this dilemma gave rise to Pirates, who actually played what the public wanted to hear and not what dear old Aunt Penelope wanted to hear only. These pirates, one of whom was Radio Caroline broadcast from a boat. End of History lesson.
The film is set in 1966 when Carl arrives to join his Godfather Quentin (Bill Nighy) on the boat, home to Radio Rock. The crew of Radio Rock, have love hate relationships but are all on board for the same reason, music.
Kenneth Branagh plays the Government minister determined to close Radio Rock. Philip Seymour Hoffman is great as radio personality The Count. Curtis, also responsible for Love Actually and Four Weddings also drafts in members from previous casts including a small role for Emma Thompson and Jack Davenport (Love Actually and the amazing This Life).
The film itself is a bit chaotic comedy meets Titanic, with sorry for the spoiler, an inevitable splash landing. The Music though is amazing and features some the best artists of the 60’s … yeah baby!