Films with radio disc jockeys at their centre might be few but there are some out there. I’m thinking of Clint Eastwood in “Play Misty for Me” and Paul Newman in “WUSA”. There are films that use disc jockeys in supporting roles, for example “The Warriors” where the lady radio announcer serves as a narrator of sorts, or “Cheerleaders Wild Weekend” (yes, I saw this one MANY years ago on late night television—believe it or not, it’s on my to-buy list of DVDs!) where the DJ with the afro is used as a communication device for the ex-footballers who have kidnapped the bus load of cheerleaders. (Yes, I saw the film maybe more than 15 years ago, only once, and I still remember it that well—I recall VERY specific details about it like I saw it yesterday).
But what I’m really after is a list of films where the disc jockey is the central character as with “Misty” and “WUSA”. By the way, I’d love to post Paul Newman’s “We’re okay” speech here, but I didn’t realise it would be so difficult to find online!
When I say “difficult to find” Paul’s speech, I mean a clip from the film, not merely a printed text.
Talk Radio would be an obvious one., maybe not does he spin records at all
Pump up the Volume is one that I always liked a good deal.
A Prarie Home Companion might count (Keiler spins cds tho he just as often has live music)
Good Morning Vietnam
Talk to Me
The Alan Freed story
both of the Twist films starring Chubby Checker feature disc jockeys as supporting characters
most of the films use the music and asides from the character to tackle a social or cultural issue. Misty is unique in that it does not at least in any obvious way
Actually I was meant to expand this thread title to encompass all radio announcers whether they spin records or not—but as far as I’m aware, even if you are on talk radio, you spin records in between callers. So feel free to take it as “radio announcer films” if you wish.
I was going to say “A Prairie Home Companion”—I know you like it, Dennis, but it’s a bit of an odd one. I’m not certain if it would count as a DJ film but it certainly qualifies as an RA flick.
I’ve not yet seen “Pump Up The Volume”.
“WUSA” is one I’d love to see again. Can you believe it has only a rating of less than 5.5 on IMDB? It also has slightly less than three stars here at MUBI. I reckon it’s much better than that. I thought the riot scene near the end was brilliant. It’s been many years since I’ve seen it and admittedly I didn’t find it as smashing as, say, “Cool Hand Luke” or “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, but I think I’d get much more from the film these days. And I just have to hear that speech again from Paul Newman.
“Good Morning Vietnam”…bah, how did I miss that one? I’ve actually never seen it, but yeah, it ought to be obvious to me!
Just by opening this thread it seems like there is a whole lot of flicks with a DJ as the central character.
“Play Misty for Me” has one of Clint’s best quips, when he tells J.J. (an extremely camp homosexual) to go cruise some sailors. And J.J.’s response is hysterical.
I know it’s got nothing to do with tackling a social or cultural issue, but I just had to mention it.
Not the central characters, but essential characters in the plot -
“American Graffiti”—Wolfman Jack!
Why didn’t I think of him when I thought of “The Warriors” (radio DJ as unofficial narrator)?
Jeff Bridges turn as a radioshow host in The Fisher King is fantastic. A much underrated Gilliam film, The whole film’s premise is built on the outcome of Jack Lucus’s radio outburst and the redemption he seeks through helping Parry (Robin Williams).
Senor Love Daddy from Do the Right Thing:
. . . and if we can include talk radio:
Adrienne Barbeau in THE FOG…probably the silliest use of a DJ in any film
well, he’s a dj. don’t know if he ever played records
AWESOME call Ruby! how could we have forgotten!?!
Never saw it, but if I recall this was something that aspired to be a M*A*S*H set at a radio station?