Hallicrafters Radios Seen on the Silver Screen!
by David W1TDD Woodstock, VT and several other contributors.

Herewith my list of rigs in films as it stands today:

Radios in Films The Hallicrafters company, which advertised its products heavily, even relentlessly, placed its products in many postwar films. If there is a "serious" radio receiver to be seen in a film, it is almost certain to be one of Bill Halligan's recent models.

Note: The AN/URC-4 transceiver was noticed in: Ice Station Zebra (1968) by Tom Bryan (email); The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954) by Jay Coward (email); Bombers B-52 (1957) by Dick - boeing377@aol.com (email); and Flight From Ashiya (1964) by Fred Olsen (email).

A Dangerous Profession (1949 with George Raft), at one point his honey calls "Nick", and on the desk (in the shot) is an S-38. W0EAJ & K9STH

Airplane! (1980) Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges. Spoof of air disaster films with a string of sight gags, most of which work ... lots of fun. In the control center of the airport are several radios: two RME 4350(A) receivers, stacked; two Collins radios: apparently a 32V-(*) and a 75A-2/-3 or -4, stacked; some other electronic equipment, unidentified.

Amelia (2009) Anjelina Jolie, Richard Gere. Biographical account of Amelia Earhart's life as aviatrix building to the final fatal leg of her round-the-world flight. The Navy radio room includes shots with a variety of period gear, including what was probably an RBB or RBC receiver.

Armored Car Robbery (1950) Charles McGraw, William Talman. McGraw is cop after the elusive Talman who pulled off the title job. A Hallicrafters SX-42 and R-42 speaker are visible in the squad room in a couple of scenes.

Battle of Britain (Br-1969) Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Lawrence Olivier. Epic story of the battle with some nice aerial photography, romance, etc. From: Andre Guibert (e-mail): "Bonsoir Everybody, A daughter (of mine) gave me a DVD with above title. One of the first scenes showing the squadron in a French air field has a WS19 Mk? in the lower right, viewed from the back. The variometer tells all. You have to be quick to see it. Andre."

Battle of the Bulge (1965) there are several scenes inside the tank commanders van of what I think is a SX-28. This movie stars Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Dana Andrews, Robert Ryan, Charles Bronson, James McArthur, Ty Hardon and many more. Jack Schrader w1jhs (email)

Beautiful Mind, a (2001) Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connely. Crowe plays Nobel laureate John Nash who suffered from schizophrenic delusions that he was engaged in codebrea- king for the government. In one scene in a shed I could identify a BC-221 type frequency meter and either a National NC-173 or NC-183 as well as an early Tektronix oscilloscope.

Bombers B-52 (1957) Dick - boeing377@aol.com (email) noticed a URC-4 transceiver ...

Border Incident (1949) Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Howard Da Silva. Mexican and American agents break up a gang smuggling braceros into the US. At one point the smugglers use BC-611s to coordinate actions; the Immigration Service radio station has an impressive array of equipment, including what appear to be National receivers with PW dials [review that scene].

Bridges at Toko-Ri, the (1954) William Holden, Grace Kelly, Mickey Rooney. Holden is a pilot, during attack on well-defended title bridges, his plane is damaged and, forced down, he is killed before helicpter pilot Rooney can rescue him. Jay Coward (email) noticed a URC-4 transceiver ...

Bullet for Joey, a (1955) Edward G. Robinson, George Raft. Robinson is the Montreal police inspector after Raft's Joey of the title who is involved in kidnapping a scientist for the usual suspects. Police HQ has a Hallicrafters SX-43, seen end on in one shot.

Cat-Women of the Moon is a 1953 Science fiction 3-D film directed by Arthur Hilton. It stars Sonny Tufts, Victor Jory and Marie Windsor. The musical score was composed by Elmer Bernstein. This is one of several low budget films from the 1950s-1960s that share the same premise of a typically all-male expedition to a remote and isolated location where the males discover a race of women without men.

Clear and Present Danger (1994) Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones. Ford is Jack Ryan again. The special ops troops in Columbia communicate with base via satellite using a PRC-77 (or PRC-25); base employs a larger rig in a transit case (no clear view); the troops also carry what look a lot like PRC-127 handie-talkies.

Crime Wave (1954) Sterling Hayden, Gene Nelson, Phyllis Kirk. An ex-con who has gone straight is forced to aid former prison mates planning a bank job; Hayden is the tough cop convinced of his guilt. There is a Hallicrafters S-38 receiver in the gang's dingy hideout used to listen to police calls.

