Walkie talkies are one of those props used in Film and TV to taunt their enemy, call for help or save the day. These unrecognised ‘HEROS’ of film are often important to the story, and have proven (as like the real world) to be essential in desperate situations. We have watched hours of movies from the last 40 years and picked out 17 films in which the two way radio have been integral to the Movie.
In the Sequel to Back to the Future, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) goes back for the second time to 1955 to pick up the Greys Sports Almanac, that causes all the issues in the alternative 1985, from Stricklands’ office, it was confiscated fromthe young Biff (Thomas F Wilson), but marty finds the book is not contained within the sleeve. He talks to Doctor Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) on the walking talkie looking for some advice, as just behind him Marty’s 1955 dad is confronting Biff.
The first meeting of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and John McClane (Bruce Willis), Hans has asked for radio silence among his crew, and is surprised when there is a voice from his walkie talkie, a cat and mouse game ensues where Hans is trying to find out who the person on the other side of the radio is. Obviously, we know it’s John, but Hans is still to find out, to his detriment.
The First Job that the Ghostbusters are on, and they go to a hotel in the city to take down slimer, Both Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) have seen the ghost and are having a conversation over their walkie talkies, As they are talking Venkman faces Slimer and gets covered in ectoplasm, this is an important part of the story as it kicks off their business and the adventure.
This is our most tenuous spot, but it's an important film and the story that goes along with it is interesting. In the final scene where E.T and Elliott (Henry Thomas) fly away from the authorities, the FBI guys in the 1982 version of the film were holding guns in their hands, but in the later 2002 DVD release these were substituted for walkie talkies. Spielberg later admitted that changing certain aspects in his old films was wrong.
Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) is chasing down a van with his son inside, as they go down a through an alleyway, Oliver Lang (Tim Robbins) pulls out in front of him and eventually pulls him out of the car, Oliver then admits to being a terrorist and after a tussle, Michael gets hold of the walkie talkie and tries to call off the bomb (in true 90’s style) it is tossed to the side and breaks uncharacteristically easily.
In the final scene where Chris Sabian (Kevin Spacey) is double bluffing Grant Frost (Ron Rifkin) and tries to brokering a deal with him so that he will admit his involvement, Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson) is on the floor broadcasting the message on the walking talkie to everyone outside, as grant exits the building we see a shot of a walking talkie and we can hear Chris helping Danny over the radio, Grant realises he has been rumbled.
Just as Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) returns to his hotel room Michael Armstrong (Rory McCann) is sitting there waiting and he attacks. After a small fight, Michael is knocked unconscious on the floor, Michaels’ boss asks him over the Walkie Talkie if he’s (Michael) taken him (Nicholas) out, Sgt Angel Hilariously mimics Michaels use of Yes ‘Yarp’ and No ‘Narp’.
In an Explosive Scene! Just as Dantes Peak is about to explode you can see Paul Dreyfus (Charles Hallahan) telling ‘harry’ over the Walkie Talkie that they have “everyone out” and the “bridge is about to go” just as a huge tide comes along and takes out the Dam.
Nora (Tyra Banks) and Charley (Brad Sihvon) are setting up the Reality TV cameras in separate rooms in Michael Myers’ old home, Nora is using a Walkie talkie to talk to Charley, who is using a Remote speaker Mic. Nora puts down the Walkie talkie to make a coffee and Michael Myers makes his move on Charley, and that is the end of Him.
There are several instances where the walkie talkie is a vital part of the plot, firstly when Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) diffuses the situation on the deck and communicates with his crew that the pirates are coming down to the engine room, secondly when the US navy is negotiating with the pirates on the lifeboat near the end of the film, but and integral part of the story hings on when the captain of the pirates Muse (Barkhad Abdi) is captured in the engine room and they negotiate a surrender with the other pirates via the Walkie Talkie.
The film is littered with the use of Walkie talkies, being a film about firefighters saving the day, it’s obvious they would make an appearance. But, in the Final scene of the movie Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) is stuck in the burning building, knowing it is too late, he has a final heartfelt conversation with Captain Mike Kennedy (John Travolta) as they are unable to reach him. Does he die? Do they get to him in time?
Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) is talking to Charles Kaznyk (Riley Griffiths) over some old school walkie talkies, about what he has heard in the lounge in a meeting with all the local police officers and Joes’ Dad (local Sheriff). Charles is aware that their communications might be monitored and warns Joe of this over their 80's style Walkie Talkies.
Hitch (Will Smith) has meet Sara (Eva Mendes) in a bar and has shown a little bit of interest, but isn’t as full-on as the other guys, a day or two later he sends a package by courier with a walkie talkie in so he can ask her on a date, a pretty cool move and it works when she agrees to meet him on Sunday morning.
The most recent film on the list, as Hedwig (James McAvoy) shows Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) his ‘window’ she finds a walkie talkie and is surprised when it works, she calls for help, but….well we’ll leave it there as some of you may not have seen it, if you have, you know what happens.
The Town of Perfection, Nevada is surrounded by the Graboids Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) starts tumbling the ammo in their underground bunker, which gets the attention of the Graboids. Valentine McKee (Kevin Bacon) radios to them to stop what they are doing and get to the roof, a request that obviously gets ignored by Burt.
As Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is running one of his street races he has spotters listening out on police radio for all activity, when the police have got wind of the street race a spotter radios through to the group that the police have dispatched a car, and they all scatter out onto the streets of the city.
All of the Dinosaurs have escaped and the power is off, it is down to Ellie (Laura Dern) to go down to the Main power to turn it back on, it is Hammond (Richard Attenborough) that talks Ellie over a walkie talkie, through the maze of tunnels in the power room to the reset the main power supply.
Well done for reaching the end of the list, you are a true Movie-buff, but this is by no means all the films that have included walkie talkies, but simply a list of some of our favourite films.
Let us know If we have missed a particular film that includes a walkie talkie, list the scene, the film and why the walkie talkie is important in the comments below.
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