Tag Archives: Radios in Movies

Santiago spots a Soviet-era portable in “The Queen’s Gambit”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Santiago Roland (CX1DR), who writes:

Hi Thomas, I’m a reader of your blog since 2015 and i was looking for movies showing shortwave radio models. I ended up in your blog again, lol, and decided to write to you and tell you that your blog is awesome. I read it many times and gathered lots of information about different topics.

The other day I was watching the last chapter of the Netflix Series Queen’s Gambit and I spotted an old classic, the Soviet VEF 206 shortwave radio. It gets a full frame cameo and it is beautiful.

The radio appears in the scene because (no spoilers) the American girl is playing chess with the world champion in the USSR and the people outside is listening the match with this radio. I send you the caption so you may add it to your collection of radios in cinema.

Oh wow! Thank you for sharing this, Santiago! That screen shot is beautiful–the Soviet VEF 206 has some serious nostalgic appeal!

We’ll add this to our ever-growing archive of radios in movies. Thank you!

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Radio Cameos in Japanese Cinema

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jon, who writes:

Good day,

I regularly visit the SWLing Post and very much appreciate the breadth of content you provide on the shortwave hobby. In between the receiver reviews and stories on broadcaster activities, I much enjoy the pieces showing the radio gear that folks notice in television/films. Over the course of the COVID19 pandemic, I have been watching a lot of films from Japan, and in the process have spotted quite a few interesting receivers here and there. Below are some photos and details on some of these unsung stars of Japanese cinema. I think that JRC enthusiast Dan Robinson will agree with me that it’s the ensemble cast of JRCs in Virus that steal the show! 🙂

1. Masahiro Shinoda’s 1961 Epitaph to My Love opened with a very nice shot of a Sony TR-812 multi-band portable in a scene where a news broadcast is being heard in a bar setting.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/sony_tr_812_tr812.html

2. A Sony AFM-152J is shown in a contemporary home setting in Hiroshi Teshigahara’s 1966 film The Face of Another.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/sony_fmam_automatic_tuning_radio_esaki_diode_afm_152j.html

3. Kihachi Okamoto’s 1978 sci-fi film Blue Christmas featured a brief shot of a Sony ICF-7600 – the first of a legendary line of Sony portables that would carry “7600” in their designation.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/sony_icf_7600.html

4. There were several radio appearances in Kinji Fukasaku’s 1980 Virus – a film that took disaster movies to a new level by depicting both a global pandemic and a nuclear holocaust.

A range of JRC gear was captured in a scene that was set in a Japanese Antarctic base. Identifiable rigs include the NRD-10 and the NRD-71.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/jrc_nrd_10nrd1.html
https://www.rigpix.com/jrc/jrc_nrd71.htm

In another scene from the Antarctic base, a Trio (Kenwood) TS-820S is shown powered up.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/trio_kenwo_ts_820s_ts820s.html

5. Lastly, we have an unidentified tube receiver from Masahiro Shinoda’s Childhood Days – an interesting 1990 film about a school aged boy in World War II era Japan who, because of the bombing threat, is sent from his Tokyo home to live in a rural village.


Thank you for sharing this, Jon! It’s wonderful to include radio sightings from Japanese cinema in our ever-growing collection of radios in movies!

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Dan spots a number of radios in the Netflix series “Sweet Tooth”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy (VR2HF), who notes that he spotted a number of radios including the Kenwood TS-930S in the new Netflix series, Sweet Tooth (see above). He writes:

[Also] seen in the last minutes of the final episode of season one: An AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia) Teleradio Model 110H HF SSB transceiver.

Interesting history about AWA:

[Also spotted] test equipment plus all kinds of other gadgets in the zoo sanctuary.

Very cool–thank you for sharing this, Dan! That Teleradio Model 110 looks like a fascinating set! I’ve never seen one before.

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Antenna array on NBC television show “Debris”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bruce Fisher, who writes:

Hi Thomas,
I recently watched an episode of a science-fiction tv series on NBC called “Debris”. There was a brief scene of an antenna array and the following dialogue:

“What is this place?”
“It was used to transmit news reports to the Allied Nations during World War Two.”
“Voice of America?“
“Yes, yes. And also shortwave radio communication with spies…”
Can anyone identify this location and the veracity of the information?

Thanks for sharing this, Bruce! I’m certain some of our savvy readers can positively ID this transmitting site. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a military site rather than the VOA.

Please comment!

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Adi discovers a portable receiver on the set of “La Chinoise”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adi, who writes:

I was reading something in the paper where Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise (1967) was mentioned. So I googled for it and found just a trailer, when this set was popped for few frames:

I also found a production still:

I wonder how long it will take to name that set on the SWLing Post?

Regards, Adi From Israel.

I think I can already name it! 🙂 It’s an iconic one. Please comment if you can ID the receiver in these shots!

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Patrick asks: “Was James Bond a ham radio operator and shortwave listener?”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Patrick, who writes:

Many of us have more time during the holiday season to watch good old movies on either streaming services or just old-time DVD. My favourite pastime is to watch James Bond movies, based on the books by Ian Fleming. The iconic British agent in Her Majesty’s service offers insights to technical advancements in different areas.

The other night I was wondering if the fictional character was a licensed ham radio operator and a shortwave listener? First, let me say that he most likely had advanced techniques to master radio communications in several aspects, among them most likely amateur radio and listening to shortwave broadcasts.

In the first movie, Dr. No, (1962), the presence of ham radio or shortwave radio communications is most present, as noted by the SWLing Post blog and we can also get a glimpse of what could be the BBC Monitoring Station. The matter is also discussed by Dr. Bob Heil (K9EID) on YouTube:

But even in other James Bond movies there are different forms of radio communications. In the 1979 movie Moonraker, James Bond confronts the Dr. Holly Goodhead in Venice, Italy, by taking her purse at 01.12.15 in the movie and concludes in what seems to be a shortwave radio with morse that it is standard CIA equipment.

As a commander in the Royal Navy, James Bond would know morse code as well as several aspects of shortwave band. Both at sea but also in his duties as a Secret Service agent operating abroad he most likely listened to BBC World Service and British military radio stations, numbers stations among them, Although we do not know if he carry with him a shortwave receiver or a very small shortwave transceiver. The innovative character of Q probably equipped him with the latest technology.

In the opening scenes of the 1985 movie A View To A Kill James Bond traced a signal with a gadget that looks like a typical yellow Sony Walkman and in the movie The Spy Who Loved me (1977) James Bond receives a message on his watch what seems to be a tape coming out from the watch, telling him to contact the Headquarters.

In the movie Thunderball (1965) at 00.56 James Bond enters a room where a radio operator listening till BBC Overseas programme is listening to a news bulletin with a coded message that Big Ben had strike seven times at six o’clock.

This is fun, Patrick–thanks so much for sharing! Without a doubt, in real life, Cold War era spies used the shortwaves heavily for both receiving and sending coded messages. Indeed, we believe foreign operatives still use the services of numbers stations.

Your message is so timely: I’ve heard from both family and friends recently who are on a bit of a James Bond binge!

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Can you ID this radio in “Death in Paradise”–?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Evans (W4/VP9KF), who writes:

Oh no, I spotted another radio to identify in about a 1 second clip from “Death In Paradise”, Series 9, Episode 7.

This should be easier, but is it?

Bonus points for the name of the lizard!

Oh! That’s a tough one. Thanks for sharing, Paul!

Please comment if you can correctly ID this radio (or the lizard)!

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