Talk Radio (film)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Oliver Stone|
|Produced by||A. Kitman Ho
Edward R. Pressman
|Written by||Oliver Stone
Stephen Singular (book)
John C. McGinley
|Music by||Stewart Copeland|
|Editing by||David Brenner
|Distributed by||Universal Studios|
|Release dates||December 23, 1988 (USA)|
|Running time||110 minutes|
Talk Radio is a 1988 American drama film, starring Eric Bogosian, Ellen Greene, and Leslie Hope. Directed by Oliver Stone, the film was based on the play by Eric Bogosian and Tad Savinar. Portions of the film and play were based on the assassination of radio host Alan Berg in 1984 and the book Talked to Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg by Stephen Singular. The film was entered into the 39th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear.
Champlain's radio show is about to go nationwide. A former suit salesman, he achieves his rise to fame through a guest shot on the Jeff Fisher radio show. He is subsequently given his own show. Barry has a substantial number of hostile callers trying to intimidate him and sometimes receives threatening fan mail, such as when one caller makes a bomb threat. His rise to fame is accompanied not only with attention from radical elements, but also with the alienation of his wife.
The film ends when he confesses his sins over the radio, and that he also confesses that the American people scare him because of what has happened to his friends, family, and co-workers. Barry receives calls from people who appreciate him for what he does and how he does it. His wife begs for him to come back, but Barry refuses after telling her that he will be all right from now on. Ellen realizes he doesn't need her help and walks away. Barry's boss congratulates him on a job well done.
His co-workers tell him it's now the highest rated talk show interview. While walking to his car, a fan asks for his autograph, but the fan pulls out a gun and kills Barry. Various radio broadcasts say that America didn't mean to kill Barry, but they begin to realize that he pushed one of his fans too far.
Eric Bogosian wrote the screenplay with help from director Oliver Stone. The script was almost entirely based on Bogosian's original play with some biographical information about Alan Berg, a talk show host in Denver who was murdered in 1984 by white supremacists. In his research for the film version, Bogosian often watched the on-air production of Tom Leykis' talk show, then originating from Los Angeles station KFI. Bogosian's fictional character shares many speech patterns and mannerisms with real-life talker Leykis.
- Eric Bogosian ... Barry Champlain
- Ellen Greene ... Ellen
- Leslie Hope ... Laura
- John C. McGinley ... Stu
- Alec Baldwin ... Dan
- John Pankow ... Dietz
- Michael Wincott ... Kent/Michael/Joe (voice)
- Robert Trebor ... Jeffrey Fisher/Francine
- Tony Frank ... Dino
- Anna Levine ... Woman at the Basketball Game/Denise
- Rockets Redglare ... Killer/Redneck Caller
- Park Overall ... Debbie/Agnes/Theresa (voice)
- Earl Hindman ... Chet/Black John/Jerry (voice)
- Linda Atkinson ... Sheila Fleming
- Zach Grenier ... Sid Greenberg
- Harlan Jordan ... Coach Armstrong
- Bill Johnson ... Fan #1
- Kevin Howard ... Fan #2
- Bruno Rubeo ... Tony
- Pirie MacDonald ... Judge Willard
- Allan Corduner ... Vince / Morris
- Mimi Cochran ... Girl #1
- Teresa Bell ... Girl #2 / Lucy
- Angus G. Wynne III ... Engineer
- Chip Moody ... Announcer
- David Poynter ... Engineer
- Peter Zapp ... Josh / Vincent (voice)
- Carl Kissin ... Glen (voice)
- Michele Mariana ... Rhonda / Elderly Woman / Julia (voice)
- John Seitz ... Bob (voice)
- Kyle McClaran ... Arnold (voice)
- Dee Pyland ... Nancy (voice)
- Daniel Escobar ... Frank (voice)
- William De Acutis ... John the Rapist / Ralph (voice) (as Bill DeAcutis)
- Frederica Meister ... Sexy Woman (voice)
- Luis Barajas ... Fred (voice)
- Vernie Bailey ... Jackie (voice)
- Martin Rayner ... Arnold (voice)
- Alan Clark ... Larry (voice)
- Moby ... Station Announcer / Newscaster (voice)
- John B. Wells ... V.O. (voice)
- Leigh French ... Newscaster (voice)
- Walter Lynn ... Newscaster (voice)
- Theresa Bell ... Lucy (uncredited)
- Fernando Lara ... Newcaster (uncredited)
In popular culture
Parts of the film have been sampled by many bands.
The conversation over the air with "Ralph" while Michael Wincott's character "Joe" enters the studio consisting of "Something is wrong... like nobody's driving the train. The system... there's too many people getting sick" was used by the California punk band Lagwagon on the album Blaze.
The end theme is "Telephone and Rubber Band" by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
Sound clips from the film were used by sound collage group Negativland in a December 1991 episode of their weekly Over the Edge program, "Radio Wars".
- Rossi, Umberto. “Acousmatic Presences: From DJs to Talk-Radio Hosts in American Fiction, Cinema, and Drama”, Mosaic, 42:1, March 2009, pp. 83–98.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Talk Radio (film)|
- Talk Radio at the Internet Movie Database
- Talk Radio at allmovie
- Talk Radio at Rotten Tomatoes
- Talk Radio at Box Office Mojo