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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.

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Writers:

(book), (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:
... Barry
... Ellen
... Laura
... Stu
... Dan
... Dietz
... Kent / Michael / Joe
Linda Atkinson ... Sheila Fleming
... Jeffrey Fisher / Francine
... Sid Greenberg
Tony Frank ... Dino
Harlan Jordan ... Coach Armstrong
... Fan #1
Kevin Howard ... Fan #2
... 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:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

13 January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Vozes da Ira  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,468,572
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture was entered and selected to screen in competition at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival in 1989 where Eric Bogosian) won a Silver Bear Award for an Outstanding Single Achievement. See more »

Goofs

One of the callers says she's afraid of the possibility of meeting Ted Bundy on the street. Bundy was in jail during the story setting (in fact, he was in jail for most of the late 1980's). See more »

Quotes

Barry: [to a caller about the most powerful drug ever sold] It's tobacco. It kills 350,000 people a year. You know how much coke, crack, heroin, pot kill every year? Four thousand people. Will you listen to sense? Hello? Let me check. Will you listen to logic, please? The only people who benefit from prohibition... are the gangsters makin' the money on it, the politicians condemning it and gettin' your vote. And who foots the bill? You, Rhonda Q Sucker!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Take Me Home Tonight (2011) 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
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User Reviews

 
Underrated masterpiece
10 February 2006 | by See 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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