The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Radio On
Radio On

Radio On 1979

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

Radio On 1979 18

100 mins United Kingdom Director. Chris Petit

Chris Petit's cult classic is one of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema – a haunting blend of edgy mystery story and existential road movie, crammed with eerie evocations of English landscape and weather.

Stunningly photographed in monochrome by Wim Wenders' assistant cameraman Martin Schäfer, Radio On is driven by a startling new wave soundtrack featuring David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Lene Lovich, Ian Dury, Wreckless Eric, Robert Fripp and Devo, and reveals an early screen performance by Sting.

Following a young London DJ (David Beames) on the road to Bristol to investigate the mysterious death of his brother, Radio On offers a unique, compelling and even mythic vision of a late 1970s England, stalled between failed hopes of cultural and social change and the imminent upheavals of Thatcherism.

Chris Petit interested both the BFI Production Board and Wim Wenders in backing his first feature despite having no previous filmmaking experience. He went on to make more films during the 80s and in recent years has worked in collaboration with psychogeographer Iain Sinclair.

Directed by

Chris Petit

Featuring

Sting

Lisa Kreuzer

David Beames

Genres

Road movie

Collection

Mark Kermode Introduces Great Debuts Sonic: Music in Movies A Star Is Born Flipside - Cult British Cinema

Certificate

18 Contains strong language and sexual images

Released

1979

Country

United Kingdom

Language

English

Read lessRead more

Explore further

View Winstanley
Winstanley
HD

Winstanley 1975 PG

An authentic historical drama about the visionary Gerrard Winstanley who led a group of impoverished 'Diggers' to assert their common rights.

96 mins United Kingdom Director. Andrew Mollo, Kevin Brownlow

View Melancholia
Melancholia

Melancholia 1989 15

Cerebral thriller about a German art critic who reconnects with his radical past when he agrees to be involved with an assassination attempt.

87 mins United Kingdom Director. Andi Engel

View Flight to Berlin
Flight to Berlin

Flight to Berlin 1983 15

Chris Petit’s sparse moody thriller begins with a mysterious death.

87 mins Federal Republic of Germany Director. Chris Petit

Subscription

View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later