[box cover]

Radio Days

The Woody Allen Collection: Volume Three

  • Broadway Danny Rose
  • Hannah and Her Sisters
  • A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
  • The Purple Rose of Cairo
  • Radio Days
  • Zelig

  • Summary
  • Woody Allen's nostalgic look back to the pre-TV era when radio captured the collective imagination is sweet and wistful, but with its loose, episodic structure is also one of his lightest, least durable movies. Allen narrates a series of barely interconnected stories revolving around radio shows popular around the late 1930s and early 1940s, contrasting the harried lives of the working-class folk who listen with the supposedly glamorous lives of those who perform. It's an interesting juxtaposition, but never materializes into a purpose. Allen's affection for the culture and music of the period is never in doubt, and, in terms of production design and art direction, Radio Days is one of his greatest creations. But, as the series of nominally amusing scenarios passes by like scenes excised from Neil Simon's autobiographical plays, there's a sneaking feeling that one has been duped into watching someone else's exceptionally produced home movies. The ensemble is terrific, with many Allen regulars, from Tony Roberts to Diane Keaton, making cameo appearances, and excellent turns from L.A. Law's Michael Tucker, and a young Seth Green as child-Allen's alter ego. Presented in a fine, though by no means meticulous, 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital mono (Allen's preferred audio format). Trailer, keep-case.
    —Gregory P. Dorr



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