List of my favorite movies that feature shortwave radio communications as an integral part of the story


The Imitation Game (2014)

Featured Radio Modes: Morse code: The story of how Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician, created one of the first super-computers in order to crack the Nazi ENIGMA code. (Based on the non-fiction book, Alan Turing: The Enigma).


Enigma (2001)

Featured Radio Modes: Morse code: Story of Bletchley Park and the British intelligence work aimed at breaking the Nazi ENIGMA code during World War Two.


Eye of the Needle (1981)

Featured Radio Modes: Morse code, shortwave analog voice: Tense espionage thriller about a German Abwehr agent's attempt to thwart the D-Day invasion of Europe during World War Two. (Based on the novel by Ken Follett).


The Key to Rebecca (1985)

Featured Radio Modes: Morse code, shortwave analog voice: A German Abwehr agent, stationed in Cairo, Egypt, uses the English novel, Rebecca as the key to encrypting/decrypting a Vigenère cipher to assist the advance of General Erwin Rommel during World War Two. (Based on the novel by Ken Follett).


Crimson Tide (1995)

Featured Radio Modes: Emergency Action Messages (EAM), Extremely Low Frequency (ELF): A mutiny on a nuclear submarine occurs during tensions that threaten to launch a full-on nuclear war. Radio communications - and the lack thereof - feature as the key element in this story.


Where Eagles Dare (1968)

Featured Radio Modes: Shortwave analog voice: A group of British commandos, with the help of an American Ranger, attempt a daring rescue mission at a German castle during World War Two. This film is fondly remembered by radio buffs for the "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" phrase used during radio communications. (Based on a novel by Alistair Maclean).


High Frequency (1988)

Featured Radio Modes: Shortwave analog voice, analog television: Great little B-movie thriller about a boy named Danny in Maine, who operates a ham radio station, and a man named Peter, who works at a remote satellite relay station in Switzerland. When Peter accidentally taps into a secret spy station CCTV camera, he witnesses a murder and, along with the help of Danny, tires to figure out what has happened and what to do next.


Contact (1997)

Featured Radio Modes: Shortwave analog voice, analog television: A SETI scientist, using radio telescopes at the Very Large Array (VLA) radio astronomical observatory, receives radio signals from an alien intelligence.


Pirate Radio (2009)

Featured Radio Modes: Medium wave (AM): Alternate title, "The Boat That Rocked." The year is 1966, "the greatest era for British rock & roll," and a pirate radio station called "Radio Rock" broadcasts rock music to the United Kingdom from a ship anchored in the North Sea, while the British government works feverishly to shut them down. (And yes, this film does not actually feature shortwave, but made this list because it is hilarious and fun).