This is for those who have SEEN the film…
Richard (Four Weddings, Blackadder, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones, etc.) Curtis wrote and directed this movie, but at the time in which it was set – 1966 – he was only a boy.
Thus it is understandable that while a number of its details are Out Of Time (in some cases, totally Out Of PERIOD) the whole PREMISE is somewhat detached from reality.
Let us deal quickly with a nosegay of OOPs – “condoms” were called “Durexes” (advertising) or “Johnnies” (short for “Rubber Johnnies”) in 1966 – the term “think outside the box” is NINETIES “business-speak” – while some of the equipment was period (nice to see the vintage cart machines and “Gates” VU meters – I hear they borrowed them from the Caroline museum) some was DECIDEDLY out of place (like the Sony cans) – and while the clothing was Sixties, it was more like 1968 (I realize to today’s youth, a couple of years may seem like nit-picking – but in the Sixties, fashion moved FAST. ’68 was a WORLD away from ’66).
And a few unrealities: they would have had to switch OFF the transmitter during the DJs’ ascent of same – or they would have been FRIED – plus the ship’s “mobile desk” had domestic record decks on them – plus I doubt they would have used toggle switches to start the studio decks (WAY too much noise – both literally and electronically) – plus the transmitters NEVER went 24 hour – they needed cooling (Radio London closed at NINE) – and their whole STYLE of broadcasting was nothing LIKE the real thing: ALL of the “pirate” stations were always on their BEST behaviour, in the hope that they – and their DJs – might one day come onshore.
Thus “The Boat That Rocked” is NOT based on real events – at best, it is merely INSPIRED by them.
But that’s okay.
Curtis’ film is an ENTERTAINMENT, not a documentary – the reality would have been BORING. I like the scene where the naked girls (with bras in some cuts) re-enact a certain Hendrix cover – and the way Branagh apes his hero, Olivier. There is much to enjoy here.
However, the film was a box-office FLOP. Why? Well, the running time is generally blamed. The full movie runs nearly three hours. The UK release was clipped to two hours fifteen and the US release to a mere one hour fifty-five. But that’s still WAY too long for today’s YouTube generation – they have the attention-spans of goldfish.
Fact is, this epic was REALLY made for old farts like ME – wot have actually been OUT to the Ross Revenge (Caroline’s second vessel) and the Forts – and who, from ’63 to ’72, listened every DAY on their trannies (transistor radios – not transvestites) to the outpourings of these stations. Without them, we would not have HAD the Sixties.
But people like me do not GO to the cinema (that’s oldie-speak for movies) anymore. We wait for the DVD – or the satellite – or even the terrestrial broadcast. And even sexed up like they were on this film, the events of the Sixties mean NOTHING to the majority of today’s cinema-goers – most of whose PARENTS were not alive then.
So thanks, Richard Curtis. I LOVED your movie – INCLUDING the deleted scenes – particularly the extended version of Simple Simon playing “Stay With Me (Baby)” (the ORIGINAL version – not the Duffy version featured in the end credits) – and the FINE cast you chose to tell the story (special mention for Nick Frost, Rhys Ifans, Philip Seymour Hoffman, the GREAT Bill Nighy – and of course, Chris O’Dowd. They made it LIVE).
Sorry it cost you twenty million quid – maybe you will recover some from the DVD sales? (My legitimate disk only cost me four quid, here in Thailand – but I understand they still cost twenty, in England).Footnote: click – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tVwIfiO8q8