Year of Release: 1989
Running Time: 1 hr. 37 min.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Directed By: Jay Levey
Distributed By: Orion Pictures
Box Office Gross: $6,157,157 (105th Highest Grossing Film of 1989)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 57%, Audience 72%
Synopsis: Once upon a time, before there was cable TV – before satellite TV – there was broadcast television. The early stations aired in the very high frequency or “VHF” spectrum. These stations were found on channels 2 through 13 on your television dial. You see kids, back in the day, before remote controls, people had to get up and walk over to their TVs to change the channel. That was why people used to be thinner and in better shape. So what if they died in their fifties of liver cirrhosis?
The VHF stations were usually major network affiliates like NBC, CBS, and ABC. In order to create greater competition, the FCC eventually started to license television stations using the Ultra High Frequency spectrum, or “UHF”. These stations were found on channels 14 through 83. The existing television stations and networks did not like the added competition and even went so far as to pressure television manufacturers to make the UHF dial a free flowing dial, similar to radio dials of the time, so viewers would have to tune-in the UHF station, as compared to the set, clicking dials for the VHF stations. This created a rivalry between the two spectrums, which is the basis for 1989’s UHF.
The movie starts with our hero, George, played by Weird Al Yankovic, daydreaming while working at a fast food place. He manages to get himself and his friend, Bob, fired. George and Bob go back to their shared apartment and learn their neighbor, Kuni, is teaching a bunch of stooopid karate students. The plot thickens when George’s Uncle Harvey wins Channel 62 in a poker game, and George’s aunt convinces Uncle Harvey to let him manage the station. George and his girlfriend, Terri, go to the station. They meet Pamela, the receptionist/wannabe reporter/wannabe nanny, and Philo, the station’s engineer and resident resident…
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