Radio Days (1987)







Woody Allen, Seth Green, Danny Aiello, Sydney Blake, Leah Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Larry David, Gina DeAngelis, Denise Dumont, Mia Farrow, Todd Field, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Paul Herman, Julie Kavner, Diane Keaton, Renée Lippin, Martin Sherman, William Magerman, Judith Malina, Kenneth Mars, Josh Mostel, Don Pardo, Tony Roberts, Rebecca Schaeffer, Wallace Shawn, Mike Starr, Michael Tucker, Kenneth Welsh, Dianne Wiest


A nostalgic look at radio's golden age focusing on the Rockaway family dealing with everyday issues, and the fictional life of Sally White (Mia Farrow) as she rises from cigarette girl to radio star.


In the past, Woody Allen already tried to make his own Fellini with "Stardust Memories", a film that didn't quite work. Seven years later he tried again, only to succeed.

A funny, charming and nostalgic look at the golden age of radio, "Radio Days" is a unique experience because of the way the story is told, and almost made me wish I was born in the 30s. 

Allen catapults us back to his childhood years, and takes care of the narration wonderfully without being pretentious at all. He chooses his narrative style and keeps the story interesting combining stories of fictional characters and fictional radio stars with actual stories of the time. 

It is appropriate to compare this film to Fellini's "Amarcord", and the Fellini influence is sensible even if you haven't seen "Amarcord" before. It is also appropriate to say that it is as successful in transporting the viewer to a different place and time as Fellini was.

This film has Woody Allen written all over, and the dialogue makes no exception. It is sharp and funny, sometimes chaotic, other times mature and sophisticated. 

To complete the experience, "Radio Days" also has a good amount of funny moments - like the burglars winning a prize for the people they were robbing, or the Jewish fasting scene -, achieving at the same time some emotional elements.

Noteworthy are Carlo Di Palma's stunning photography and Santo Loquasto's set decoration that give the film a most authentic feel. Of course the score is great too.

A very young Seth Green as Allen's 9-year-old alter ego is one of the greatest casting ever. He is excellent, and was very interesting to see him. Like in Allen's previous film, Dianne Wiest is the one standing out. She is absolutely fabulous as the man-chasing Aunt Bea, and she overshadows the rest of the cast, who still does a good job. 

Mention-Worthy Quotes

Rocco: This is a coincidence. I meet nobody from the old neighbourhood in years. I finally do, and I gotta kill her.

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