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Radio Days (1987) Poster

(1987)

Trivia

The story of Kirby Kyle, the ill fated baseball player, is a parody of former Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton, whose promising career was derailed after he lost part of his leg due to a hunting accident. Stratton attempted a comeback, and then retired. His life was made into a movie: The Stratton Story (1949).
Jump to: Cameo (7) | Spoilers (1)
This is the only Woody Allen film in which both of his frequent collaborators and longtime companions Mia Farrow and Diane Keaton appear.
The scene where Joe sees a German U Boat at the beach has some basis in fact. Some U Boats were sent to America on secret missions, and had to enter New York harbor by entering through the Rockaway inlets to get into Lower New York bay.
Quite a number of the life story anecdotes heard in the movie were derived directly from Woody Allen's own childhood.
When the Uncle goes next door to confront the communists, the man screaming about the plight of the "worker" is Larry David, who can be seen in a long shot.
Of the music in this film, Woody Allen has said in an interview with Stig Björkman: "It originated from an idea that I wanted to pick out a group of songs that were meaningful to me, and each one of those songs suggested a memory. Then this idea started to evolve: how important radio was to me when I was growing up, and how important and glamorous it seemed to everyone".
Diane Keaton's smallest ever role in a Woody Allen film.
Sally White's becoming a celebrity gossip reporter after her radio career fizzles out is based on real-life actress-turned-gossip Hedda Hopper.
The entire lead cast of Woody Allen's earlier film The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), namely Jeff Daniels, Mia Farrow and Danny Aiello, appear in this film.
For Diane Keaton's song cameo, Woody Allen made sure her song was a potent tune since Keaton was only going to be in the one small sequence. Allen chose Cole Porter's standard "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" for Keaton.
The amusement park young Joe walks by in the film is old Rockaway Playland located in Rockaway Beach, New York. The park was in its last year of operation when the film was being made in 1987 and was subsequently closed and demolished. After remaining an empty lot for many years the property, in the late nineties, had been developed with houses built on it. Ironically the Beach 98th train station on the IND A train still holds the name PLAYLAND in its station name.
The picture is a rare instance where Woody Allen is the narrator of a film in which Allen himself does not appear.
The film was ranked at the No. #304 spot on Empire's "500 Greatest Films Ever Made" poll conducted in November 2008.
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Woody Allen regular Tony Roberts would not appear in another Allen film after this movie for another fourteen years until Allen's 2001 made-for-TV short film Sounds from a Town I Love (2001).
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The film was selected to screen out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987.
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The filming location of Joe's (Narrated by Woody Allen) childhood home in Rockaway was 180 Beach 115th St.
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A scene featuring Chris Elliott was cut from the film; in 2011 he recalled: "I'd had a beard at the time, and I think they didn't think my mustache looked the proper period. So they had me shave my beard to a mustache. And, boy, did I look odd."
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This was the last time that Woody Allen would narrate a film without appearing on screen until Café Society (2016) 29 years later.
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One of the film's sequences was inspired by Orson Welles' classic 1938 "War of the Worlds" broadcast on CBS Radio.
The picture is a nostalgic tribute to the "Golden Age of Radio". According to Wikipedia, this era, also known as "Old-Time Radio", "refers to a period of radio programming in the United States lasting from the proliferation of radio broadcasting in the early 1920s until television's replacement of radio as the primary home entertainment medium in the 1950s. During this period, when radio was dominant and filled with a variety of formats and genres, people regularly tuned in to their favorite radio programs".
This is one of five collaborations between actor Wallace Shawn and actor-writer-director Woody Allen. The others are Manhattan (1979), Shadows and Fog (1991), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) and Melinda and Melinda (2004).
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The film takes place from 1938 to January 1, 1944.
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William H. Macy appears not only as a radio voice, but also as one of the radio actors at the Pearl Harbor announcement.
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Around the time the movie was made and released, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were in a personal relationship, which had started around 1980.
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Names of some of the radio shows were "Guess That Tune"; "The Whizz Kids"; "The Masked Avenger"; "Breakfast With Irene and Roger"; "The Court of Human Emotions"; and "Sally White and Her Great White Way".
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Woody Allen once said of this film in an interview with Stig Björkman: I think of Radio Days (1987) basically as a cartoon. If you look at my mother, my Uncle Abe, my schoolteacher, my grandparents, they were supposed to be cartoon exaggerations of what my real-life people were like".
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Woody Allen was uncredited for his voice work as the film's narrator.
According to the film's closing credits, actresses Mia Farrow and Diane Keaton shared the same vocal coach, Janet Frank, and billed as the vocal coach for Ms. Farrow & Ms. Keaton.
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The movie features forty-three songs excerpted for the film's soundtrack.
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Jeff Daniels' Biff Baxter character has the same "Baxter" last name as the character of Tom Baxter whom Daniels played in Woody Allen's earlier film The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985).
In the 1940s, the term "Radio Days" was often used to describe that type of employment for those in the entertainment field.
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The picture fared better at the British Academy Awards in comparison to the American Oscars where it garnered seven BAFTA nominations compared to just the two stateside where there it won neither. At the BAFTAs, it was nominated for Best Film, Sound, Editing, Original Screenplay, and Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest) and won two, for Best Costume Design and Production Design.
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The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Woody Allen, Dianne Wiest, Diane Keaton, Mercedes Ruehl; and three Oscar nominees: William H. Macy, Danny Aiello, Todd Field
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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).
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The sixth of thirteen cinema movie collaborations of actress Mia Farrow and actor-writer-director Woody Allen.
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The sixteenth feature film directed by Woody Allen.
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This was the first of two films directed by Woody Allen to be released in 1987. The second was September (1987).
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The film was nominated for two Academy Awards in 1988, for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Writing - Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, the latter for Woody Allen, but the picture failed to win an Oscar in either category, losing to The Last Emperor (1987) and John Patrick Shanley for Moonstruck (1987) respectively.
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This was Diane Keaton's only appearance in a Woody Allen film in the 1980s.
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The film's soundtrack featured original songs from the 1930s and 1940s.
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As told by the narrator, the character of each member of the movie's family has their characterization reflected and revealed by their favorite radio program depicted in the movie.
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One of eight cinema movie collaborations of Woody Allen and actress Diane Keaton, Allen co-starring in six of them and directing seven of them.
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The movie features a large number of guest star cameo appearances.
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Film debut of Rebecca Schaeffer.
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William H. Macy appeared in the picture but without any lines of dialogue.
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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.
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Richard Portnow also appeared in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), which also deals about the influence of radio on people.
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Cameo 

Larry David: As a Communist Neighbor.
Diane Keaton: As a New Year's Singer.
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Jeff Daniels: As Biff Baxter.
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William H. Macy: As a Radio Actor.
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Tony Roberts: As the 'Silver Dollar' Emcee.
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Tito Puente: As a Latin Bandleader.
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Kenneth Welsh: As a Radio Voice.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The story of Polly Phelps, the little girl who has fallen down a well, was based on a real-life event. In April, 1949, three-year-old Kathy Fiscus fell down a well shaft in San Marino, California. Attempts to rescue her were covered live on radio and television, and the event became a media circus. A team of workers dug down 100 feet, and reached Kathy, but discovered she had died soon after the fall, due to a lack of oxygen. As with Polly Phelps' death in the movie, the somber announcement of Kathy's death was made live on the radio.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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