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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Radio Days
Directed by Woody Allen
MGM Home Entertainment 01/87 DVD/VHS Feature Film

Radio Days is a nostalgic, multi-leveled, and whimsical tribute to a time when radio played a major role in the public and private lives of Americans. Set in Roackaway, Queens, New York, during the early 1940s, this easy-going film written and directed by Woody Allen peers into the lives of an extended lower middle-class Jewish family and also presents a glimpse into the workaday world of radio performers.

Everyone loves listening to the radio. Young Joe is entranced by the adventures of a superhero called the Masked Avenger. Uncle Abe thrives on zany sports stories and Aunt Cell likes to listen to the ventriloquist. Aunt Bea is a spinster who loves to dance to the music on the radio. This family and many others listen to a gossip columnist named Sally White, who has achieved her position due to some god luck and diction lessons.

To a generation raised in Top 40 and all-news formats, radio is often little more than background noise. But to an older generation, it connotes a magic theatre of sound and incident. Radio Days affectionately eavesdrops on the past and gives everyone a wonderful opportunity to re-imagine what it was like when this communications medium was king.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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