Los Angeles radio station QSKY has become a ratings juggernaut under the guidance of hip, passionate program director Jeff Dugan (played by Michael Brandon). The executives who own the station naturally see it as an opport... more »unity to make lots and lots of money by flooding the airwaves with ads. Meanwhile, the personal lives of the DJs are also in turmoil: Mother (Eileen Brennan) is burnt out with the radio lifestyle and wants to quit; Doc (Alex Karras) has been losing his audience and is on the verge of being fired; Eric Swan (Martin Mull, in his movie debut) has fantasies about becoming a game show host and ignores his affectionate girlfriend; Dugan himself has the hots for Laura (Cassie Yates), who isn't sure she's ready for a steady relationship. A laid-back comedy, FM is deeply, deeply '70s. It portrays its radio heroes as if they were as significant as the rock music they spin. When the corporate suits try to force Dugan to play ads for the U.S. Army, the DJs occupy the station in protest, setting off a near riot. (The irony, of course, is that the music QSKY plays is all top-40 hits of the '70s.) FM features appearances by Tom Petty, Jimmy Buffet, REO Speedwagon, and extensive concert footage of Linda Ronstadt. --Bret Fetzer« less
Pat McCurry | Wilton, NH United States | 03/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a classic film that possibly inspired TV's WKRP. Unlike some films, it is chock full of notable music and artists. The atmosphere is a throwback to simplier times. I first saw this film back in 1988 when i was in high school. I thought it was pretty good. Too bad I wasn't old enough to go that Jimmy Buffett concert. The one thing I love about this movie is that it is put into mini storylines. That is what makes this movie interesting and unique. Martin Mull is likeable as Eric Swan, the station's self-centered DJ. If you watch closely, you'll notice some of the smiliar traits that the DJs have with the WKRP DJs (Jeff Dugan=Andy Travis, Eric Swan=Dr. Johnny Fever, Prince of Darkness=Venus Flytrap, Bobby Douglas=Bailey Quarters). Give this one a try. It will really take you back."
Turn Your Radio On
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 05/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though it was not necessarily a big box office hit when it was released in the spring of 1978, FM does remain something of a cult favorite--not only for the wall-to-wall soundtrack of what were then Top 40 favorites and are now classic rock radio staples, but also because at least some of what it shows has come to pass with respect to the radio business.
The film chronicles the fictitious L.A. radio station QSKY, whose program director (Michael Brandon), along with a staff of wild and crazy DJs (Martin Mull; Cassie Yates; Alex Karras; Eileen Brennan) has made the station the #1 radio station in the nation's second biggest media market by playing the best music with as little commercial interruptions as is humanly possible. But all this success has got "the boys upstairs" thinking that the station could make even more money by cutting down the music and ratcheting up the corporate way of thinking; in this case, it would be placing ads for the U.S. Army in-between bursts of Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, and more. The pressure finally gets to Brandon and his merry crew, until they instigate a strike that nearly erupts into a riot.
Though it is hardly the stuff that cinematic masterpieces are made of, and its similarity to the later CBS-TV show "WKRP In Cincinnati" is rather coincidental (the TV show's plot being shot while the film was being made), FM still stands out as a sort of classic rock answer, at least in soundtrack terms, to the disco onslaught of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. Also, the idea of a radio station's on-air staff and program director rallying against excess on-air commercialization in which the music is merely the filler between efforts to part listeners from their hard-earned money has to a certain extent come true in the last few years, as big media giants like Clear Channel keep chewing up the landscape for their own financial and political gain.
The film is notable also for a few other things. It is the only feature film directed by John A. Alonzo, better known as one of Hollywood's great cinematographers, whose credits include SCARFACE, CHINATOWN, BLACK SUNDAY, and parts of Steven Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. And besides having a killer soundtrack, it also sports concert footage of Jimmy Buffett (a.k.a. "Mr. Margaritaville") doing "Livingston Saturday Night", and Linda Ronstadt doing "Tumbling Dice", "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me", and even Elvis' 1956 classic "Love Me Tender" (the concert footage was taken from Linda's performance in Houston on her SIMPLE DREAMS tour shortly after the King's passing in August 1977).
Even if only seen as a time capsule depiction of L.A. in the late 1970s, FM stands up as a look at what radio was like before MTV, Clear Channel, and over-commercialization caused it to rot. Alternately seriocomic and dramatic, with a very likeable cast, it is well worth seeing."
Great Radio Biz Comedy!
Kenneth M. Gelwasser | Hollywood, Fl USA | 06/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""FM" is a fun, light-weight, movie comedy for anyone who has an interest in radio or late '70s rock n'roll in general. The film has arguably been regarded by it's fans as the template or inspiration for the classic CBS TV sitcom, "WKRP in Cincinnati".This episodic movie takes place in late 1970's L.A. at the offices and studios of Q-Sky, the #1 radio station in the area. It's hilariously, presided over by manager, Jeff Dugan (a likable Michael Brandon),who's main job seems to be keeping in line, the crazy DJs and other personnel, who make up the station's looney, staff.These folks are constantly getting themselves into trouble both on and off the air. They include Mother (Eileen Brennan) a burned out hippie, who wants to chuck it all, Eric Swann (Martin Mull)a pompas idiot, who will do anything to further his career, The Prince (Cleavon Little), the hip black dude of the bunch and finally Doc (Alex Karras), a suicidal cowboy. The main plot centers on how Jeff and the gang fight to keep the evil account executive and the station owner from oversaturating the station's airwaves with wall to wall ads for the U.S. Army.Yes, the plotline is sort of silly and dated.But put on your average FM station today and you'll find that the movie's premise has pretty much come true.The air waves are mostly ads with a little bit of music squeezed in. Highlights of this film include excellent,live '70s era, in-concert appearances by music artists, Linda Ronstadt ("Tumbling Dice" "Poor Pitiful Me") and Jimmy Buffett ("Livingston Saturday Night"). If you are a fan of either of these performers then you will relish this concert footage. Also look for a brief cameo from rocker, Tom Petty.Finally listen for the film's great classic rock soundtrack which includes '70s staples such as Steely Dan, Bob Seger, Boston, Billy Joel, the Doobie Brothers and much more.For an evening of light-hearted comedy I highly recommend "FM"."
A realistic look at 70s radio
mike | minnesota | 02/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"this movie will take you back to when rock music came into being.. it takes me back to when i was in late elementary-early jr. high school listing to my little am radio that would sit in the palm of my hand. music like the EAGLES and STEELY DAN, are really timless. if you look in the background, notice all the posters of the then really poupular musicians.. its a real precious little time-capsul that will take you back to when music wasnt gothic,or grunge. give it a try, and reminice where you were in the 70's at that time.. to bad we cant go back to some of the concerts they show. the buffet concert would have been wild!"
"No Static At All" with this ultra cool DVD!!!
Jason Pumphrey | Falls Church, Virginia United States | 12/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another quality DVD release from Anchor Bay!!! You get both full and widescreen versions on one dual layered DVD!!! plus a theatrical trailer!!! And the quality is superb!!! This DVD is far superior than the VHS!!! And the songs sound awesome in 5.1 sound!!! A true seventies classic!!! Five Stars!!! A+"