Navigate this site | Local Clubs | Classes and Testing | Helpful Links | Home | Calander

Amateur Radio in the Hollywood Spotlight

Amateur Radio has been on the Silver Screen and on the TV. Sometimes Amateur Radio Operators are portrayed as weird individuals and other times as the ones that save the world from the end of times.

The truth is Amateur Radio Operators are people like you and me. If for some reason we are the only ones that can communicate, it’s because we earned our Amateur Radio Licenses and we are willing to go that extra mile to help.

Below is a list of some of the Movies and TV Shows that Amateur Radio was in. It may be a small scene or it may be the whole shows theme. It may be just the RADIO, the word HAM RADIO, or a term CW, QSL, 73, etc. I have noticed that the Yaesu FT 101 must fit Hollywood's criteria for “The HAM RADIO”; it seems to be in a lot of movies. Some Amateur Radio Operators have been on the technology side of Hollywood making sure the Amateur Radio scenes are done right.

Hollywood Movies

"Andy Hardy " - 1938 Oldest Scene Known!

Andy Hardy’s Father (Lewis Stone) needs to send an urgent message to if wife in Canada here there is no phone service. Andy Hardy (Mickey Rooney) knows of a Ham Radio Operator named Jimmy (Gene Reynolds). Jimmy call W8XCR and made contact with DE3AVS. The message was sent and all was well. The rig Was HOME BREW!! No HRO back then.

"Radio Hams" - 1939

Ham desperately attempts to contact police near the location of DeVinna's hut, in hopes that somehow a doctor could be found to get to DeVinna before it's too late. Home Brew Rig was used!


"The Lost Contest Weekend" - 1945

Ray Milland in a dramatic battle on 20 Meters for one elusive QSL. Still Confirming Scene!


"Highway Patrol" Radioactive - 1955

Adam finds the device and sells it to a junkyard where Mel (a Ham Radio Operator) buys it for parts. The announcer on the show was Art Gilmore -- N6GKV. Still Confirming Scene!


"I Was a Teenage Novice" - 1957

A troubled teenager (Michael Landon) finds fun and excitement after getting a Ham license. Still Confirming Scene!


"Blondie and Dagwood" - Unknown year

The FCC knocks at the home of Blondie and Dagwood after Dagwood plays music over the air on a Ham Radio Set. Still Confirming Scene!


"The Glass Bottom Boat" – 1966

Doris Day, had a radio in her closet and she talked with her dad on Catalina (Aurthor Godfree) she used it to save on long distance calls and the agency she worked for thought she was a spy and the radio helped confirm to be more suspicious. Rig un known used in the scene. Still Confirming Scene!


High Frequency”– 1989

Thousands of miles away in Main, Danny an 11 year old boy’s Ham Radio hobby turns into a real live adventure when he helps Peter in the Swiss Alps solve a spy plot. Danny uses the call WM1ATE and Peter used HB9RFX. Other calls used G3CPC and UZ4KV. In the film, Danny used the Drake TR-4 Transceiver and Peter looks like he used IC-R70 Receiver and a Yaesu FRG-7 Receiver. Hollywood had Peter talking on one of the Receivers. They were close with some of the details, but the calls are Hollywoodized, and two Receivers do not make a Transceiver. The DX was too clear! The only real call was G3CPC. Photo 1 2 3 4

Independence Day” - 1996

In one scene in order to help get the word out about how to kill the aliens the use CW! In the Directors Cut Version an News Caster report that Ham Radio Operators are helping spread the word on how to get rid of them. The Director Cut has a much longer Amateur Radio Scene!Photo 1 2 3 4

Phenomenon” - 1996

Nate Pope (Forest Whitaker) plays a Amateur Radio Operator and finds some encrypted transmissions that George Malley (John Travolta) decodes and then gets into trouble by the government. Forest Whitaker, as a Ham, used the call sign WB6QLF. The Rig looks like a FT-1000 by Yaesu Photo 2

"A Perfect World" - (1993)

It looks like a Hallicrafter SR-400 or something like it was used in the filming of this movie. While in the chase after in the new high tech trailer the use a HF Amateur Radio to help locate Robert “Butch” Haynes played by Kevin Costner.

