Radio Days (1987)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  30 January 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 22,836 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 60 critic

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


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 <>

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PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

30 January 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Días de radio  »

Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)


$14,792,779 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


William H. Macy appears not only as a radio voice, but also as one of the radio actors at the Pearl Harbor announcement. In Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), Macy played a radar technician who monitored the attack on Pearl Harbor. See more »


The burglars turn on a radio and instantly hear sound, when the vacuum tubes should have taken longer to warm up. See more »


Rabbi Baumel: Radio... It's all right once in a while. Otherwise it tends to induce bad values, false dreams, lazy habits. Listening to these stories of foolishness and violence... this is no way for a boy to grow up.
Joe: You speak the truth, my faithful Indian companion.
Rabbi Baumel: To a rabbi you say "my faithful Indian companion"?
[hits him in a head]
See more »


Referenced in Roseanne: Radio Days (1988) See more »


Let's All Sing Like the Birdies Sing
Music by Tolchard Evans
Lyrics by Stanley Damerell (as Stanley J. Damerell) and Robert Hargreaves
Sung by Danielle Ferland (uncredited) in a radio commercial
See more »

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece. Amazing.
16 June 2003 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Radio Days has got to be one of my absolute favorite films of all time. To me, it's a film that balances story, characters and atmosphere better than just about any other. It's truly a great work of art, and a very, very underrated one. The best thing about it is how Allen's love for his subject, the romantic nostalgia he feels, translates so eloquently to the screen. You've also got to hand it to the cast. Diane Weist, Julie Kavner, Mia Farrow, Josh Mostel, a briefly-glimpsed Jeff Daniels, and a young Seth Green all give great performances that are right out of the period, yet instantly recognizable. Allen had Santo Loquasto, his art director, do a bang-up job on creating the world of early-1940s Rockaway, New York, and Jeffrey Kurland's costumes help immensely. Particularly note-worthy is Carlo Di Palma's stunning cinematography. The colours, the smoky nightclubs and soundstages, the dimly-lit nighteries and the dazzling rooftop set come to life like few sets do in films. And then there's the music. That dazzling array of classic music, from one of the best periods for it in American history. Allen's decision to use only music from that time might sound cliche, but he's definatly justified here. And there's always the Radio Show Themes piece by Dick Hyman (I'm always by that name) that accompanies many of the scenes. That piece of music alone is worth seeing the film. As you can probably tell, I love this film simply for the fact that it's such a charming, enchanting, beautiful film. It's one I'd show my children, even the nude dancing scene, had I any children to show it to. Woody Allen's turn in the films he's made lately (as of 2003) are, to me, pretty depressing and perverse, with none of the charm, life and humor that works like Radio Days symbolize, Sweet and Lowdown notwithstanding. Hopefully, more films like this gem are on the horizon.

51 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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