“FM”— Late-70s US Radio


Late-70s US Radio.

Amos Lassen

Jeff Dugan (Michael Brandon) is the ultra-cool program director at Q-SKY Radio, Los Angeles’s number one rock station. He encourages a free-wheeling culture at work and has hired quite a group  of eccentric DJ personalities: Mother (Eileen Brennan), a husky, world-weary ex-hippie; Eric Swan (Martin Mull), a mad-cap romantic looking for love played by Alex Karris, and The Prince of Darkness (Cleavon Little), a cool cat who keeps the night-time airwaves alive. When the station’s future becomes doubtful because corporate bosses are looking to cash-in, the Q-SKY troupe is forced to find a way to keep their jobs.

John A. Alonzo directed this film that brings together hilarious studio happenings epic footage of Linda Ronstadt and Jimmy Buffett in concert. The film’s soundtrack includes songs by Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, Eagles and Tom Petty (who also cameos). Digitally remastered, FM is released on blu-ray with many exciting new extras.

When the staff goes on strike, crowns form to support their stand against corporate hypocrisy and they are standing up for hipsters everywhere, telling the Establishment where it can get off. The throngs are so fired with admiration that they are on the verge of rioting, when suddenly the much-beloved station manager, Jeff Dugan makes a plea for sanity and brotherhood. The strikers will give up, he says sadly. He promises, “we’ll give you what you want and if we can’t do it here, we’ll do it someplace else. From the crowd, the station owner yells back, “No you won’t!” He is been so moved by his staff’s honesty, integrity and general panache that he is now willing to let them do everything just as they please.

This is a movie about rock that tries to stick it to the man with some of the safest, least revolutionary music ever recorded. When The corporate execs  demand that Q-Sky play less music and air more commercials, including one designed to get mellow Californians to join the Army, the staff strikes and   barricade themselves in the station and lead a protest by playing their music without commercials.

The DJs spent most of their time playing songs by such noted rockers as Jimmy Buffett, Billy Joel, and REO Speedwagon and Q-Sky’s attempts to secretly broadcast a Linda Ronstadt concert that is being sponsored by a rival station.  

Michael Brandon is one of the most uninteresting incarnations of the ’70s anti-hero as the head of QSKY, a rock station that prides itself on non-commerciality. The central, never-addressed mystery of “FM” is that it does so while its DJs play the sounds of the times.


  High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation transferred from original film elements

  Uncompressed stereo 2.0 PCM audio soundtrack

  Mono 1.0 music and effects track

  Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

  No Static at All, a newly filmed interview with Michael Brandon, the star of FM

  Radio Chaos, a newly filmed interview with Ezra Sacks, the writer of FM

  The Spirit of Radio, a newly filmed video appreciation of the era of FM radio and the FM soundtrack by the film and music critic Glenn Kenny

  Extensive gallery of original stills, promotional images and soundtrack sleeves

  Original trailers

  Reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options

  FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by writer and critic Paul Corupe

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