Mother Night” - (1996)

They have a scene which is suppose to take place just before World War II with some people listening to a broadcast Howard Campbell (Nick Nolte) is making. They show them listening on a Hallicrafter S-38C.

Note: The S-38C wasn't manufactured until around the mid 1950s. Hollywood goofed again!

"Contact" - 1997

Female Ham Operator (Jodie Foster) controls the Very Large Array in New Mexico, where she picks up an extraterrestrial signal.

"Frequency" - 2000

John Sullivan Played by (Jim Caviezel) finds he is talking to his father Frank Sullivan Played by (Dennis Quaid), decades in the past after some kind of time warp with the Northern Lights. The call sign W2QYV was used in the film and the radio was a Heathkit SB-301. Photos 1 2 3 4 5

Kangaroo Jack” - 2003

In one scene of the movie they use a Yaesu FT-101B to communicate to a downed airplane. Note the plane is on AM around 120 Mhz and the FT-101B is not an VHF AM Radio. Well they tried. Photo 2


At the very end of the movie when John Connor (Nick Stahl) and Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) find an old VIP Fall Out Shelter “Crystal Peak”, when the radio comes alive and Montana Civil Defense starts to call out “they even call CQ CQ” the Computer Program “SKYNET” became self aware and took over all the computers across the planet and the movement started. Photo 1 2 3 4 5

Wedding DAZE” – 2007

After everyone is in jail and waiting for Anderson’s (Jason Biggs) folks to show up to bail them out, the Police Radio (Icom IC-720) has a radio call. Note the radio is not on and is only in the screen for all but 2.5 seconds. As far as an Amateur Radio movie, it is just the radio. If you like American Pie type of a movie, than you might like it. This move is also known as “The Pleasure of Your Company” (UK and USA release) “The Next Girl I See” (USA release) Photos 1 2

The Bank Job” - 2008

About midway during the tunneling to the bank, a local Ham Radio Operator picks up some chatter on his Yaesu FT-101. He hears the look-out talking to the robbers. The Robbers are using HT’s; they look like they are from the 70’s. The Ham Radio Operator calls the Police and said,“I’m a Ham Radio Operator and I think I’m over hearing a robbery in progress.” The film is based in a true story. Photo 1 2 3 4 5

"Onda Corta" - 2008

Ramón, the only taxicab driver in a small town in South America, befriends a pretty unusual celebrity through his Ham Radio.

Get Smart” - 2008

In the big chance scene where Agent 99 is kidnapped by the Rouge Agent 23, Maxwell Smart, aka Agent 89, and the Chief commandeer a car with a two-way radio in it. The radio looks to be a Yaesu FT-1802M. Look real close the S-Meter is not displayed when the other Agent talks on it. Also, the radio displays 143.910 Mhz. The Amateur Radio scene was all but 15 seconds. but it is there. Over all a good movie if you like the old Get Smart TV show.

Super 8” - 2011

The film is set in the year 1979, in a small Ohio town named Belmont. After a train accident, unexplained events start to happen. All dogs run away from town, lights turn on and off, people go missing, and all kinds of metal objects go missing. At a town hall meeting a guy stands up and reports that he is hearing military and weird sounds over his Ham Radio. He tells the Sheriff Deputy that they can be heard on 13.2??? In another scene in the Sheriff Office, they are listening to some Ham Radio Gear. It looks to be an Heathkit Seneca VHF-1

Photo 1 2 3






Have a movie you like to add? Send me a E-Mail










Movies World Wide

Making Waves Trailer - 2004 Ham Radio Movie - British!

Robert, G4KM meets Rachel, G0KUU over the Amateur Radio Air Waves with the help of a marooned Cosmonaut stuck on the Mir Space Station. The Amateur Radio theme is through most of the movie. Staring Radios, Kenwood TS-940S; Kenwood TS-120V; Yaesu FT-901DM; and a Home Brew HF. Other calls used in the movie G8EIU & G??? Over all one of the best display of Amateur Radio gear on the screen. Not a bad movie, You like Amateur Radio and like a funny romance movie, than you got to see this one. Photos 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


"Tune In" - 2006

Tune In follows the fascinating unseen world of Amateur Radio enthusiasts, better known as HAMS.
15 min UK Film.

More Fun Amateur Radio in the Hollywood Links
  Back to top of page