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Radioland Murders (1994)

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In 1939, WBN, a fourth radio network, is about to take to America's airwaves. As if the confusion of the premiere night wasn't enough, Penny Henderson, the owner's secretary, must deal with... See full summary »

Director:

Mel Smith

Writers:

George Lucas (story), Willard Huyck (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Benben ... Roger Henderson
Mary Stuart Masterson ... Penny Henderson
Ned Beatty ... General Walt Whalen
George Burns ... Milt Lackey
Scott Michael Campbell ... Billy
Brion James ... Bernie King
Michael Lerner ... Lieutenant Cross
Michael McKean ... Rick Rochester
Jeffrey Tambor ... Walt Whalen, Jr.
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Max Applewhite
Christopher Lloyd ... Zoltan
Larry Miller ... Herman Katzenback
Anita Morris ... Claudette Katsenback
Corbin Bernsen ... Dexter Morris
Rosemary Clooney ... Anna
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Storyline

In 1939, WBN, a fourth radio network, is about to take to America's airwaves. As if the confusion of the premiere night wasn't enough, Penny Henderson, the owner's secretary, must deal with an unhappy sponsor, an overbearing boss and a soon-to-be ex-husband who desperately wants her back. As the broadcast begins, a mysterious voice breaks the broadcast and suddenly members of the cast turn up dead. It's up to her husband Roger, to find out whodunit as the police chase him through the halls of WBN. Written by Kevin <Kibble@vm.temple.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At station WBN, the hits just keep on coming.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language, some farcical violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asesinatos en la radio See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$835,570, 23 October 1994, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$1,299,060
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the background of one scene, you can barely hear an opera singer performing. Her voice (they never show the singer in the movie) is from the soundtrack to the movie Amadeus (1984). See more »

Goofs

When Penny and Roger are first arguing, they go through swinging doors onto the stage. When the cut is made, in the middle of the conversation, they are suddenly in the middle of the stage and the doors are nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

Milt Lackey: In what other business can a man my age walk out on stage, smoke a cigar, tell a few jokes, sing a few songs, and use the same color lipstick that Dolores del Rio uses?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Star Wars Holiday Special (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Flight of the Bumblebee
Composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For radio fans and employees
3 April 2006 | by kenn-johnson-1See all my reviews

Having spent three decades working in radio, I was encouraged by friends to pick this up on DVD. My impression is that the Lucas folks attempted to cram 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag. The potential is obviously present with a cast of extremely talented actors and even some of the folks who were a big part of radio history (George Burns and Rosemary Clooney), but someone (the Director? Producers? The Studio?) decided to increase the pace to the point where it feels like watching Spielberg's "1941" in fast-forward.

There is a stable full of interesting characters whom we never really get to know. Harvey Korman and Bobcat Goldthwait's characters obviously had some serious issues - but what was their story? The same with Brion James, Ned Beatty, and Jeffrey Tambor. Michael McKean's homage to Spike Jones was a joy, but too short, and there were too many missed opportunities to show what actually went on in radio broadcasts performed in front of a live audience. Sound effects played a major role, which was hinted at but never fully glorified in Christopher Lloyd's role. I would bet there is probably another whole movie sitting on the cutting room floor.

On the plus side, however, at least SOMEONE made the effort to capture the feel of major broadcast radio from it's heyday, and the look as well as the overall mood is fairly authentic. I appreciate that this is not a documentary, and the story itself is pure fantasy, but this film left me wanting more - like someone had torn half the pages out of a book. Perhaps, someday, the Lucas folks will release some kind of "director's cut" edition with restored scenes and a feature on the Golden Era of radio. Most people under the age of 50 have no idea of the remarkable entertainment that was available over the airwaves during this era - but for fans of the medium, and for those who have worked in it, this is a gem that will bring a smile.


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