Dangerously They Live (1941 ,John Garfield) SX-11 in mahogany case. Nick

Day the Earth Caught Fire, the (Br. 1961) Edward Judd, Janet Munro. London is caught in a heat wave and the Daily Express is on the story. Late in the film, the staff in the newsroom gather around a Wireless Set No. 19 to listen to a speech by the Prime Minister.

Destination Tokyo (1943) Cary Grant, Dane Clark, John Garfield, Alan Hale. Grant is captain of a submarine on a mission to Tokyo Bay to prepare the way for Doolittle's B-25s. The shore party operates a BC-191 to contact the task force at sea.

Dirty Dozen, the (1967) Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, many others. No need to recap the story of this film. During the exercise there is a shot of Col. Breed's HQ showing a recognizable portion of the panel of a BC-312 receiver.

Eagle Has Landed, the (1976) Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall. Caine plays Col. Kurt Steiner, a German paratroop commander, who takes his men to England to kidnap Churchill. In a scene where American rangers attack the Germans they communicate by voice using the Wireless Set No. 19 mounted in their jeeps.

Escape From New York (1981) Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Isaac Hayes. New York City has become the nation's high-security prison and the President has crashed in the city and is being held by convicts. Kurt Russell plays nake Pliskin, a skuzzy veteran Special Ops character sent in to rescue him. In one brief scene Van Cleef employs a PRC-6 to contact Pliskin/someone.

Fat Man and Little Boy (1989) Paul Newman, Bonnie Bedelia. Newman plays General Leslie Groves, who in partnership with Robert Oppenheimer led the remarkable group of men who developed the atomic bomb at Los Alamos during WW II. In one scene in a lab, along with the usual assortment of metered panels and other gear, there was a BC-603 receiver which did not appear to serve any readily discernable purpose.

Flight From Ashiya (1964) Fred Olsen (email) noticed a URC-4 transceiver ...

He Walked by Night (1948) Richard Basehart (Roy Martin). Martin is a veteran of the Signal Corps and an electronics whiz; he is also a criminal and cop killer. He has three radios, all Hallicrafters postwar models: an S-38 in the bathroom, where he shaves, listening to police calls; an S-40 in the living room; and an SX-43 in the living room; neither of the latter two were operating at any time during the film. The cabinet of an instrument described as a video projector bore a striking resemblance to a BC-610 (HT-4) transmitter.

His Kind of Woman (1950) Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell. There are several scenes in which a Wireless Set No. 19 is used to communicate by telephony (1) between Italy and the U.S. [unbelievable], and (2) between a ship in harbor and a hotel room [believable]. Details to follow ...

Honeymoon Machine, the (1961) Steve McQueen, Paula Prentiss. Two sailors set out to beat the casino in Venice. Sailors use PRC-6 walkie-talkies to communicate.

House on 92nd Street, the (1945) William Eythe, Lloyd Nolan, Signe Hasso. Eythe is German-American who poses as German spy, but is working for us; radios are numerous, incl. BC-222 at FBI HQ; Elsa has an S-27 in the back room, and a Hammarlund (?) receiver in the office; Eythe's station has various equipment, incl. BC-610, BC-939, National NC-2-40C or D; and the FBI station has similar variety, incl. a Hammarlund Super-Pro. Verify ...

Ice Station Zebra (1968) Tom Bryan (email) noticed a URC-4 transceiver ...

Island in the Sky (1953) John Wayne, Lloyd Nolan. Cliched story of a DC-3 that goes down in the wilds of Canada. The DC-3 is equipped with a BC-348, BC-375 and BC-306 and what appears to be a GP-7 tuning unit (or ADF control); they crank a Gibson Girl for all they're worth too. There is an S-40 model receiver at the Presque Isle station.

Kelly's Heroes (1970) Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland. Learning that the Germans have a stash of gold bullion behind their lines, a group of GIs set out to steal it. There's a lot of radio communication between them, with BC-611s talking to BC-1000s, and what appears to be the back side of a BC-654 (prop); early in the film there is what appears to be a BC-1306 mounted in a jeep.

