Radio Days

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For other uses, see Radio Days (disambiguation).
Radio Days
RadioDaysPoster.jpg
Radio Days theatrical poster
Directed by Woody Allen
Produced by Robert Greenhut
Written by Woody Allen
Starring Mia Farrow
Michael Tucker
Julie Kavner
Dianne Wiest
Danny Aiello
Tony Roberts
Jeff Daniels
Seth Green
Narrated by Woody Allen
Music by Dick Hyman
Cinematography Carlo Di Palma
Edited by Susan E. Morse
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Release date(s)
  • January 30, 1987 (1987-01-30)
Running time 85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $16,000,000 USD
Box office $14,792,779

Radio Days is a 1987 comedy film directed by Woody Allen. The film looks back on an American family's life during the Golden Age of Radio using both music and memories to tell the story.

Plot[edit]

Joe (Woody Allen), the narrator, explains how the radio influenced his childhood in the days before TV. The young Joe (Seth Green) lives in New York City in the late 1930s. The tale mixes Joe's experiences with his remembrances and anecdotes, inserting his memories of the urban legends of radio stars, and is told in constantly changing plot points and vignettes.

Even though Joe's Jewish-American family lives modestly in Rockaway Beach, each member at one point during the film finds in radio shows an escape from reality through the gossip of celebrities, sports legends of the day, game shows, and crooners, with the majority of the stories taking place in the glitz and glamour of Manhattan. For Joe, the action adventure shows on the radio inspire him as he daydreams about buying a secret decoder ring, an attractive substitute teacher, movie stars (who may or not be as honest as they appear), and World War II.

Meanwhile, several other parallel stories are told, from an aspiring radio star named Sally White (Mia Farrow), Joe's Aunt Bea (Dianne Wiest) and her (mostly fruitless) search for love, and during the middle of the film on the radio the tragic story is told about a little girl named Polly Phelps, who falls into a well near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. It becomes a big national story and as the family listens to it. Sadly, Polly does not survive.

Cast[edit]

Music[edit]

The film's soundtrack, which features songs from the 1930s and 40s, plays an integral and seamless part in the plot. An important part of one of the vignettes is inspired by Orson Welles' famous 1938 CBS radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. It was titled Radio Days: Selections from the Original Soundtrack of the Motion Picture and released on cassette, as well as compact disc in 1987:

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. "In the Mood"   Glenn Miller 3:33
2. "I Double Dare You"   Larry Clinton 2:49
3. "Opus No. 1"   Tommy Dorsey 2:58
4. "Frenesi"   Artie Shaw 3:01
5. "The Donkey Serenade"   Allan Jones 3:21
6. "Body and Soul"   Benny Goodman 3:26
7. "You and I"   Tommy Dorsey 2:44
8. "Remember Pearl Harbor"   Sammy Kaye 2:29
9. "That Old Feeling"   Guy Lombardo 2:45
10. "(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover"   Glenn Miller 2:54
11. "Goodbye"   Benny Goodman 3:31
12. "I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You"   Tommy Dorsey 3:38
13. "Lullaby of Broadway"   Richard Himber 2:29
14. "American Patrol"   Glenn Miller 3:33
15. "Take the "A" Train"   Duke Ellington 3:00
16. "One, Two, Three, Kick"   Xavier Cugat 3:23

Reception[edit]

The film was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.[1] Film critic Roger Ebert called it Allen’s answer to Federico Fellini’s Amarcord.[2] In his four-star review, he also referred to it as "so ambitious and so audacious that it almost defies description. It's a kaleidoscope of dozens of characters, settings and scenes - the most elaborate production Allen has ever made - and it's inexhaustible, spinning out one delight after another."[3] It currently holds a 'fresh' 95% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 7.9/10.[4] In a poll held by Empire magazine of the 500 greatest films ever made, Radio Days was voted number 304.[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

1987 Academy Awards (Oscars)[edit]

1987 BAFTA Film Awards[edit]

1988 Writers Guild of America Awards[edit]

  • Nominated – WGA Screen Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: Woody Allen

Further reading[edit]

  • Woody Allen On Location by Thierry de Navacelle (Morrow, 1987); a day-to-day account of the making of Radio Days

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Radio Days". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  2. ^ "Radio Days". Chicago Sun-Times. January 30, 1987. 
  3. ^ "Radio Days Movie Review & Film Summary (1987)". Chicago Sun-Times. January 30, 1987. 
  4. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/radio_days/
  5. ^ http://www.empireonline.com/500/38.asp
  6. ^ a b "The 60th Academy Awards (1988) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 

External links[edit]