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Radio Days [DVD]

Mia Farrow , Dianne Wiest , Woody Allen    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: 9.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Mike Starr, Paul Herman, Don Pardo
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Ezra Swerdlow, Gail Sicilia, Jack Rollins, Robert Greenhut
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Mar 2002
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V8VR
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,697 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Woody Allen's gentlest and most unassuming movie, Radio Days isn't so much a story as a series of anecdotes loosely linked together by a voice-over spoken by the director. The film is strongly autobiographical in tone, presenting the memories of a young lad Joe (clearly a stand-in for Allen himself) growing up in a working-class Jewish family in the seafront Brooklyn suburb of Rockaway during the late 1930s and early 40s. In this pre-TV era the radio is ubiquitous, a constant accompaniment churning out quiz shows, soap operas, dance music, news flashes and Joe's favourite, the exploits of the Masked Avenger. Given Allen's well-publicised gallery of neuroses, you might expect childhood traumas. But no, everything here is rose-tinted and even the outbreak of war makes little impact on the easygoing, protective tenor of family life.

Now and then Allen counterpoints his family album with the doings of the radio folk themselves (blink, and you'll miss a young William H Macy in the studio scene when the news of Pearl Harbour comes through). The rise to fame of Sally (Mia Farrow), a former night-club cigarette girl turned crooner, is the nearest the film comes to a coherent storyline. But most of the time Allen is content to coast on a flow of easy nostalgia, poking affectionate fun at the broadcasting conventions of the period and basking in the mildly rueful Jewish humour and small domestic crises of Joe's extended family. There aren't even any of his snappy one-liners, and the humour is kept low-key, raising at most an indulgent smile. A touch of Allen's usual acerbity wouldn't have come amiss. But for anyone who shares these memories, Radio Days will surely be a delight.

On the DVD: Not much besides the theatrical trailer, scene menu and a choice of languages. The screen's the full original ratio, but nothing seems to have been done to enhance the soundtrack, and the dialogue's not always clear. A boost in volume may help.--Philip Kemp

Product Description

A series of vignettes depicting life in 1940s New York, a time of recession in which the radio played an important role in people's lives. Woody Allen focuses upon a chaotic family in Brooklyn, contrasting their struggles with the lives of the radio stars who live uptown.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Magic!! 24 July 2009
If you are into vintage radio and the sounds of that era then this is the film for you. It has a magical quality and very funny in the way it shows a way of life long gone. The fashions,cars and interior designs of the places visited are so well shown it is a visual book on how to create the look for your own dreams.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It's hard to call Radio Days a straightforward movie. It's more small interwined ancedotes from a forgotten era. Based around real radio reports and a New York Jewish family during the late 1930s, early 40s.

It's a lavish production and director Woody Allen really sets up the atmosphere in this his love letter to the old glourious days of radio.

The movie is very short for an Allen film, scraping to just over 80 mins, but there is plenty to enjoy here. The dialogue as ever in an Allen film is top drawer.

For the film itself, Allen had the plot and this could well have been a two or three hour epic, perhaps following the young boy through his years. It stops well short of that, and ends quite suddenly. It would be easy for the passing viewing to wave this effort off with 3 stars. However if you're a fan of Allen's best work and indeed if you yourself remember those radio days then this is wonderful stuff.