Key Largo (1948) Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson. WW II vet Bogie stops at hotel on Key Largo; action follows. In the final sequence on the boat, there is an HT-11 Marine Radiotelephone by Hallicrafters. Dennis D. W7QHO (email)

List of Adrian Messenger, the (1963) George C. Scott, Marcel Dalio, Kirk Douglas, Dana Wynter. Great mystery story with George C. Scott tracking down a murderer who seeks an inheritance. In a meeting with a high government official (Herbert Marshall) there is a Hallicrafters S-38 on a table, (possibly A or B model).

Lonely Are the Brave (1962) Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Walter Matthau. Douglas plays freedom-loving cowboy who escapes from jail and makes for the Mexican border pursued by sheriff Matthau. Comm center in latter's office includes two Hallicrafters receivers (SX-42?) and a couple of BC-375 tuning units stacked on the desk.

Manchurian Candidate, the (1962) Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Harvey. At the political convention, the final setting for the film's action, the Army security personnel are carrying BC-611 walkie-talkies. Strangest of all is the presence of a BC-375 transmitter in the lighting room which serves as the assassin's perch above the floor of the convention. It appears in several shots as Harvey loads his weapon.

Man in the Shadow (1957), Orson Welles plays a rich "heavy" who has a Hallicrafters SX-42 in his ranch office. Ed Watts, KI6DCB (email)

Memphis Belle (Br. 1990) "Yeah, and my favorite, tuning the BC-306 to try to bring back the fading AFRS station in Memphis Belle." Robert & Susan Downs (email). "... Or that there was no antenna wire hooked to the BC-442 in "Memphis Belle," ... And, Axis Sally was tuned in with the BC-375's low freq antenna loader." Brian wj0p (email)

No Time for Sergeants (1958) "... Did anyone notice the SX-43 and R-44 speaker in "No Time for Sergeants?" They actually used it as a prop to listen to band music. Boy, I wish these old boatanchors would warm up as fast in the shack as they did on celluloid!" John, W4AWM (email).

Objective, Burma! (1945) Errol Flynn, William Prince. Flynn leads team of paratroops in Burma to destroy a Japanese radar. At the briefing they are told they will be issued SCR-536 radios; these are used to communicate between the two groups on the ground and with the aircraft making supply drops to them. In one brief scene there is a shot of two radios at a command post, one a BC-654, the other unidentified.

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) Robert Ryan, Harry Belafonte, Ed Begley. Begley sets up a bank robbery in upstate New York with Ryan and Belafonte that goes terribly wrong. Begley's apartment has a Hallicrafters S-40 family receiver on a side table, probably an S-40B or possibly an S-77.

Oklahoma Annie (1952) communication in sherriffs office used S-40 as a transmitter. Judy Canova stars with John Russell and Denver Pyle. Kim (email)

One That Got Away, the (Br. 1958) Hardy Kruger, Colin Gordon. Kruger plays Luftwaffe pilot von Werra who was captured when his plane went down over England in 1940, and who eventually made his escape and returned to Germany via Canada and the U.S. In one scene during a manhunt in England a soldier is seen wearing a Wireless Set No. 18 (backpack).

Operation Petticoat (1959) Cary Grant, Tony Curtis. Cary Grant commands a pink submarine with a load of women aboard - need I say more? The repair shop early in the film has a Hallicrafters SX-43 receiver and what appears to be an HT-17 on a shelf in the background; ... and there is more....

Pat and Mike (1952) Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy. Hepburn plays a great woman athlete, Tracy her trainer/promoter, eventually they fall in love, you get the idea. In two brief shots a sports reporter in seen on the golf course talking on a BC-611.

Perfect World, a (1993) Kevin Kostner, Clint Eastwood. An escaped convict (Kostner) develops a relationship with his child hostage while being pusued by a Texas Ranger (Eastwood). The trailer used by the Rangers has a communications console with two Hallicrafters SR-540 transceivers, designated by Chuck Dachis as "the Eastwood" in his Radios by Hallicrafters, p. 96.

Plenty (1985) Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, Charles Dance. Streep plays OSS agent in France in WWII, Neill 'chutes in and spends a night with her. Next morning he takes out a Type B Mark II suitcase radio and sends a message. Less than a minute.

Raw Deal (1948) Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Raymond Burr. O'Keefe is in prison for a crime he didn't do, the fall guy for Burr's sadistic heavy. He breaks out and the police set up the usual roadblocks. There is a Hallicrafters SX-42 at police HQ.

