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Radio Days (1987)

PG | | Comedy | 30 January 1987 (USA)
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0:31 | Clip
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 & 8 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:

Radio Days See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,522,423, 1 February 1987

Gross USA:

$14,792,779

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

William H. Macy appears not only as a radio voice but also as one of the radio actors at the Pearl Harbor announcement. See more »

Goofs

In one scene, a pack of Camel cigarettes lies on a table, with a clearly visible bar code on the side of the package. The Universal Product Code would not be introduced until the 1970s. 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

References Crash Dive (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Babalu
(1941)
Written by Margarita Lecuona
English Lyrics by Bob Russell
Performed by Xavier Cugat with Richard Hayes (uncredited)
Played for the substitute teacher scene
Courtesy of PolyGram Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Another unique Woody Allen experience
20 December 2010 | by KnightsofNi11See all my reviews

It is incredible that Woody Allen can churn out so many movies and so many of them be such high quality and such good films. Radio Days is one of those films. It is unique and fun and has Woody Allen written all over it. The film is a nostalgic look at the golden age of radio during Allen's childhood as he reflects on the impact it had on his young life. The whole story is told in anecdotal form. There is a wide collection of stories, all related to radio broadcasts of the time as well as the great music that the time period spawned. The movie is short but is still a very good watch that provides a very unique and entertaining experience.

As with most Woody Allen films, Radio Days is a one of a kind experience because of the way the story is told. Allen is a master at substituting conventional storytelling methods with his own unique storytelling flair. And he is able to do this without seeming pretentious or self important at all. He simply knows how to creative a narrative in any style he chooses. He keeps the story very interesting with his colorful cast of characters and the interesting things they go through. The film uniquely combines stories of fictional radio stars and fictional characters (which are obviously based heavily on Woody Allen's actual family) with actual stories of the time period. Obviously the film focuses a lot on World War II because it is set in the 40s. The time period, however, is solely established through the radio broadcasts our characters listen to. These actual broadcasts are used in certain places for humor and other places for somber dramatic effect. The film did a great job at combining funny with serious in all the appropriate places. There were moments when I would laugh out loud, as well as moments that sent a chill through my spine. It is a fascinating watch.

Staying true to the Woody Allen experience, the dialouge in Radio Days is great. It is fast and chaotic, but also sophisticated and mature. The whole cast is very talkative and this is played up excellently. There are plenty of great characters with some wonderfully witty lines that put a smile on your face. The characters are all very different and very quirky. There are a lot of memorable people in this movie and some hilarious performances.

This movie is a lot of fun, but it also has a clear motive. That motive is to respect the radio era and make sure that it is never forgotten. Allen clearly defines is it as an extremely important and culturally significant piece of technology in the time period. Allen plays up his jokes a great deal and the movie is very entertaining, but its main goal is to show that radio is something that should never be forgotten in the long history of technical innovations. All of Woody Allen's films have some sort of personal significance to him, but Radio Days displays a different kind of personal connection. Instead of being a film which reflects on Allen's relationship and his adult life, it takes us back to his childhood and reflects on the things that affected him there. Radio Days is an important watch, but it also very entertaining.


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