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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.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

Stephen Singular (book), Eric Bogosian (play) | 4 more credits »

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 Tony Frank ... Dino
Harlan Jordan Harlan Jordan ... Coach Armstrong
Bill Johnson ... Fan #1
Kevin Howard Kevin Howard ... Fan #2
Anna Levine ... Woman at Basketball Game / Denise
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Words can kill... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Vozes da Ira See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,468,572
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Shot over the course of four weeks. See more »

Goofs

When Barry talks about his visit to Germany, he says that he wanted to visit Adolf Hitler's homeland. Hitler was born in Austria. See more »

Quotes

Barry: Who's the schlub?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Fisher King (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Telephone & Rubber Band
Written by Simon Jeffes
Performed by Penguin Cafe Orchestra (as The Penguin Cafe Orchestra)
Courtesy of E.G. Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Underrated masterpiece
10 February 2006 | by fertilecelluloidSee all my reviews

"Talk Radio" is my favorite Oliver Stone movie, though he has made many great ones including "Salvador", "JFK", "Natural Born Killers" and "Platoon". But I like the intimacy of "Talk Radio", a cinematic expansion of Eric Bogosian's searing stage play that was based on a real life account of a Dallas talk show host. Working with ace cinematographer Robert Richardson, Stone turns what could have been a very set-bound exercise into a visually arresting ideological battle that presents a radio station as an arena of war. Bogosian is devastating as tortured on-air spouter of abuse Barry Champlain and conveys the conflicted, destructive nature of his character with conviction and a generous dose of self-loathing. Alec Baldwin, as his Alpha male boss, strikes the perfect note as a man driven nuts by a guy whose monstrousness he helped nurture. Ellen Greene is fantastic as Barry's sweet ex-wife who ends up becoming another target of his vicious personal vitriol. Stone and Bogosian fill every frame with interest and every line of dialog with sweet poison and cutting ambiguity. John C. McGinley, as Barry's long-suffering screener/technical producer Stu, turns in a hilarious, sharp performance, as does the great Michael Wincott. The film is a flawless, underrated masterpiece of superb writing, awesome acting and brutal, uncompromising direction. The Stewart Copeland score is brilliant, too.


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