89 user 45 critic

Talk Radio (1988)

R | | Drama | 13 January 1989 (USA)
A rude, contemptuous talk show host becomes overwhelmed by the hatred that surrounds his program just before it goes national.


Oliver Stone


Stephen Singular (book), Eric Bogosian (play) | 4 more credits »
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Linda Atkinson ... Sheila Fleming
Robert Trebor ... Jeffrey Fisher / Francine
Zach Grenier ... Sid Greenberg
Tony Frank ... Dino
Harlan Jordan Harlan Jordan ... Coach Armstrong
Bill Johnson ... Fan #1
Kevin Howard Kevin Howard ... Fan #2
Anna Thomson ... Woman at Basketball Game / Denise (as Anna Levine)


An acerbic radio talk show host based in Dallas starts what could be an important few days when he discovers that his controversial late night show is about to be "picked up" by a nationwide network of radio stations. However, all is not perfect for him, because on top of troubles with his love life and fears that the management of the network will try to alter the content of his show he has to cope with a neo-nazi group who have been angered by his forthright opinions. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Words can kill... See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Many audiences likened star newcomer Eric Bogosian to actor Elliott Gould. See more »


The first threatening letter addressed to Barry Champlain finishes with the wrongly written sentence: "Your dead" instead of "You're dead". See more »


Barry: Talk Radio! It's the last neighborhood in town, people just don't talk to each other anymore!
See more »


Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »


KGAB Radio ID's
Written & Arranged by Otis Conner and Whitey Thomas
Produced by Otis Conner
Recorded at The Otis Conner Companies Studio, Dallas, Texas
Additional KGAB Music Backgrounds Provided by APM
See more »

User Reviews

More ranting from Olly
5 December 2005 | by ill_behaviorSee all my reviews

Probably one of his lesser known films, it suffers from the same lack of exposure as Salvador in that its actually one of his best.

Written by and starring Eric Bogosian, Talk Radio tells the story of an opinionated radio phone-in host who upsets the wrong kind of listener. The film is important, and has much to say on the issues of free speech and just how free it should be, and you can easily tell that it started life as a stage play. Know what you're getting into before you sit down to watch it and you'll be fine.

There isn't much to the acting really as Bogosian pretty much steals the film, he wrote and is given licence to rant, I couldn't take my eyes off him and that was part of the fascination many of the listeners had; the people who hated him wouldn't turn off in-case they missed something.

Not for everyone, but a very good drama and overall a very good film.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 89 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



USA | Canada



Release Date:

13 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Talk Radio See more »

Filming Locations:

Texas, USA See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$80,547, 26 December 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed