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KCSB Looking for Suggestions of Radio in the Movies

Fun at Flirt FM in Irleand (Photo: J. Waits)

Being both a radio and a popular culture nut, I always get a thrill when I see a radio station worked into the storyline of a film or television show.

As part of their 50th anniversary celebration (which also includes a design contest with a deadline on Friday, September 9 and an upcoming art exhibit), college radio station KCSB at University of California, Santa Barbara is working on a radio-themed film festival. Right now they are in the process of brainstorming a list of movies with radio themes and they are seeking suggestions. Some of the films on their list so far include: 8 Mile, American Graffiti, Pirate Radio, Pump Up the Volume, and Radio Days.

I’ve compiled my personal list of my top 5 radio-themed television shows and also pulled together a list of films featuring DJs in peril. What other essential radio films and TV shows are out there? And which are your favorites?


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3 Responses to KCSB Looking for Suggestions of Radio in the Movies

  1. charles reinsch September 6, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    For anyone that has produced live radio theatre, Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald (Rajio no Jikan) by Koki Mitani is available subtitled.

  2. Pat Flannagan September 7, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    Well, younglings, don’t forget the recent films “Me and Orson Welles” where Welles takes the 40’s high schooler upstairs to see the live radio show he’s about to broadcast and co-opt with an improvised speech,

    not to mention “The King’s Speech” where the tantalizing BBC sets show banks of transmitters labelled for the continents they serve and swaths of fabric to dampen the sound. And how could you leave out the 80s movie “FM” really wasn’t like that. Oops,don’t forget “Prairie Home Companion” where the corporate boss comes in to cancel the hometown show. It really is like that. Good luck with your list.

  3. Paul Riismandel September 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    A great b-movie from the 1970s is On the Air Live with Captain Midnight about a teenager who builds a pirate radio station in his tricked out van, broadcasting as he cruises around town. It’s sort of a foreshadowing of Pump Up the Volume, ending with a chase by an angry FCC agent, but with far less existential teenage angst.

    I saw it as a young teen on late night TV in the early 80s, probably on USA’s Night Flight, and the memory of the protagonist talking into an old-style RCA mike hanging from the sun visor while he slammed 8-track tapes into the console player was burned into my mind. I could barely find anyone who’d heard of it, never mind seen it. But it came back into print on DVD a few years ago and I snagged a copy. The cheesy b-movie reality didn’t quite measure up to my teenaged memories, but it’s a fun flick nevertheless.

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