IMDb > Talk Radio (1988)
Talk Radio
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Talk Radio (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Talk Radio -- Oliver Stone brings the world of shock radio to life in this suspense thriller about a talk-show host who begins a darkly comic bout of compulsive risk-taking with his unstable audience.


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7.3/10   9,683 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
View company contact information for Talk Radio on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 January 1989 (USA) See more »
Words can kill... See more »
A rude, contemptuous talk show host becomes overwhelmed by the hatred that surrounds his program just before it goes national. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
3 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Talked to Death See more (75 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Eric Bogosian ... Barry

Ellen Greene ... Ellen

Leslie Hope ... Laura

John C. McGinley ... Stu

Alec Baldwin ... Dan

John Pankow ... Dietz

Michael Wincott ... Kent / Michael / Joe
Linda Atkinson ... Sheila Fleming

Robert Trebor ... Jeffrey Fisher / Francine

Zach Grenier ... Sid Greenberg
Tony Frank ... Dino
Harlan Jordan ... Coach Armstrong
Bill Johnson ... Fan #1
Kevin Howard ... Fan #2

Anna Levine ... Woman at Basketball Game / Denise
Bruno Rubeo ... Tony
Pirie MacDonald ... Judge Willard

Allan Corduner ... Vince / Morris
Mimi Cochran ... Girl #1
Rockets Redglare ... Killer / Redneck Caller
Angus G. Wynne III ... Engineer
Chip Moody ... Announcer
David Poynter ... Engineer
Peter Zapp ... Josh / Vincent (voice)

Carl Kissin ... Glen (voice)

Park Overall ... Debbie / Agnes / Theresa (voice)
Michele Mariana ... Rhonda / Elderly Woman / Julia (voice)

Earl Hindman ... Chet / Black John / Jerry (voice)
John Seitz ... Bob (voice)
Kyle McClaran ... Arnold (voice)
Dee Pyland ... Nancy (voice)
Daniel Escobar ... Frank (voice)
William De Acutis ... John the Rapist / Ralph (voice) (as Bill DeAcutis)
Frederica Meister ... Sexy Woman (voice)
Luis Barajas ... Fred (voice)
Vernie Bailey ... Jackie (voice)

Martin Rayner ... Arnold (voice)
Alan Clark ... Larry (voice)
Moby ... Station Announcer / Newscaster (voice)
John B. Wells ... V.O. (voice)
Leigh French ... Newscaster (voice)
Walter Lynn ... Newscaster (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Theresa Bell ... Lucy (uncredited)

Wayne Shannon ... Photographer - Basketball Game (uncredited)

Directed by
Oliver Stone 
Writing credits
Stephen Singular (book "Talked To Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg")

Eric Bogosian (play creator) &
Tad Savinar (play creator)

Eric Bogosian (play)

Eric Bogosian (screenplay) &
Oliver Stone (screenplay)

