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Radio Days is an 1987 film directed by Woody Allen. The film looks back on American family life during the Golden Age of Radio.

Allen narrates the stories of his youth, although he is never seen by the audience. The young Allen is portrayed onscreen by Seth Green as "Joe". The film was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. Film critic Roger Ebert called it Allen’s answer to Federico Fellini’s Amarcord.

Featured cast

Actor Role
Danny Aiello Rocco
Woody Allen The Narrator
Leah Carrey Grandma
Jeff Daniels Biff Baxter
Larry David Communist Neighbor
Mia Farrow Sally White
Todd Field Crooner
Seth Green Joe
Kitty Carlisle Hart Maxwell House (coffee) radio jingle singer
Paul Herman Burglar
Julie Kavner Mother
Diane Keaton New Year's Singer
Judith Malina Mrs. Waldbaum
William Magerman Grandpa
Kenneth Mars Rabbi Baumel
Josh Mostel Abe
Tony Roberts "Silver Dollar" Emcee
Rebecca Schaeffer Communists' Daughter
Wallace Shawn Masked Avenger
Mike Starr Burglar
Don Pardo "Guess That Tune" host
Michael Tucker Father
Dianne Wiest Bea
Kenneth Welsh Radio voice


The Narrator (Woody Allen) tells us how the radio influenced his childhood in the days before TV. In the New York Citymarker of the late 1930s to the New Year's Eve 1944, this coming-of-age tale mixes the narrator's experiences with contemporary anecdotes and urban legends of the radio stars.

Even though the narrator's Jewish-American family lives modestly in the Queensmarker neighborhood of Rockaway Beachmarker, each member finds in radio shows an escape from reality through the gossip of celebrities, sports legends of the day, crooners, etc. For the narrator, the action adventurers on the radio (one of them based on The Shadow) inspire him, as he daydreams about his attractive substitute teacher, movie stars, and World War II. Meanwhile, the story of an aspiring radio star's (Mia Farrow) career is also told, along with the tale of the narrator's aunt Bea (Dianne Wiest) and her search for love.

The musical score features songs from the 1930s and 40s, which play an important part in the plot. Even Orson Welles' famous radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds has an important role in Bea's life.

Awards and nominations

1987 Academy Awards (Oscars)

1987 BAFTA Film Awards

1988 Writers Guild of America Awards

  • Nominated – WGA Screen Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: Woody Allen

See also

Further reading

  • Woody Allen On Location by Thierry de Navacelle (Morrow, 1987); a day-to-day account of the making of Radio Days



External links

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