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Radio Days (1987)

Comedy | 85 minutes
3,43 264 votes

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Duration: 85 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: Woody Allen

Stars: Mia Farrow, Julie Kavner and Seth Green

IMDb score: 7,4 (36.407)

Releasedate: 30 January 1987

Radio Days plot

A man muses on the good old days of radio. Life during his childhood with family, acquaintances and the neighborhood. He tells anecdotes about the radio, which he collected.

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avatar van Dievegge


  • 3015 messages
  • 7756 votes

For Marcel Proust it was the smell of a madeleine that brought back his childhood memories; with Woody Allen it's the old songs from the radio. They are subjectively colored memories of his family, radio programs and gossip about radio stars. This patchwork of little stories - banal, serious, moving, funny or absurd - evokes a nostalgic mood. Curiously, the years of World War II were a wonderful time for Joe. It shows how human memory can make stored events more beautiful than they were.

There is a big difference in wealth between the modest residential area in Queens and the glamorous radio building in Manhattan. In the days before television, stars worked for radio. Images were fantasized by the listener. In Joe's fantasy, the Masked Avenger had an athletic body, though that voice was voiced by a tiny baldhead (the eternally fabulous Wallace Shawn). It is funny how warnings were given at the time about the pernicious influence that radio could have on young people.

A group of old acquaintances forms a wonderful ensemble cast. It's also a rare example of a voiceover that works well, as it not only narrates the events, but provides insightful commentary on them.

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avatar van IH88


  • 8839 messages
  • 3094 votes

“I hope 1944 turns out well. They pass so quickly. Where do they all go?”

“So quickly. Then we get old. And we never knew what any of it was about.”

Woody goes on a nostalgic tour. Allen's films are always nice to watch, and Radio Days also has an irresistible charm about it. The story is set in the 1930s and 1940s, and Allen captures that zeitgeist perfectly.

There was no television and everyone gathered to listen to the radio. Everyone had their own favorite show, and arguments started or were settled by listening to the radio together. Nice to see, and Allen is of course the perfect director to film this nostalgic-looking story. It is fragmentary and not everything is equally interesting, but that warm and nostalgic feeling that you also get as a viewer when watching the film makes up for a lot.

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avatar van Movsin


  • 7818 messages
  • 8164 votes

Wonderful film by Woody Allen, one of his very best.
Full of insanely funny situations taken from the distant past: the star that has to do something to get there, the radio play that is ruined by Pearl Harbor, whoever or whatever that may be... but above all the broad, accurate sketch of that radio-crazy family, each with its own problems and complaints, but always with music in the center and a "Souz American Way" as a hilarious highlight.
Weird, I'm not a big fan of voice overs but the way Allen brings it, I love it. Usually it is accompanied by a soundtrack of jazzy evergreens, although Sinatra's integral "If You are but a Dream" is also accompanied by a beautiful ballad this time.
Maybe I'm a bit led by nostalgia, because I knew those radio days quite well, including "De Bonte Tuesdagtrein"...
The reception was often miserable compared to now and you were best not too far from the device, but we were willing to pay. Never coming back. Classify in the "Nostalgia" folder.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original