Produced by
A. Kitman Ho .... producer
Edward R. Pressman .... producer
Diane Schneier .... associate producer
Greg Strangis .... executive producer
Sam Strangis .... executive producer
Neal Weisman .... associate producer
Original Music by
Stewart Copeland 
Cinematography by
Robert Richardson (director of photography)
Film Editing by
David Brenner 
Joe Hutshing (co-editor)
Casting by
Risa Bramon Garcia 
Billy Hopkins 
Production Design by
Bruno Rubeo 
Art Direction by
Set Decoration by
Derek R. Hill 
Costume Design by
Ellen Mirojnick 
Makeup Department
Martha Marek Beresford .... hair stylist
Sharon Ilson .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jane Bartelme .... unit manager
Michael Flynn .... executive in charge of production
Clayton Townsend .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Vebe Borge .... second assistant director
Joseph P. Reidy .... first assistant director (as Joseph Reidy)
Art Department
Don 'Tex' Clark .... set dresser (as Don Clark)
Chris Henry .... construction foreman
Mike Parsons .... property master
Barry Phillips .... assistant art director
Craig Pittman .... set dresser
Joe Sharber .... stand-by props
Phil Shirey .... set dresser
J. Grey Smith .... lead man (as Grey Smith)
Floyd Gentry .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Terry Lynn Allen .... dialogue editor (as Terry Allen)
Lorna Anderson .... dialogue editor
Lon Bender .... supervising sound editor (as Lon E. Bender)
Neal Burger .... dialogue editor
Harry Cohen .... digital sound effects designer
Tom Dionne .... sound effects editor
Scott Martin Gershin .... sound designer
Avram D. Gold .... dialogue editor (as Avram Gold)
Lewis Goldstein .... dialogue editor (as Lew Goldstein)
Douglas Greenfield .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Patrick M. Griffith .... post-production sound supervisor
Victor Grodecki .... dialogue editor
Penny Lee Hallin .... assistant dialogue editor
Kevin Hearst .... dialogue editor
Sherry Klein .... sound re-recording mixer
Gerry Lentz .... foley editor
Gerry Lentz .... foley recordist
Kim Maitland .... sound recordist
Tod A. Maitland .... sound mixer
Joseph A. Mayer .... adr supervisor (as Joseph Mayer)
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
T.J. O'Mara .... boom operator
Kelly Oxford .... assistant dialogue editor
Dan M. Rich .... dialogue editor (as Dan Rich)
David M. Roberts .... utility sound (as David Roberts)
Joan Rowe .... foley artist
Ann Scibelli .... sound effects editor
R. Russell Smith .... sound effects editor (as Rusty Smith)
Cathie Speakman .... sound editor
Wylie Stateman .... supervising sound editor
Ken Teaney .... sound re-recording mixer
Stephen Toback .... sound effects editor
Jerry Trent .... foley artist
Jeff Vaughn .... foley editor
Jeff Vaughn .... foley recordist
Jeff Timbs .... daily sound transferer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Dyan Traynor .... effects coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Sharon Alley .... second assistant camera
Jerry G. Callaway .... aerial photographer
Mark Shane Davis .... key grip (as Mark Davis)
Jonathan D. Guerra .... electrician (as Jon Guerra)
Johnny Gutierrez .... rigging electrician
John Johns .... video playback operator
Steve Lang .... grip
Fred L. McLane .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Fred McLane)
Reinhart 'Rayteam' Peschke .... gaffer
Philip C. Pfeiffer .... director of photography: second unit (as Phil Pfeiffer)
Toby Phillips .... Steadicam operator
Bill Pierson .... dolly grip
David Rudd .... first assistant camera
Joyce Rudolph .... still photographer
Frank Scheidbach .... best boy
John Shoemaker .... electrician
John Patrick Smith .... camera trainee (as Patrick Smith)
Peter J. Verrando .... 24 frame video operator (as Pete Verrando)
Sean Cohen .... electrician (uncredited)
Mark A. Hatley .... grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Matthew W. Davis .... casting assistant
Ed Johnston .... casting: Texas
Carl Scaglione .... casting assistant: Texas
Katherine Venti .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Barbara B. Baker .... wardrobe assistant (as Barbara Baker)
Sawnie Baldridge .... costume supervisor (as Sawnie Baldridge Smith)
Stephen M. Chudej .... costumer (as Stephen Chudej)
Mayes C. Rubeo .... assistant to costume designer (as Mayes Castillero de Rubeo)
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... additional negative cutter
Jana Carroll .... apprentice editor
Bob Hagans .... color timer
Michele Perrone .... assistant editor (as Michelle Perrone)
Melody Platt .... apprentice editor
Marcelo Sansevieri .... assistant editor
Pietro Scalia .... assistant editor
Emmy Scharlatt .... assistant editor
Amy Urema .... post-production assistant
Music Department
Budd Carr .... music supervisor
Nicola Freegard .... music coordinator (as Niki Freegard)
Carlton Kaller .... music editor (as Carl Kaller)
Jeff Seitz .... music co-producer
Jeff Seitz .... music engineer
Transportation Department
Alvin Milliken .... driver (as Alvin Milliken Jr.)
Billy Milliken .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Bill Abbott .... key technical advisor
Judith Lee Berg .... consultant
David Bradstreet .... production assistant: Los Angeles
David A. Brink .... production assistant (as David Brink)
Billy Crawford .... film courier
Elon Dershowitz .... assistant: Edward R. Pressman
Cindy Fairfield .... studio manager
Catherine M. Griffin .... production assistant: Los Angeles
Robert Grindrod .... assistant auditor
Sandy Hollis .... craft service
Andrea Jaffe .... publicist
Myra Lebo .... office staff executive assistant: Pressman Films, Los Angeles
Deborah Lupard .... key production assistant
Susan Malerstein .... script supervisor
Lisa Mashburn .... bookkeeper: Los Angeles
Dan Perri .... title designer: main titles
Sandra Maltz Saccio .... production secretary: Pressman films, Los Angeles (as Sandra Maltz)
Elisabeth Seldes .... assistant: Oliver Stone
Christina Stauffer .... production assistant
Barbara-Ann Stein .... auditor
Elizabeth Stone .... spiritual advisor: Naijo No Ko
Leeann Stonebreaker .... production coordinator
Layne Teaff .... production assistant
Art Tizon .... office coordinator: Los Angeles
Peter J. Verrando .... technician: broadcast electronics (as Pete Verrando)
Daniel Wheatcroft .... studio executive
Anath White .... technical advisor
Mike Childress .... stage manager (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
110 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Canada:14A | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:16 | Norway:15 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Sweden:15 | UK:15 (re-rating) (2005) | UK:18 (1989-2005) | USA:R | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

