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Radio Days

review by Zach B.


Rated PG

Running Time: 88 minutes

Starring Mia Farrow, Julie Kavner

Written and Directed by Woody Allen

Studio: MGM

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: Theatrical Trailer, Collectible Booklet

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Mono, French Mono, Spanish Mono, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selections (16 Scenes)

Released: November 6th, 2001
Also part of The Woody Allen Collection 3

It's back in the golden era of radio during 1942. Television is still a few years away, but for Joe Needleman (a young Seth Green), the radio means a lot to him. And as events happen in America, Joe experiences it all first hand through a series of vinteges as the era of radio is slowly coming to an end.

"Radio Days" is a tribute to Allen's fond memories of his days growing up and his fondness for the radio. Allen narrates the movie, and it's rather obvious there is some sense that a lot of these memories are based on Allen's fondness and his experiences growing up in this era.

I didn't grow up with radio, but I did know from stories I've heard, history and other prime sources how much it meant to people as it served as a source of news and entertainment. Obviously, radio and these stories of family and life growing up meant the world to Allen, and here, he captures it perfectly through the series of his stories. The writing, intertwined with real events, is sheer brilliance. The writing is fast, sharp and witty. It's also really, really funny.

Even though people don't consider "Radio Days" one of Allen's best, I think it is since it has such a warm, great and very personable touch to it. This is due to Allen's familarity with the material since it hits close to him. He really captures the era and how people were back then perfectly. His cast is rather nice, even if there is some uneveness to it all. Yet somehow it all fits. Even though some people won't fully understand "Radio Days," it's a worthy movie that's simply great.


The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen is really good. The colors of the 1940s are captured here very nicely. Fleshtones and colors are pretty bold, rich and are really well saturated. Detail and black levels are pretty good too. Blemishes, scratches and other little annoyances pop up, but not in great abundance. There's some grain, but nothing major. Nicely done.


The mono tracks in English, French and Spanish are perfect for this movie. The mono tracks give off a classic, old time radio feel that literally give off the *perfect* feel for the movie. It's just in tune (pun intended) for the whole era. Dialogue is clear and easy to hear, while the other noises and music fill in nicely. Well done here too. English closed captioning and subtitles in English, French and Spanish are on this release.


As usual, nothing much. Inside is a collectible booklet with good bits of information and there's also the full frame Theatrical Trailer.


A great look back on the days of radio and an incredible era, Woody Allen's homage to his memories is a fantastic film that works on so many levels. With a good transfer and good sound, this is one movie worth looking into, especially if you're an Allen fan.

(4.5/5 - NOT included in final score)




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