THE BOAT THAT ROCKED Story
The Boat That Rocked (retitled Pirate Radio for North American release) is an ensemble comedy film. Carl (Tom Sturridge) arrives on the pirate radio ship, Radio Rock, after being sent to stay with the ship's Captain, his godfather, Quentin (Bill Nighy), to hopefully set his life on a different track after being expelled from school.
Here he meets Radio Rock's crew of ramshackle disc jockeys, led by The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a buoyant rock-loving American, along with the suave and bawdy Dave (Nick Frost) and the naive but good hearted Simon (Chris O'Dowd). Also filling the airwaves is self proclaimed New Zealand "nut," Angus (Rhys Darby), the mysterious Midnight Mark (Tom Wisdom) and the even more mysterious and downright disillusioned Smooth Bob (Ralph Brown).
Serving as the ship's crew are the shy lesbian cook Felicity (Katherine Parkinson) and radio assistants, Harold (Ike Hamilton) and the appropriately nick-named Thick Kevin (Tom Brooke).
Dave wastes no time in introducing Carl to women, only for both of Carl's attempts to be foiled by Dave himself, including Carl's first crush, Quentin's niece, Marianne (Talulah Riley), although, by the end of the film, Carl and Marianne make up and get together.
Simon also is unlucky in love, meeting and marrying the too-good-to-be-true Elenore (January Jones) only to find her affections are really placed with the returning "king of the airwaves", Gavin (Rhys Ifans). The Count objects to Gavin's antics with Elenore, leading to a clash of egos that ends in a truce after both suffer physical injuries jumping from the top of the ship's radio mast.
Radio Rock's controversial on-air antics have ruffled the feathers of a government minister, Dormandy, (Kenneth Branagh), who instructs his subordinate Twatt (Jack Davenport) to find a way to take down pirate radio, despite its popularity among the pop hungry masses.
After a couple of attempts to deprive the station of advertising funding backfire, Twatt encounters a news-story of a fishing boat whose call for help failed to get through because of Radio Rock's powerful signal swamping the frequency and realises that this can be used to ban pirate radio for good. He proposes the creation of the Maritime Offences Act, which passes through Parliament without any shown opposition.
With the Act due to come into force, the crew of Radio Rock choose to defy the act, for various different personal reasons, and continue to broadcast. Twatt leads a group of boats out into the North Sea to board the pirate ship and arrest the crew, only to find a fishing vessel moored there instead. Quentin has given the order to fire up the ship's aging engines and move their position.
Unfortunately, the strain proved too much for the decrepid boat, which begins to sink. The DJs broadcast their position, but Dormandy forbids Twatt from sending out rescue craft. Fortunately, many fans have also heard the broadcast and come to rescue the crew from the sinking ship.