When Barry is bring introduced to the crowd at the SMU basketball game, the Emcee says that "football will be back in the fall". It was during this period that the real SMU football program had received the "death penalty" from the NCAA for recruiting violations, and the program itself had been forced to shut down operations.See more »
Continuity: Early in the film, Barry expresses anger that his producer isn't putting through more interesting callers. He's supposed to be reading examples from the computer screen that displays a list of callers on hold and the subjects they're calling about, but when we see the screen, some of the callers he says he'd like to talk to aren't listed.See more »
Barry:Barry Champlain is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Take Me Home Tonight (2011)See more »
Disco InfernoSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
25 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Talked to Death, 14 June 2005
Author: sol from Brooklyn NY USA

***SPOILERS*** For some strange reason Oliver Stone's "Talk Radio" based on the Stephen Singular book "Talked to Death" and the films star Eric Bogosian's play, about the 1984 murder of Denver talk show host Alan Berg, has never gotten the recognition that it so rightfully deserved. The 1988 movie was prophetic enough to recognize the underground movement that was developing in the farm and hinterland of America. A movement that spawned, some seven years later, the likes of an angry and disgruntled Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh who's hatred for the US governments actions in Wacco Texas lead to his and friend,Terry Nichols, detonation of the US Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 that took the lives of 168 people, the worst act of terrorism on US soil up to that time.

The movie is, as far as I know, the first time that any major branch of the entertainment media mentioned and elaborated on the rural militia novel "The Turner Diaries" by the late William L. Pierce, that has since become a chilling underground classic. "The Turner Diaries" forecast a domestic and utterly disastrous terrorist attack, like the Oklahoma City bombing, on a US Government Federal facility which was the FBI Building in Washington D.C.

Dallas radio station KGAB talk show host Barry Champlain, Eric Bogosian, is the top rated show in the Dallas listening area and is now about to go national. Barry get's his high rating by his razor sharp wit and abusive behavior when he's on the air. Taking on all comers and ducking no issues, no matter how unpopular or taboo they are, has gotten Barry to be the most listened to as well as hated man on radio. Barry being a showman at heart and not thinking that his talk can lead to violence keeps up his abrasiveness to his call-in listeners as his rating go up to the celling. But there are those in the listening audience, mostly ultra right wing types, that don't take too kindly to his in your face attitude. One of them decides to take matters into his on hand at Barry's expense.

Powerhouse performance by Eric Bogosian as the tragic Barry Champlain who crossed the line from entertainment to hard reality in his actions on the radio. Thinking that he's not that important to be sought out and murdered for his on the air opinions which is enemies dislike he found out only too late that there are those out there who are crazy enough to do to him on the outside. Also in the movie "Talk Radio" is a very young Alic Baldwin as Barry's boss Dan who tries to have him soften his tone but in the end goes along with his talk show style since he's killing the competition not realizing that in the end it's him that he'll end up getting killed.

Both Ellen Green and Leslie Hope are the two women in Barry's life his ex-wife Ellen and now lover and talk show producer Laura whom Barry uses to his advantage and almost ends up losing both of them at the same time. The 1988 film "Talk Radio" is so far ahead of it's time that even if you watch it now in 2005 you still think that it's too disturbing to be shown to an over sensitive and delicate American public.

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