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Radio Days (1987)

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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
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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Film debut of Rebecca Schaeffer. See more »

Goofs

The burglars turn on a radio and instantly hear sound, when the vacuum tubes should have taken longer to warm up. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: My most vivid memory connected with an old radio song I associate with the time that Aunt Bea and her then-boyfriend Chester took me into New York to the movies. It was the first time I'd ever seen the Radio City Music Hall and it was like entering heaven. I just never saw anything so beautiful in my life.
See more »

Connections

References Christmas in July (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Mairzy Doats
(1943)
Written by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston
Performed by The Merry Macs on radio
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Everybody's Family
11 August 2006 | by annmason1See 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.


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