Radio Days (1987)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  30 January 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 22,832 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 »

Parents Guide:



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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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of five cinema movie collaborations of Woody Allen and actress Dianne Wiest. In two of them, Wiest won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. Wiest also appeared in Allen's other 1987 movie September (1987). See more »


In the closing sequence, when Julie Kavner (Mother) says "I'm worried about the future," she spills champagne on the baby she is holding. She looks down briefly, but the camera ignores it and pans over. 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 »


References Down Argentine Way (1940) See more »


Schloff mein Kind
Performed by Emil Decameron as background when Sally first gets on radio
Courtesy of Vanguard Recording Society, Inc.
See more »

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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.

29 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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