Robot Monster (1953) Sci-fi featuring a spaceman that looks like a gorilla with a diving helmet on. His equipment looks like an upside down Hallicrafter's S-53 and a 1923 RCA IP-501-A Receiver/Amplifier. Dave N7RK (email)

Rocketship X-M (1950) "How about the stack of BC-375 tuning units for space transmitter in Rocket Ship XM." Bob Wilder (email).

Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (1954). In the episode called Crash of the Moons one can see an S-53 (can't tell if it's an A) performing admirably as a transceiver. Actually, the S-53 performed better than the actors. Ken Kaplan KB7RGG (email).

Sabrina (1954) Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden. There is an SX-42 in a built in console in the character Linus Larrabee's office. (Larabee played by Bogart). Dennis D. W7QHO (email)

Sahara (1943) Humphrey Bogart, Dan Duryea. The saga of an American tank in the African desert. The radio in the tank, a sorry contrivance, bears a slight (i.e., minimal) resemblance to the BC-603.

Sea Wolves, the (1980 Br/US) Gregory Peck, David Niven. Peck leads a group of middle-aged gentlemen on a raid to destroy a nazi radio station aboard a vessel anchored in Goa harbor during WW II. The german radio room appears to sport an LM and a BC-221.

Shack Out on 101 (1955) Keenan Wynn, Terry Moore, Lee Marvin. Traitorous activities at a diner on the California coast. Two undercover FBI agents use BC-611s to communicate with each other.

Side Street (1950) Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, Paul Kelly. Granger, working part-time as a mail carrier steals $30,000, then tries to return the money, even as the thieves-killers come after him in their own way; Paul Kelly is the good cop, a captain of detectives. There's a Hallicrafters S-38 receiver in Kelly's office, and an SX-42 w/speaker in another office of the precinct; they appear to be nothing but props.

Some Like It Hot (1959) Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe. Two musicians witness the St. Valentine's Day massacre and take off for Florida, in drag, with an all girls band. There is a shot of what may be a Hallicrafters SX-24 or SX-25 in the lounge during a lengthy scene on board a yacht.

The Andy Griffith Show, season 6, episode 182-23 (2/21/66), titled “The Gypsies.” Goober comes in to the jail holding what appears to be a SX-108 receiver. Dusty Kramer – KF2CF (email)

The Flying Tigers (1942). Scene where John Wayne and other American Volunteer Group (AVG) officers are listening to President Roosevelt asking Congress for a declaration of war against Japan. I cannot identify the receiver in the background, but on the top of it is a Hallicrafters speaker with the bold letter “h” clearly observable across the front. Dusty Kramer – KF2CF (email)

THEY RAID BY NIGHT (1942) Starring Lyle Talbot. British officers listening to a German broadcast on an S-29. Several good shots of this receiver in the first part of the picture. Currently available on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkscACMPVY4&feature=youtu.be John, W4AWM (HallicraftersRadios@yahoogroups.com)

Them! (1954) James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, James Arness. Giant mutant ants, born of atomic testing in the desert, threaten humanity. Police HQ has an SX-43 with speaker; the military comm center has a piece of electronic equipment acting as a radio receiver; in the final scenes in the LA river the Army radio operator is using some sort of equipment, identity unknown.

Thing, the (from another world) (1951) Kenneth Tobey, James Arness. Tobey is Air Force captain on assignment at the North Pole where a mysterious object has landed; Arness plays the title monster - a vegetable with a brain. The radio room there includes an SX-43 and what may be a panadapter next to it.

Thin Red Line, the (1998) Nick Nolte, John Cusack, many familiar faces. Purports to be an account of the fighting for Guadalcanal. Communication between the troops on the line and the blustery colonel played by Nolte are by "sound-powered," while the troops use a BC-611 to call in artillery fire; a BC-654 poses on a table in a hut just as a prop.

Tigerland (2000) Colin Farrell. Infantry training for Vietnam concludes in the eponymous area. During one training exercise the DI demonstrates how use a TA-312 telephone to torture a captured enemy soldier; also on the table is a PRC-25 or PRC-77 radio set.

Touch of Evil (1958) Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh. Heston is (honest) Mexican cop married to Leigh, Welles is corrupt American cop. Radio is a Hallicrafters SX-43 in the office of a motel.

Wackiest Ship in the Army, the (1960) Jack Lemmon, Ricky Nelson, Chips Rafferty. I caught just one short sequence, as the title ship approaches an island base; there the radio room is equipped with an RBB or RBC and RBM or RBS with another unidentified object atop the latter.

