7.6/10
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Radio Days (1987)

PG | | Comedy | 30 January 1987 (USA)
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0:31 | Clip

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A nostalgic look at radio's golden age focusing on one ordinary family and the various performers in the medium.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Starr ... Burglar
Paul Herman ... Burglar
Don Pardo ... 'Guess That Tune' Host
Martin Rosenblatt Martin Rosenblatt ... Mr. Needleman
Helen Miller ... Mrs. Needleman
Danielle Ferland Danielle Ferland ... Child Star
Julie Kavner ... Tess, the mother
Julie Kurnitz Julie Kurnitz ... Irene
David Warrilow David Warrilow ... Roger
Wallace Shawn ... Masked Avenger
Mick Murray Mick Murray ... Avenger Crook (as Michael Murray)
William Flanagan William Flanagan ... Avenger Announcer
Seth Green ... Joe
Michael Tucker ... Martin, the father
Josh Mostel ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Italian

Release Date:

30 January 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Días de radio See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,522,423, 1 February 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$14,792,779
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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". See more »

Goofs

The opening scene in which burglars are interrupted by a phone call from a radio quiz show is based on the radio series "Stop The Band". On the show, as an orchestra played, phone calls were placed at random to anyone in the country. Listeners who answered their phones and named the familiar song being played won a small prize and the chance to identify a more difficult tune for an ever-increasing jackpot. However, the radio show began in 1948, ten years after the events in this film begin. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Ceil adored a very prominent ventriloquist, and this always used to drive Abe crazy:
Abe: He's a ventriloquist on the radio - how do you know he's not moving his lips?
Ceil: Who cares? Leave me alone!
[bursts with laughter]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spin City: Radio Daze (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Remember Pearl Harbor
(1941)
Music by Don Reid and Sammy Kaye
Lyrics by Don Reid
Performed by Sammy Kaye as background after the Pearl Harbor bombing
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wistful, Sweet, and Excellent
12 June 2012 | by drednmSee all my reviews

RADIO DAYS is one of Woody Allen's most underrated comedies, a fond look back to the days of radio and its effects on his family.

Set against long-forgotten radio programs, hit songs, and the coming of World War II, we get two narrative threads. The Rockaway family dealing with everyday issues in a series of vignettes, and the fictional life of Sally White (Mia Farrow) as she rises from cigarette girl to glittering radio star.

The cast is excellent. Farrow has a solid role as the Brooklyn girl with the Judy Holliday voice who battles her way toward upward mobility. Julie Kavner and Michael Tucker are terrific as the parents. Dianne Wiest is sweet as Aunt Bea, always on the lookout for true love. Seth Green plays Woody as a kid. Diane Keaton and Kitty Carlisle show up as singers. Josh Mostel and Renee Lippin are hilarious as the aunt and uncle. Wallace Shawn has a funny bit as the "Masked Avenger." Other notables include Richard Portnow as Si, Kenneth Mars as the rabbi, Larry David as the crazed neighbor, Jeff Daniels and William H. Macy as radio actors, Tony Roberts as the game show host, Danny Aiello as the gangster, and a special kudo for the hilarious Gina DeAngelis as his mother.

Highlights include Bea's date on the night of Orson Welles' famous radio program about a Martian invasion, and the poignant episode about the live radio coverage of a girl who's fallen down a well. The film also takes nostalgic looks at radio serials, quiz programs, and comedy shows.

The film perfectly captures the middle class neighborhood of Allen's youth. The interiors are beautifully done (Santo Loquasto), and very memorable is the awe-inspiring visit to Radio City Music Hall with its dimmed lights, lush carpets, and warm red-and-gold tones.

There is also a parade oh hit songs of the day that include "September Song," "Tico Tico," "Mairzy Doats," "South American Way," "Pistol Packin' Mama," "If I Didn't Care," and so many others.

A final word for the many actors and actresses in small parts who make this movie feel so right. Many have walk-ons or have only a line or two but they add the perfect touch and help recreate Woody Allen's beloved New York City.


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