Radio Days has got to be one of my absolute favorite films of all time. To me, it's a film that balances story, characters and atmosphere better than just about any other. It's truly a great work of art, and a very, very underrated one. The best thing about it is how Allen's love for his subject, the romantic nostalgia he feels, translates so eloquently to the screen. You've also got to hand it to the cast. Diane Weist, Julie Kavner, Mia Farrow, Josh Mostel, a briefly-glimpsed Jeff Daniels, and a young Seth Green all give great performances that are right out of the period, <more>
yet instantly recognizable. Allen had Santo Loquasto, his art director, do a bang-up job on creating the world of early-1940s Rockaway, New York, and Jeffrey Kurland's costumes help immensely. Particularly note-worthy is Carlo Di Palma's stunning cinematography. The colours, the smoky nightclubs and soundstages, the dimly-lit nighteries and the dazzling rooftop set come to life like few sets do in films. And then there's the music. That dazzling array of classic music, from one of the best periods for it in American history. Allen's decision to use only music from that time might sound cliche, but he's definatly justified here. And there's always the Radio Show Themes piece by Dick Hyman I'm always by that name that accompanies many of the scenes. That piece of music alone is worth seeing the film. As you can probably tell, I love this film simply for the fact that it's such a charming, enchanting, beautiful film. It's one I'd show my children, even the nude dancing scene, had I any children to show it to. Woody Allen's turn in the films he's made lately as of 2003 are, to me, pretty depressing and perverse, with none of the charm, life and humor that works like Radio Days symbolize, Sweet and Lowdown notwithstanding. Hopefully, more films like this gem are on the horizon.
Like a Warm Coat on a Chilly Evening (by bbbaldie)
This movie shouts one word: WARMTH. The colors, the plot, the characters, they are all wonderfully warm.I've watched this movie with senior citizens who were around in the forties. I once watched it with a Jewish guy who grew up on Long Island albeit in the early 30's, not the 40's . All comments were the same: THIS was life in New York during wartime.Vietnam was my war, so this era was a mystery to me. However, any time a genius like Woody Allen can create a film that not only makes me and my rowdy friends laugh, but gets guffaws from my dear old Mom as well, it deserves a <more>
little fanfare.I didn't even mention the solid gold music.See this film at once!
This is a wonderful wonderful movie that exemplifies the phrase, "misty watercolored memories." It is a joy to watch and listen to. The era before and during WWII, however, was anything but wonderful. Radio Days presents a time when America was dealing with the Great Depression and its after effects and the horrible event that was World War II. Since the man narrating the memories was only a boy then, it is altogether fitting and proper that he see things as a child; for as he states in one scene, "our conversation turned from Nazis to more important things,like girls." No <more>
movies, except this one, that I recall, are able to deal with this critical age in American history without conveying the tragic time that it was.I would like to think this family was really Woody Allen's, but it is probably a work of fiction, like his other pieces. But how tremendous that he can create or remember these people. As I watched it, one thought that kept recurring was that these were not "beautiful" manufactured people like we see in the media today; they had big hips and were fat and poor and... and none of that mattered. They were real. They were believable. You can't watch this movie without wondering what happened to them, did Aunt Bee find a husband? You cared about this family and personally, I wished they were mine.The vignettes were sad and sweet. My favorite was poor departed Kirby Kyle; at least he had heart! And Leonard; and "donations for the promotion of a state in Palestine." So many memories that make us a part of a family most people never had. The viewer belongs to this warm and loving group.Something has been lost with the concept of "nuclear family," with the lonely big houses and empty hours and unshared hopes and sorrows. Radio Days reminds us that having someone to experience life with is a treasure and a blessing, despite whacks on the head, martians, and fish, "That man always brings home fish!" And oh, the music!This is Woody Allen's masterpiece.
Woody Allen's own "Amarcord" (by Galina_movie_fan)
Radio Days 1987 - written, directed, and narrated by Allen:What a beautiful, kind, gentle, ironic, warm, sentimental in a very good way and yes, I am talking about Woody Allen's movie, that's right yet perfectly balanced delight. It is a series of sketches about young Joe young Allen, of course, played by Seth Green - that was a surprise , an adolescent in Brooklyn, NY during 1930s-1940s who was passionately in love with radio which was a king. The film is a tribute to the magical radio days and the myths and legends about radio personalities, the memory of a grown man who never <more>
forgot where he came from, the love letter to his always fighting and arguing "I mean, how many people argue over oceans?" but loving relatives and a very funny comedy the way only Allen's comedy can be . It is the film where pretty like a doll and painfully naive Sally Mia Farrow asks who Pearl Harbor is? Where gorgeous Diane Keaton sings and Diane Wiest, his beloved Aunt Bea never gives up hope of one true love. He never told us if she found it..."I never forgot that New Year's Eve when Aunt Bea awakened me to watch 1944 come in. I've never forgotten any of those people or any of the voices we would hear on the radio. Though the truth is, with the passing of each New Year's Eve, those voices do seem to grow dimmer and dimmer."The Radio days are gone but thanks to Allen, the voices of the times passed are still clear and sound and they always will be.9/10
A wonderfully nostalgic, funny and historically interesting film. (by lindaz)
In my opinion, Radio Days is right up there with Annie Hall though it's different in that it's following several people's lives. Woody doesn't act in this, but his narration is excellent.He takes the wonderful old songs and commercials from that time and weaves them into the story. I was completely captivated.It's not a "laugh a minute" type film, but it also gets you thinking. Nevertheless, it has some hilarious scenes. Check out the Jewish fasting holiday scene. I've watched it at least 6 times and I still laugh. Also the scene with Mia Farrow's <more>
character was superb. One of my favorite lines is when she tells a top radio producer in her high-pitched nasal voice, "Jeez. We can't keep meeting like this. In the backs of cars, movie theaters and stalled elevators. You're gonna lose your respect for me!" I love this film.
