One of Woody Allen’s most nostalgic features is a comedy-drama that takes us back to his childhood before and during World War II when radio was in the middle of its golden age. It’s a fictional story but filled with the music and impressions that were part of the director’s New York City upbringing. Some critics made comparisons with Amarcord (1974) and the movie does have many colorful characters. Its episodic nature keeps shifting focus back and forth between young Joe, his relatives and the personalities that make the radio shows come alive. Funny and engaging, with a wonderful cast, irresistible music and thoughtful period details.
1987-U.S. 85 min. Color. Produced by Robert Greenhut. Written, directed and narrated by Woody Allen. Cinematography: Carlo DiPalma. Production Design: Santo Loquasto. Costume Design: Jeffrey Kurland. Cast: Mia Farrow (Sally White), Seth Green (Joe), Julie Kavner (Joe’s mother), Josh Mostel, Michael Tucker, Dianne Wiest… Wallace Shawn, Danny Aiello, Jeff Daniels, Diane Keaton, Kenneth Mars, Mercedes Ruehl, Todd Field, Larry David, William H. Macy.
BAFTA: Best Production Design, Costume Design.
Last word: “There are many things in ‘Radio Days’ that were iconic when I was a youngster. I had a bit in the movie that I cut out [where on] the kids radio show, Uncle Don didn’t realize the show hadn’t ended and said on the air, ‘There, that oughtta hold the little bastards,’ and he was instantly fired. It’s a very famous radio story and I had it in the movie but couldn’t keep all the anecdotes in the film.” (Allen, Indiewire)