Radio Days

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German title Radio Days
Original title Radio Days
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1987
length 84 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Woody Allen
script Woody Allen
production Robert Greenhut
music Dick Hyman
camera Carlo Di Palma
cut Susan E. Morse

Radio Days is a comedy film directed by Woody Allen , shot in the USA in 1987.


The plot appears as a memory from the narrator who lived as the Jewish boy Joe Needleman in Queens, New York City in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He and his relatives listen to radio broadcasts. The family is poor and every member of the family finds a little escape from the reality of everyday life while listening to the radio broadcasts. In the radio broadcasts that deal with gossip about celebrities, sports stars of the day, game shows or potty singers, but sometimes also on real historical events of this time (e.g. the broadcast of HG Wells ' The War of the Worlds , Pearl Harbor , the intervention the USA in the Second World War , the tragic death of little Kathy Fiscus), carefree anecdotes and daydreams relax.

Meanwhile, several parallel running stories are told: Among others, the rising radio star Sally White ( Mia Farrow ) and Aunt Bea's ( Dianne Wiest ) mostly unsuccessful search for love. The tragic story of the little girl Polly Phelps, who fell into a well near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania , goes to the hearts of everyone because it sparked lively national sympathy for the desperate rescue operation. Furthermore, two intruders hear a telephone ringing in the apartment they have just robbed. Surprisingly, one of the burglars picks up the phone and, ironically, wins a new facility for the owner of the apartment that far exceeds the value of the stolen property.

The end of the film is the turn of the year 1943/44. The narrator draws the possibly pessimistic résumé that all these memories would still be quite clear, but fade more and more with each new year.


  • Roger Ebert wrote that the radio broadcasts moved him more than the television programs. That is also one of the messages of the comedy. It is similar in shape and mood to the film Amarcord by Federico Fellini . ( Source )
  • Der Spiegel , 40/1987: The film is alive, it enchants, it spreads a wonderful abundance of miniatures, but it doesn't have a really big moment, no stab in the heart, and its fondness for memories makes it idyllic: at least the past should be more beautiful, than it ever was, and it will be in this movie, though Woody Allen went to great lengths to keep the sun never shining.


  • Oscar nominations in 1988 for “Best Art Direction-Set Decoration” and for the screenplay.
  • BAFTA Awards 1988 for the costumes and for the production design. Five nominations, including a. for the script and for Dianne Wiest.
  • Nominated for the 1988 Writers Guild of America Award for the screenplay.
  • The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating particularly valuable.


The comedy was shot in New York City on a budget of $ 16,000,000 .


  • Thierry de Navacelle: Woody Allen. Radio Days - on location (Original title: Woody Allen On Location ). German from collective Druck-Reif. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1987, 606 pages, ISBN 3-426-01598-6 .

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