Radio Days (1987)

Radio Days (1987), written and directed by Woody Allen.

A loving, humorous reminiscence of a big family in 1940s New York City. The period detail is meticulous and the score is the great jazz and big band music of the war years.

This would be a good companion to Boorman's Hope and Glory (1987) which shows the same story at the same time in London. The teen girls do the same trick of drawing stocking seams on the backs of the legs when they can't get nylons.

Allen narrates the film, giving us the strong impression of loosely autobiographical memories, although the kid (Seth Green, age 13) is called Joe, not Woody or Allan Stewart or Heywood. It may be his warmest, most loving film, with the moments of bitter satire more than offset by affectionate, time-tinted memories.

Too many familiar faces to list! Julie Kavner and Michael Tucker usually get small supporting roles and it is great to see them featured as Mom and Dad.

Mia Farrow is in the cast; this is in the middle of their complicated partnering relationship, years before the disastrous blowup that still reverberates today with charges of possible but unproven criminality.

On Blu-ray from Twilight Time, now out of print. I'm told Allen hates extras and won't allow them, so we don't have a commentary track. It does have an isolated score and trailer.