CB radio has had a big influence on popular culture with the equipment and slang not only being used but as the central theme in some big budget films and TV shows. Those among us who have a good understanding of the hobby would cringe as we watched the massive errors about the operation or type of CB/amateur radio unfold on the screen in CB radio films.
Good or bad these programs must have sent more than a few budding radio operators out in search of a set or two.
The all time classic has to be convoy, a story about a group of truckers sticking it to the man. The use of CB slang is amazing and unsurprising being made in 1978 when CB use in America was at its peak. Technically the use of the radios was pretty much spot on in what has become a cult classic.
A year earlier Smokey and the bandit was released featuring Burt Reynolds in the lead role. A much more slapstick movie than Convoy sees Reynolds accept a bet to bootleg some booze across state lines. Plenty of CB jargon and bits of it still make me chuckle to this day but my only gripe with the film was the ability for everybody using the CB to instantly contact each other almost like distance and the curvature of the earth had cease to matter, and yes I know its only a film.
A 2nd and third film were made following along the same plot lines but still grossed good earnings if compared to the original.
A few years down the line in 1981 and another slapstick outing for Reynolds in The cannonball run a film about a cross country race where the main purpose is to permanently delay every other team member by any means possible. Interestingly CB radio use had just peaked in the UK in 81 making this a great film to export.
And the list goes on…. Gumball rally, Dukes of Hazard, The A team and many others that I have never seen or can remember but the prize for the film that took a sideways slant on the promoting of amateur radio was the film Frequency released in 2000 and staring the sharp chinned Douglas Quad. By some freak of atmospheric conditions Quaid is able to talk to his dead father 30 years in the past on the deceased mans old ham radio!. Now I don’t know about you but just the possibility of getting my hands on one of those baby’s would keep me up at night.
Feel free to add any more CB or amateur radio film/TV show tie ins, you may just jog my memory.