White Heat (1949) James Cagney (Cody Jarrett), Edmund O'Brien (agent Fallon). Cody Jarrett (Cagney) is a pathological criminal; Fallon - the federal agent who goes undercover to get him. This is the film with the great mess hall scene where Cagney goes berserk when told his mother is dead. There is a Hallicrafters SX-43 [and R-42 speaker] at Treasury Dept. HQ. The feds use BC-611 walkie-talkies in the final scene where Jarrett winds up "top of the world."

World is Not Enough, the (1999) Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau. 007 up to his usual tricks. A monitoring station in Turkey sports a couple of Racal RA-17 or RA-117 receivers combined plus HP 608/TS-510/U signal generators for show.

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Radios by Type and Film Title

Military radios: 1923 RCA IP-501-A Receiver/Amplifier Robot Monster (1953)

BC-191/BC-375 Transmitter Destination Tokyo (1943) The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

BC-221 (type) Frequency Meter A Beautiful Mind (2001)

BC-312/-342 Radio Receiver The Dirty Dozen (1967)

BC-610 (HT-4) Transmitter He Walked by Night (1948) [possible]

BC-611 Walkie-Talkie Border Incident (1949), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Objective, Burma! (1945), Pat and Mike (1962), Shack Out on 101 (1955), Thin Red Line, the (1998), White Heat (1949)

BC-654 Receiver-Transceiver Objective, Burma! (1945), Thin Red Line, the (1998)

AN/PRC-6 Transceiver Escape From New York (1981), The Honeymoon Machine (1961)

AN/PRC-25 or AN/PRC-77 Transceiver Tigerland (2000)

RBB/RBC Radio Receiver Amelia (2009), The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960)

RBM/RBS Radio Receiver The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960)

Type B Mark II Plenty (1985)

Wireless Set No. 18 The One That Got Away (Br. 1958)

Wireless Set No. 19 Battle of Britain (1969), The Day the Earth Caught Fire (Br. 1961), The Eagle Has Landed (1976), His Kind of Woman (1950) Note: The Wireless Set 19 was seen in the following by Chris Bisaillon: Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), Help! (1965), Map of the Human Heart (1992), A Bridge Too Far (1977), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Sea of Sand / Desert Patrol (US) (1958), Dieppe (TVM 1993)

Commercial radios:

Collins 32V-(*) Airplane!

Collins 75A-(*) Airplane! (1980)

Hallicrafters HT-17 Operation Petticoat (1959)
Hallicraters S-29 They Raid By Night (1942)
Hallicrafters S-38 Crime Wave (1954) He Walked by Night (1948) The List of Adrian Messenger (1963) Side Street (1950)
Hallicrafters S-40 He Walked by Night (1948) Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) [?or S-77?] Oklahoma Annie (1952)
Hallicrafters SR-540 A Perfect World (1993)
Hallicrafters SX-42 Armored Car Robbery (1950) Raw Deal (1948) Side Street (1950) Cat-Women of the Moon (1953)
Hallicrafters SX-43 Bullet for Joey, a (1955) He Walked by Night (1948) Operation Petticoat (1959) Them! (1954) The Thing (1951) Touch of Evil (1958) White Heat (1949)
Hallicrafters S-53 Robot Monster (1953) Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (1954)


Hewlett-Packard HP 608 The World is Not Enough (1999)


National NC-173 or -183 A Beautiful Mind (2001)


Racal RA-17 or RA-117 The World is Not Enough (1999)


RME 4350(A) Airplane! (1980)


Some Like It Hot. 1959 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.

Hallicrafters S20-R circa 1939


Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.

Release Date: 1949 Black and White Sound:Monaural Production Dates: late Feb--late Apr 1949; mid-May 1949 Premiere Info: New York opening: 24 Aug 1949; Los Angeles opening: 28 Sep 1949



Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.


Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.


Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.


Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.


Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.


Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.


Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.


Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.


Sword in the Desert 1949 contributed by Max De Henseler HB9RS Click here to enlarge image.


Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) contributed by Jim W5JT


Robot Monster 1953 contributed by Dave N7RK Click here to enlarge image.


Robot Monster 1953 contributed by Dave N7RK Click here to enlarge image.


Robot Monster 1953 contributed by Dave N7RK Click here to enlarge image.


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