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'Pirate' ready to sail into theaters

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
November 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Writer-director Richard Curtis sets sail Friday with his latest movie idea, "Pirate Radio." It's a fact-based story about some rogue broadcasters whose actions rocked the world. "Pirate Radio" is a new film set in the mid-1960s. The story is loosely based on real-life ' pirate radio' stations which used to broadcast rock music from a ship at sea.

This was music British radio had been forbidden to deliver.

"The problem was in Britain we only had the BBC. It was run by the government, the government was full of, you know, men with mustaches who were 50 years old and liked to talk about the war, and they thought pop music was completely unimportant," said Curtis. "So it was the pirate radio stations who sailed these boats out into the middle of the sea, and the moment they did it and started playing pop music 24 hours a day, 25 million people in Britain switched on their radios to listen it. So it was a real radical realignment of sort of supply and demand."

Curtis is best known for the romantic comedies he's written, including "Four Weddings and a Funeral", "Notting Hill," and both "Bridget Jones" movies. He also wrote and directed "Love Actually."

In all his films, music has been an important and driving element.

"I remember on 'Bridget Jones,' the second 'Bridget Jones' movie, they brought me in and said, 'Bridget is about to go to Colin Firth, which of these three songs should we play?'," said Curtis. "And I listened to all three of them, and I said, 'All three. Let's have Beyonce and Barry White.' So I decided I wanted to do a movie where there's a soundtrack basically all the way through."

"I think there are 52 songs in the soundtrack as it goes along," Curtis added. "And most of them fit perfectly and some of them are just in there because I love them."

"Pirate Radio" stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh and Rhys Ifans.

The R-rated movie hits theatres Friday, Nov. 13.


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