One cannot see in say 50 years time, a director reminisicng over his family watching SKY TV, and that is the huge difference between the quality that Radio Days can provide and the me me me generation of today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radio Days 8 Jan 2011
By Pat45
This is my absolute favourite Woody Allen film. I would recommend it to everybody. True its a series of anecdotes, but what funny anecdotes. Buy it!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic 4 May 2007
By Jay
Rarely does a motion picture capture an era with such nostalgia and reverence, as Woody Allen's "Radio Days". Set in New York City as World War 2 breaks; "Radio Days" captures the mood of the times through the music, drama, news, sports - and even the commercials that entertained and informed listeners in the days when radio ruled the media roost. Seen through the eyes of a young Jewish boy and his extended family in working class Brooklyn, the movie is really a series of well crafted vignettes, based on fact mixed with fiction. Some are hilarious, some touching, but always entertaining and filled with the great "Swing" music of the era. As usual, Allen's ensemble of actors deliver terrific turns as they recreate those great old days. Mia Farrow, Diane Wiest, Julie Kavner, Michael Tucker, and Seth Green are standouts, while Woody Allen narrates as only he can. A triumph in every respect, "Radio Days" will leave you, as the final scene does; longing for a more innocent time, while sadly knowing it is gone forever.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another of Woody's Best..... 7 April 2002
Radio Days is another of Woody Allen's wonderfully warm and affectionately nostalgic films.
Excellently put together (and featuring a quality cast), the characters are brought to life by a witty script rich with Woody's unique trademark humour.
The only problem is that it's so enjoyable that it passes all too quickly.
A film that leaves you with a warm feeling and wanting more of the same (just like Manhattan and Annie Hall).
Radio Days will not disappoint anyone who appreciates the genius of Woody Allen.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The only real complaint with this album of selections form the original soundtrack for Woody Allen's "Radio Days" is that the most memorable song from the film is not included. That would be Carmen Miranda's "Down South American Way," which is lip synchs by his character's older sister while her father and uncle provide the "ay yi, ay yi"s at the end. That being said, what you do get are representative big band tracks from the time of World War II, which means Glenn Miller ("American Patrol"), Benny Goodman ("Goodbye"), Tommy Dorsey ("I'm Getting Sentimental Over You"), Larry Clinton ("I Double Dare You"), Xavier Cugat ("One, Two, Three, Kick"), and others. With songs like "Remember Pearl Harbor" and "(There'll Be Blue Birds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover" it becomes clear that Allen was putting together a calculated musical background for his period piece. Even if you are a fan of the Big Band era I think you will probably find some track you do not own, because if you have all of these already you have a very nice music library.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Warm as Valves 6 April 2003
By Lewis Graham VINE VOICE
A warm, charming and delightful film Radio Days is one of Woody Allen's best films. The scene where the boys parents kiss and he looks on is a fabulous peice of nostalgia, trimmed with sadness. All the performances are on the ball and for once the music fits the drama perfectly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good viewingt 29 Jun 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Very funny and the music was wonderful Woody always gets background music it was a very happy film and I really enjoyed it..
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music
Anecdotal movie recalling days gone by with great affection. Enjoyable on many levels. Covers the years from 1938 to 1945. Read more
Published 3 months ago by brenda wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Radio Days
A great film, going back to the golden age of radio. It just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling watching it. Nostalgic, and a great soundtrack too.
Published 5 months ago by Kentishbookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Tuning in
This is, along with only one or two others, my favourite Woody Allen film.
It is one of his warmest, least glib or talk-heavy movies - despite Woody`s own constant voice-over... Read more
Published 7 months ago by GlynLuke
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best
This was a gift, as I had seen it and thought it
was one of the best "tongue and creek" of the
time. The cast was outstanding. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mimcou
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware Evil Doers Everywhere
The genius of Woody Allen is to shine a nostalgic light on the 1940s which is affectionate and warm but at the same time not sanitising it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Numinous Ugo
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - Woody Allen at his best
Nostalgic and brilliant. Comedic and touching. I love this film. Mia Farrow and the whole cast are brilliant. Recommended - I had this on video and bought the DVD to keep.
Published 11 months ago by Jane K
5.0 out of 5 stars RADIO DAYS EXCELLENT
Published 13 months ago by T SPENCER (terry)
5.0 out of 5 stars quality purchase
fabulous film, dvd excellent quality. arrived on time, perfect purchase. so good i bought two and gave one as a present. ideal fo woody allen fans or lovers of old music.
Published 19 months ago by EDITH WHARTON
5.0 out of 5 stars A step back in time.
An absolute classic nostalgia film. Even if you weren't alive in the 1940s you'll find it charming, heart warming and funny. My favorite Woody Allen movie. Read more
Published on 5 April 2012 by the English Sceptic
4.0 out of 5 stars Allen's Masterly Nostalgia Trip
Woody Allen's 1987 film Radio Days is a marvellous (autobiographical, but fictional) account of 1930s/40s life in New York, focusing on Allen's recollections of the effect radio... Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2011 by Keith M
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