Movies, List, Broadcaster, Radio, Broadcasting

10 More Movies Every Radio Lover Should Watch

Did you finish every film we included in our 10 Movies Every Radio Lover Should Watch list? Hungry for more films themed around radio? Lucky for you, we've got more recommendations we didn't get to include back in our original article! Whether you like dramas, comedies, thrillers, documentaries, or even campy teen movies, you are sure to find a flick on here that will appeal to your inner broadcaster.

Our last list featured movies about radio that are more well-known in cinema history. This list is going to focus on underrated flicks, hidden gems, and films of a more "independent" nature. That's not to say any of these are lackluster! They're just more niche. Trust us: after watching these movies, your broadcaster friends will think you're a total cinephile.

Without further ado, here are 10 more films every radio lover needs to watch RIGHT NOW. Lights, camera, action!

1. Talk to Me (2007)

Don Cheadle and old school radio...two of our favorite things! Talk to Me tells the story of Washington D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene: an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist in the 1960s. Based on true events, this movie oozes charm in the first half, then punches you in the gut with emotion in the second act. Some say Cheadle was robbed of an Oscar for his performance as Ralph. Besides Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Taraji P. Henson also give knockout performances in this thing.

2. Play Misty For Me (1971)

A really good 1971 Clint Eastwood movie...and no, we're not talking about Dirty Harry. In fact, Play Misty For Me was completely overshadowed by Dirty Harry in Cint Eastwood's catalogue when it came out in 1971. But it's a great thriller in its own right, and can be seen as a precursor to flicks like Fatal Attraction. It was also Eastwood's directorial debut. The story follows the brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan. Things get crazy – and perhaps even deadly – when another woman enters the picture.

3. The Night Listener (2006)

Another Robin Williams movie about radio that isn't Good Morning, Vietnam. And this time, it's a horror! Also starring Hereditary and Little Miss Sunshine actress Toni Collette, The Night Listener is about a man named Gabriel Noone: a radio talk show host who gets sent a book by a 14-year-old boy (played by Rory Culkin – the younger brother of actors Macaulay Culkin and Kieran Culkin). Noone starts speaking to the young boy via the telephone. But when questions about the identity of Gabriel's youngest fan come up, the host's life is thrown into chaos. The strength of this movie comes from its performances. Besides Williams, Collette, and Culkin, Sandra O and Bobby Cannavale also make appearances.

4. Radio Days (1987)

A comedy-drama about the Golden Age of Radio and a family whose lives are framed by it. Radio Days is a coming-of-age New York City tale by Woody Allen. It mixes the narrator's experiences with contemporary anecdotes and urban legends of radio stars. You'll recognize faces like Danny Aiello, Jeff Daniels, Mia Farrow, Seth Green, and Diane Keaton throughout the story. The cast's performances get better and better throughout, elevated by a blissful playlist of old-time war songs that will make you nostalgic for a time you most likely did not live through.

5. Mike and the Mad Dog (2017)

This one is for sports broadcasting fans! The ESPN documentary Mike and the Mad Dog chronicles Mike Francesa and Chris Russo's afternoon sports talk show that ruled the airwaves for 19 years. They were distinctly different personalities who often clashed on and off the air, but when all was said and done, they changed the landscape of sports radio forever. The documentary is pretty easy to stream (you can find it on ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu), and is pegged as a must-watch for New York Sports fans and anyone who grew up with Francesa and Russo's talks.

6. A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

The last film from director Robert Altman, A Prairie Home Companion stars some Hollywood juggernauts such as Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Lily Tomlin, John C. Reilly, and Woody Harrelson. It looks at what goes on backstage during the final broadcast of America's most celebrated radio show, where singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty, a country music siren, and a host of others hold court. This movie can only be described as joyous and magical. It will have you thinking about life and death – but you'll feel warm and calm while doing so.

7. Radio Rebel (2012)

Were you a fan of the Disney Channel growing up? Love Debby Ryan's performances? If so, you may want to check out this very campy teen movie you've probably overlooked. Radio Rebel is pretty similar to the plot of Pump Up the Volume, only it's got that trademark Disney Channel pep and comedy to it. It follows a painfully shy high school senior named Tara who becomes a secret radio broadcasting personality – and to everyone's surprise, she's a hit! Things get more complicated at school as Tara's confident persona, "Radio Rebel" blows up.

8. Tune In Tomorrow (1990)

Tune In Tomorrow is a quirky little family dramedy set in 1950s New Orleans. Keanu Reeves plays a man named Martin: a radio station worker. His company hires a talented new scriptwriter named Pedro. Martin's aunt Julia – who is NOT related by blood – returns home after many years and Martin finds himself falling for her. Once Pedro finds out about the romance, he starts incorporating elements of it into his drama series. Julia and Martin not only hear what they've already done, but what Pedro thinks they are about to do next. Reeves is delightful in the movie and Barbara Hershey completely nails her role as a sexy divorced aunt in a small town causing a giant ruckus.

9. Radioland Murders (1994)

This early 90s Lucasfilm movie is an under-appreciated comedy classic! Set during the backdrop of the Golden Age of Radio, Radioland Murders tells the story of a network called WBN. While they put on a premiere night for an audience, a mysterious voice breaks the broadcast and suddenly members of the cast turn up dead. It's up to Penny Henderson and her husband, Roger, to find out whodunit! With non-stop energy, snappy dialogue, and an all-star lineup of character actors, you will definitely have fun watching this picture.

10. Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives (2015)

What do Nas, the Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Cypress Hill, Big Pun, and DMX all have in common? They are all hip-hop artists who got their first exposure from the Stretch and Bobbito Show. Groups like the Fugees and emcees like Eminem also gained credibility thanks to this radio program. Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives is a documentary that explores the social impact of the 90s show that Source Magazine once voted "The Best Hip Hop Radio Show of All-Time." It zooms in on the lives of Stretch and and Bobbito themselves: two quirky friends who became unlikely legends thanks to engaging their listeners. For any hardcore hip-hop lover, this documentary is required viewing.

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Article Image: Over a yellow background, we say multiple objects associated with movies: a slate, popcorn, a TV remote, a film reel, a DVD, and two movie tickets. (shawn_hempel via DepositPhotos.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey