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25 Ratings

Citizen's Band

Handle with Care

Directed by Jonathan Demme
United States, 1977
Comedy, Drama


This movie interlaces the stories of several characters in a small town united by their use of CB (citizen’s band) radio.

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Citizen's Band Directed by Jonathan Demme

Awards & Festivals

National Society of Film Critics Awards

1977 | Winner: Best Supporting Actress

1977 | 2nd place: Best Supporting Actress

This is the film where Demme’s affinity and empathy for quirky characters became more pronounced. Capitalizing on the CB radio fad of the time, Demme creates an endearing comedy about the intersecting lives of small-town misfits — who go by radio handles such as “Chrome Angel” and “Hot Coffee” — that touches on the follies of human communication. Inadvertently, Demme presages by nearly 20 years both the connective potential and drawbacks of the internet age.
April 29, 2017
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The sprawling cast means characterization is necessarily limited, but already Demme’s eye for a skewering detail is in evidence. Anyway, this isn’t really an exercise in character, but a fond, offbeat portrait of a community formed less by geography than shared interest. And it makes for a fascinating exercise now to observe just how much of the trolling, tedium and confrontation that we associate with online life actually existed before the Internet.
April 27, 2017
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A cacophony of scrambled transmissions over the opening credits establishes rural Nebraska in the grip of CB-radio mania, imagery and soundtrack continually and pointedly wavering between static and harmony… A vivacious poem of American restlessness, a sprawl of campers and motels and junkyards lovingly captured by Demme’s freeze-frames and dissolves, a vision of technology made vibrantly human.
July 30, 2012
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