Do you remember the times before television when people listened to radio? Of course you don't, you're too young! To be quite honest with you, I don't either.I'm even younger than you are. Woody Allen's Radio Days 1987 is a nostalgic look at those times.Mr Allen isn't seen in this movie, only heard.Seth Green plays in a way the young Woody Allen.Only that his name isn't Woody but Joe.This Jewish boy lives his life in New York under World War II.And listens to radio.The acting work is superb in this movie.Young Seth Green is excellent.Then there are names like <more>
Mike Starr Burglar , Julie Kavner Mother , Wallace Shawn Masked Avenger , Dianne Wiest Bea , Mia Farrow Sally White , Larry David Communist Neighbor , Danny Aiello Rocco , Jeff Daniels Biff Baxter , Mercedes Ruehl Ad men , Diane Keaton New Year's Singer and William H. Macy Radio actor .The movie is wonderfully written, by Mr. Allen naturally.This is a walk down the memory lane.A look at the past, at the 1940's, at the radio days.This is funny and sad movie filled with nostalgia, with memories of Woody Allen.At the end when there is the New Year's Eve, Woody says these words as the narrator; "with the passing of each New Year's Eve, those voices do seem to grow dimmer and dimmer."
If you are looking for the normal amount of big laughs from a Woody Allen film, then you will be disappointed here. It's not that kind of film.I was anything but disappointed, but I knew what the film was all about before I saw it. Actually, what drew me to it was that I had read where this was a wonderful visual film, filled with rich colors and great set designs. It did not let me down. This is a great visual tribute to the 1940s, to be exact from 1938 to 1944. A real treat for the eyes.The story centers around a Jewish family in Queens and the importance that radio shows had in that <more>
day-and-age. Also profiled in here are some of those radio performers.It does have laughs but not as many as the normal Allen movie because the idea of this is simply to be a nostalgic piece, mainly Allen's tribute to his own family days of growing up, what it was like around his house.It was interesting to see Seth Green playing Woody as a youngster with flaming red hair. The most interesting person, however, was Diane Wiest who played a man-chasing sister-in-law. The film gives you a real flavor of the period, of New York and of a Jewish family.Overall, it's simply a nice film....and gorgeous to look at. Sometimes I think some of Allen's work is overrated but, boy, here is one that is definitely underrated.
Woody Allen fondly recalls that age before TV when radio was the nucleus around which family life revolved and evolved . It's an affectionate and, for Allen, atypically nostalgic period piece, sketching with disarming humor the memories, anecdotes, and fantasies of an East Coast childhood in the 1930s and 1940s, narrated by the director himself and set against a collection of once-popular radio songs and programs. Television could never trigger such glowing memories, because TV numbs the imagination while the invisibility of the radio voice tends to enhance it. Allen includes plenty of <more>
jokes to that effect: the heroic Masked Avenger turns out, off microphone, to be the portly Wallace Shawn; the nonsense song Mairsie Doates recalls a neighbor brandishing a meat cleaver on a downtown rampage. The comedy is never more than feather-light, demanding nothing from its audience except uncomplicated laughter, but this is one filmmaker who has always been more effective on a smaller scale.
Sing along, listen to the music. Day or night, you just have to chose it. Everybody loves the Radio! (by Coventry)
I don't yet have enough Allen-experience to judge for myself, but I often heard and read the criticism that Woody Allen is at his worst when leaning too much towards personal nostalgia and sentiment. Well, if that statement is true, it certainly isn't applicable to "Radio Days". This is as nostalgic and sentimental as it gets, but it's also very great! The film describes Allen's own personal childhood years, set more or less at the start of WWII and playing in a not-so-wealthy Jewish household in the New York suburbs. The entire family, and young Joe in particular, <more>
fancies all the different radio broadcasts varying from silly game shows to serious news bulletins and music programs. The screenplay exists of numerous little vignettes and anecdotes that are all somehow connected to the titular medium. The mini-stories either focus on the members of the family like aunt Bea's desperate search for a husband or uncle Abe's encounter with the communist neighbors or on the persona's behind the radio voices like Sally White's incredibly career change from nightclub cigarette salesgirl into singer . The little segments are funny without becoming ludicrous, touching without becoming melancholic and sentimental without becoming smarmy. The tone and pacing of the film are exact right, while the re-creation of the early 40's era is near perfect. The WWII anxiety, the mesmerizing music and yellow-tinted cinematography it all fits. These were the days where radio hosts were still mysterious and mythical and pathetic little bald men provided the voices of superheroes like "The Masked Avenger". The comparisons between "Radio Days" and Federico Fellini's legendary "Amarcord" are justified. Allen catapults us all back to his childhood years, and he's more than welcome to. He takes care of the narration – wonderfully, I may add – and cast a very young Seth Green as his allegedly 9-year-old alter ego. If you see the youthful Green here, you'll agree this is one of the greatest casting jobs ever. The rest of the cast is praiseworthy as well, particularly Dianne Wiest as the spinster aunt and Mia Farrow as the naive mistress. This is truly a beautiful and enchanting film.