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Radio Days
USA 1987
Directed by Woody Allen
Running time 85 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars


Woody Allen takes an affectionate look back at his days growing up Queens in the 1940s in a series of nicely re-created vignettes built around the theme of the radio as the heart of the working class home in the Swing era.  The production design and art direction are wonderful and there are lashings of hit tunes from the period, each one of which provides the basis of an anecdote which an unseen Allen narrates as proceedings swing back and forth between lower middle class Rockaway where his fictional family live and the glamorous Manhattan which the radio transports them to.

Amongst the cast who help the film come to life are Wallace Shawn, Julie Kavner, Kenneth Mars, Dianne Wiest and Mia Farrow with Diane Keaton having a cameo as a band vocalist who sings (in her own voice) the Cole Porter classic “You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To” . Along with Zelig (1983) and The Purple Rose Of Cairo, Radio Days  provides a small but impressive testament to Allen's skills as a film craftsman.

 

 

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