FM (1978)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

When the owners of a Los Angeles radio station become more interested in profits than people, its disgruntled disc jockeys stage a protest and broadcast their own program. This comedy, which debuted Martin Mull as a the crazy DJ Eric, features a good selection of rock music and concert footage.
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
MCA Universal Home Video


Michael Brandon
as Jeff Dugan
Martin Mull
as Eric Swan
Alex Karras
as Doc Holiday
Cassie Yates
as Laura Coe
Norman Lloyd
as Carl Billings
Jay Fenichel
as Bobby Douglas
James Keach
as Lt. Reach
Joe Smith
as Albert Driscoll
Tom Tarpey
as Regis Lamar
Mary Torrey
as Cathy
Roberta Wallach
as Shari Smith
Terry Jastrow
as Michael J. Carlyle
Cissy Wellman
as Maggie
Robert Patten
as Jack Rapp
Karen Ciral
as Buxom Blonde
Brenda Venus
as Delores Deluxe
Tina Ritt
as Alice's Assistant
Don Dolan
as Police Captain
David Matthau
as Cop #1
Phillip Epstein
as Messenger
Peter Fox
as Johnny Fury
Bo Kaprall
as Izzy Segal
Patricia Marlowe
as TV Interviewer
Tammy Masters
as Office Girl
Paul Menzel
as Guard Frank
Louis Messina
as Stage Manager
Andrea Claudio
as Girl Disc Jockey
Linda Ronstadt
as Herself
Jimmy Buffett
as Himself
Tom Petty
as Himself
John Larson
as Cop #2
REO Speedwagon
as Themselves
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for FM

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

Dugan, who's heavily into the music biz, is against commercials on commercial radio (but since QSKY pumps out an endless stream of Ronstadt, the Eagles and Queen, wouldn't a few mindless jingles go unnoticed?)

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A preposterously self-serving variation on 1960's themes.

May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

It gets the standard rock-movie formula backwards by trying to base a revolution around some of the safest, least revolutionary music in the history of rock.

Full Review… | May 30, 2001
AV Club
Top Critic

Embarrassing youth cult film, founded on the shaky premise that the staff of a "progressive" LA rock station have to fight their management for the right to play Olivia Newton-John.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Mull, as a spaced-out DJ, steals the show, emanating energy with which neither the other actors nor the music can compete.

Full Review… | August 14, 2013
TV Guide

FM, for all its ingratiating players, is an unredeemable mess that can't even make it to simplistic.

Full Review… | April 21, 2010
Parallax View

Audience Reviews for FM

70's time capsule is chock full of fantastic music, the soundtrack is justly famous, and excellent actors. The basic story line is David vs. Goliath but is entertainingly played and provides a look at what FM radio use to be. Good concert footage of Jimmy Buffet and Linda Ronstadt give a sense of what live concerts were at the time. Of the performers while all are good a few stand out. Martin Mull is a hoot as the egotistical and somewhat child like disc jockey Eric Swan and the great Eileen Brennan makes a lot out of her small part as the world weary DJ Mother. No one did world weary as well as Eileen Brennan. Not a great picture but for any music lover unmissable.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

FM is the tale of two movies. 1st half is brilliant. I worked in major market radio; this film captures that world very well. It's shot beautifully, and really depicts the world of 1960s/70s/80s radio with nuances and insight. I love that about "FM." Martin Mull and Eileen Brennen are brilliant. Linda Ronstadt, wonderful. OK, now the 2nd half of the movie. Ummmm..... it goes into this odd schitck that seems designed for 8-year-olds. It strangely falls far, to the level of a bad 70s sitcom. The 1st half of it is so good, I bought the DVD and still enjoy watching it from time to time. The good parts are SO good, it's definitely worth seeing.

Lloyd Clark
Lloyd Clark

I really would love to see this movie come out on Blu-ray. The movie is funny, not great, but enjoyable, but the soundtrack is phenomenal and would sound amazing in glorious, remastered TruHD 7.1 This is the movie that launched WKRP and is a perfect time capsule for the late 1970s FM radio culture, captured right at the moment before corporate America moved in and commercialized and thereby ruined the whole scene. Captures the zeitgeist in a way no movie had before or since. It is a real shame to be unable to even buy the DVD of it.

Frank Brass
Frank Brass

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