7.6/10
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99 user 66 critic

Radio Days (1987)

PG | | Comedy | 30 January 1987 (USA)
A nostalgic look at radio's golden age focusing on one ordinary family and the various performers in the medium.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Burglar
...
Burglar
...
'Guess That Tune' Host
Martin Rosenblatt ...
Mr. Needleman
Helen Miller ...
Mrs. Needleman
Danielle Ferland ...
Child Star
...
Tess, the mother
Julie Kurnitz ...
Irene
David Warrilow ...
Roger
...
Masked Avenger
Mick Murray ...
Avenger Crook (as Michael Murray)
William Flanagan ...
Avenger Announcer
...
Joe
...
Martin, the father
...
Abe
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Storyline

Woody Allen's sentimental reminiscence about the golden age of radio. A series of vignettes involving radio personalities is intertwined with the life of a working class family in Rockaway Beach, NY circa 1942. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

30 January 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Días de radio  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$14,792,779 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Joe played by Seth Green represents the alter-ego persona of Woody Allen. Allen also narrates the film in the first person reflecting his life experiences with radio. The movie is considered an Allen auto-biographical picture. See more »

Goofs

The song sung by Frank Sinatra on screen in the scene at Radio City Music Hall, "If You Are But a Dream," [written by Moe Jaffe (my father), Nat Bonx, and Jack Fulton], was published in 1942, after the supposed date of the event portrayed. Additionally, the particular recording used in the film dates from 1944. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [First Lines] Once upon a time, many years ago, two burglars broke into our neighbors house in Rockaway. Mr. and Mrs. Needleman had gone to a movie and the following events occurred.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Chinatown, My Chinatown
(1906)
Music by Jean Schwartz
Lyrics by William Jerome
Played at the Guess That Tune broadcast
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Everybody's Family
11 August 2006 | by (Bellingham, WA) – See all my reviews

This is a wonderful wonderful movie that exemplifies the phrase, "misty watercolored memories." It is a joy to watch and listen to. The era before and during WWII, however, was anything but wonderful. Radio Days presents a time when America was dealing with the Great Depression and its after effects and the horrible event that was World War II. Since the man narrating the memories was only a boy then, it is altogether fitting and proper that he see things as a child; for as he states in one scene, "our conversation turned from Nazis to more important things,like girls." No movies, except this one, that I recall, are able to deal with this critical age in American history without conveying the tragic time that it was.

I would like to think this family was really Woody Allen's, but it is probably a work of fiction, like his other pieces. But how tremendous that he can create (or remember) these people. As I watched it, one thought that kept recurring was that these were not "beautiful" manufactured people like we see in the media today; they had big hips and were fat and poor and... and none of that mattered. They were real. They were believable. You can't watch this movie without wondering what happened to them, did Aunt Bee find a husband? You cared about this family and personally, I wished they were mine.

The vignettes were sad and sweet. My favorite was poor departed Kirby Kyle; at least he had heart! And Leonard; and "donations for the promotion of a state in Palestine." So many memories that make us a part of a family most people never had. The viewer belongs to this warm and loving group.

Something has been lost with the concept of "nuclear family," with the lonely big houses and empty hours and unshared hopes and sorrows. Radio Days reminds us that having someone to experience life with is a treasure and a blessing, despite whacks on the head, martians, and fish, "That man always brings home fish!"

And oh, the music!

This is Woody Allen's masterpiece.


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