R. Gawlitta | Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA | 11/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge fan of Woody Allen (even his "clunkers"), but this is my absolute favorite Woody film. All of his films are personal, but none as personal and revealing as this...and ABSOLUTELY entertaining. Seth Green, Woody's young character, is perfect, justifying his current success. Wonderful performances from Woody's usual stock troupe (Kavner, Wiest, etc) are all in tune with the goings-on. Mia Farrow, in particular, is a hoot, especially her scenes with Danny Aiello. Woody even managed to squeeze a cameo from Diane Keaton at the end ("You Be So Nice to Come Home To"). Lovely and sweet. It's too bad the Academy eliminated the category for "Best Adapted Score", cuz this woud've won, no question. The greatest songs of the period (1940-1945) were lovingly presented, and anyone who sees this film can't help but be left with a wistful, soft and nostalgic feeling. Yes, this is my favorite Woody film."
One of Woody's Most Underrated Films
paperbackriter | USA | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of Woody Allen's most underrated outings, "Radio Days" is a tremendously funny film which depicts the grip that radio had on America during World War II. While void of an actual plot, "Radio Days" succeeds as a series of vignettes involving a loud, comical New York family whose lives are enlightened by an array of music, sporting events and soap operas which reach their home by way of static-filled airwaves. Long before TV and the Internet, radio was the only source of popular culture in many American homes. Family members who fought constantly (And boy do they fight in "Radio Days"!), always found time to bond around the big radio cabinet in the kitchen or living room. In typical Allen fashion, the dialogue and characters are delightfully over the top. The cast -- Michael Tucker, Julie Kavener, Seth Green, Mia Farrow -- are stellar and perfectly suited for the outrageous script. The real charm of the film is Allen's witty take on War-era radio shows. Everything from Superheroes to a radio ventriloquist (think about it...) are spoofed in way that only Woody can spoof. Of course, classic songs from the 1940's gloriously re-reate the romance and charm of a bygone era. While "Radio Days" may not be as "important" as "Annie Hall" or "Manhattan", it is a wonderfully entertaining film which bares all the trademarks of a Woody Allen classic."
Interplanetary Funksmanship | Vanilla Suburbs, USA | 05/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best thing about Woody Allen is his ability to build a movie on episodic material and subplots, without the need for an overarching plot. "Radio Days" is told in anecdotal vignettes, which relate to Allen's memories of radio in the 1940s. These vignettes are seamlessly interwoven, and through them, we come to get a feel for how and where Allen grew up.Where he grew up was Rockaway, Queens, and -- having been there dozens of times, visiting from my own Brooklyn -- Allen's actual use of the neighborhood locations really places this movie not only in place, but time, as Rockaway Beach has changed so little since the 1940s.Most memorable are the actors which comprise the ensemble cast: Seth Green plays a young Allen, casted as "Joe"; Julie Kavner and Jeff Tucker play his always bickering parents; Diane Wiest plays his old-maid aunt, Bea. But Mia Farrow as aspiring radio personality Sally White steals the show with her Canarsie accent "Hawk, I heyuh da cannons raw. Is it da king approachin'?" and later blossoms into a radio gossip show hostess, a la Hedda Hopper, replete with a proper Anglicized accent to boot.Living now in an age when many social critics blame television for driving the American family apart, Allen paints a portrait of a time when it was radio which drew families closer together; all his favorite childhood memories having some connection to a radio program or song, and it is this connection which Allen memorializes, suggesting a time that was not so much more innocent, but one that was more dramatic, classier and less jaded.DP Carlo diPalma's beautiful use of primary colors and editor Susan Morse's perfectly-timed montage flesh out a gorgeous visual counterpart to the soundtrack, which is brimming over with jazz, big bands, cop dramas, boy crooners, game shows and torch song sirens."Radio Days" is, along with "Crimes and Misdemeanors" the closest Allen came to making a perfect movie."
Woody Allen selects WWII Big Band tunes for you
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 05/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."
The Best Woody Allen film of them all.
Lawrance M. Bernabo | 04/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love Woody Allen and his crazy sense of humor. I know that some people find him (at times) a little far out, but this movie should be loved by everyone with a family and a radio. The music is the background of the WW2 generation and their children. It reminds me very much of my parents and all my relatives. It is little episodes in the life of a 8 year old boy but told in a way that all of us can relate to. I live in Florida, and a few years ago on my birthday, we were under a Hurricane watch.........a whole crew of my family of all ages gathered at my house to wait. Trying to find something to entertain everyone was a real challenge. After a bunch of false starts on other movies everyone was getting edgy until we put on Radio Days. It calmed everyone down and cheered them up, made them laugh--the movie was a hit ( and the hurricanne missed us). The casting was great. All of Woody's regulars and some other talents too. I love it."