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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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Roger Henderson
... Penny Henderson
... General Walt Whalen
... Milt Lackey
... Billy
... Bernie King
... Lieutenant Cross
... Rick Rochester
... Walt Whalen, Jr.
... Max Applewhite
... Zoltan
... Herman Katzenback
... Claudette Katsenback
... Dexter Morris
... 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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

21 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesinatos en la radio  »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Penny's (Mary Stuart Masterson's) costume throughout the film, once she removes the jacket from the opening scenes, is a copy of the costume Katharine Hepburn wore in the final scene of Woman of the Year (1942), complete with falling shoulder straps on the jumper. See more »

Goofs

The portrait in Gen. Whalen's office shows the general wearing a service dress green uniform which was not adopted by the U.S. Army until the mid-1950s. In 1939, when the movie is set, the general would have worn a khaki uniform. See more »

Quotes

Member, The Miller Sisters: This is just horrible!
Guy in Vest and glasses: Not really. Get your head caught in a thrashing machine. Now that's horrible.
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Connections

References American Graffiti (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

What'll I Do
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Joey Lawrence
Courtesy of Irving Berlin Music
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User Reviews

 
For radio fans and employees
3 April 2006 | by See 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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