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Radioland Murders (1994)

Mary Stuart Masterson , Brian Benben , Mel Smith  |  PG |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mary Stuart Masterson, Brian Benben, Ned Beatty, Christopher Lloyd, Jeffrey Tambor
  • Directors: Mel Smith
  • Writers: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz, Jeff Reno, Ron Osborn
  • Producers: Rick McCallum, Fred Roos, George Lucas
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 22, 2006
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,004 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Radioland Murders" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

From the mind of George Lucas, Radioland Murders is a star-studded, madcap murder-mystery that brings back the heyday of live radio and will keep you laughing and guessing until the show-stopping finale! An all-star ensemble cast comes together in this side-splitting whodunit that lovingly recreates an era known for its big band sound and art deco look.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Comedy, if you're smart enough to keep up! April 2, 2001
That's the bottom line here, you have to be mentally fast to keep up with a movie like this! Ever wonder why movie critics always love those slow, foreign movies? Because they're not all that smart! Heck, that's why they're movie critics, they probably can't do anything else besides watch movies and talk about them! This is a truly funny movie with great music and style, and I'm glad George Lucas can afford to do what he wants nowadays because he's obviously got the talent. I hope he throws some more comedies at us when he's done with Star Wars and maybe a new Indy picture! This is a very fast paced movie, but that was the whole idea! That's the way it was! His comedic take on the Phantom of the Opera is hilarious thanks to his great casting, it's just a matter of can you follow a movie that's that fast and noisy! This movie is a real rollercoaster ride, as it was meant to be! I'm 25 and love it, and my sister is 15 and loves it even more than me!!!! Thanks George, I understand what you were doing and some of us LOVE it!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to critics... November 1, 2003
This is a manic, crazy and fun film, largely due to the Keaton-like performance of Brian Benben. Mary Stuart Masterson is known for great dramatic talent, but this is the first comedy I've seen her in, and she's a natural. This was directed by Mel Smith; is it the same Mel Smith that had a small but hysterical part in "The Princess Bride"? I wonder if this film was given a bad rap because it came out the same year as Woody Allen's brilliant "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994). There are comparisons to be made, if only for period and music. Otherwise, this film takes on its very own character. A wonderful ensemble cast , including Ned Beatty, Michael Lerner, Jeffrey Tambor & Christopher Lloyd, must be commended. Cameo appearances from George Burns and Rosemary Clooney are wonderful. Whatever this film lacks in plot, is made up for with energetic performances, quick editing, and loads of great one-liners. There's also a lot of great period music to entertain. I DO enjoy this film a lot, and at the reasonable price and a great 2.35:1 Widescreen, the DVD is a bargain. If you like "silly", you'll love this. And Brian Benben is marvelous. Too bad the stuck-up critics didn't like it. We, the audience, know better.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return Now to Those Glorious Days of Yesteryear March 25, 2005
As far as I'm concerned, you can ignore the plot of Radioland Murders; it's thinner than a sheet of tissue paper. However, what you shouldn't ignore is the marvelous inside look at what life during the Golden Age of Radio was like for everyone involved with the medium.

The premise is that in 1939 WBN, a Chicago-based radio 'superstation,' is attempting to launch a national network to compete with NBC, CBS, Dumont and Mutual. (Note: one thing that makes me as a fan of old-time radio grit his teeth is the movie's constant reference to launching a 'fourth' network when in fact there were already four - five, if you count NBC Blue and NBC Red (later ABC) as two separate networks. It's a glaring mistake and one that could have been fixed with one lousy line of dialogue!) During the inaugural network broadcast, a series of murders of important players in the enterprise takes place within the walls of the station. Suspicion falls on the head of the station's writing team, who is about to be divorced by his wife, the station's assistant manager. He has to figure out who the murderer is and solve the case, while simultaneously staying out of the hands of the cops AND continuing to write half a dozen different radio scripts.

As I said, a thin plot. However, what makes this movie worth watching is the look behind the radio broadcasts of the period. The attention paid to authenticity is remarkable, not least because of the homages to many Golden Age radio entertainers. Among those honored are Orson Welles (The Shadow), Gene Autry (The Singing Cowboy), Spike Jones and his City Slickers (the interpretation of Kacheturian's "Sabre Dance" done on tuned bottles is right up Spike's alley), Cab Calloway and Glenn Miller.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced Slap-Stick with Mystery Murders November 16, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was into amateur DX AM and shortwave radio once, and I really got a charge out of this movie. I could figure out that the radio station WBN in Chicago was supposed to be WGN-just like the TV series WKRP in Cincinatti is supposed to be WKRC in Cincinatti!
There were plenty of pretty chorus girls and fast moving slapstick humor and action. You had to be alert to catch all the jokes! As I was doing a personal study of the prophet Ezekiel at the time the weird line inserted into a radio play dialog-"Die, you infidel Dog, die!-The Curse of Nebuchadnezzar be upon you!" really cracked me up since the prophecy of Ezekiel was set in ancient Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar was emperor. There is, of course, no such curse!
In real life I heard on a history TV show that the man who invented TV in the 30's had it patented; and yet no one bought his patent; but the corporations waited until the patent expired and waited after WWII and then took the invention from the man for free. This is a real danger of producing intellectual property! Obviously the mystery killer in the movie had a genuine legitimate grudge!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll love it!
A great under-rated movie! A great look at the old days of radio when it was the main form of information and entertainement.
Published 8 days ago by V. Warren Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars This is an oddity, it's not a keeper but it's intentions are...
1994 was a strange year for cinema, in that a lot of nostalgia was in the air and not everyone entertaining the Cineplex was capable of breathing ("The Shadow", with Alec... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Leslie Karen Rigsbey
5.0 out of 5 stars Funnier every time I watch it.
A look into what radio was like in the thirties with the excitement of an ongoing mystery. You never get bored.
Published 1 month ago by Kathryn J. Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun murder mystery on the set of a 1940s radio broadcast.
This is a "fun romp" as critics sometimes say, through the chaotic making of a live 1940s radio show - a show that suffers one backstage murder after another. Read more
Published 4 months ago by DianeP
5.0 out of 5 stars one of a kind mystery--a comedy
It was advertised. Big name actors (lots of well knowns). Great mystery, which is hard to find in a comady. It is better than CLUE which also like
Published 5 months ago by bigcollector
1.0 out of 5 stars From the people who gave you "Howard the Duck"
Rarely has so much talent been assembled in one place, and then so thoroughly wasted, as in "The Radioland Murders," a painfully witless attempt to recreate a 1930s screwball... Read more
Published 12 months ago by M2
5.0 out of 5 stars Good murder mystery
The plot & script are very entertaining. I highly recommend this. Sit back with a drink & popcorn & enjoy.
Published 13 months ago by M. Sajdak
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Moving Comedy
Have always liked this movie. Now have it on DVD. Fast moving. Always something going on. Never slows down. Excellent.
Published 14 months ago by Charles M. Pydynkowski
3.0 out of 5 stars A little cheesy with a few laughs
From previous reviews I expected kind of a Marx brother's type movie. Although there was a lot of different things going on the jokes were a bit lame and the acting, and... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Denise McKay
4.0 out of 5 stars radio land murders
Saw this movie when it first came out and was so excited to see that it was available for downlaod!
Published 16 months ago by cpkpipap
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