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Radioland Murders 1994
Description: In 1939, WBN, a fourth radio network, is about to take to America's airwaves. As if the confusion of the premiere night wasn't enough, Penny Henderson, the owner's secretary, gotta deal with an unhappy sponsor, an overbearing boss and a soon-to-be ex-husband who desperately wants her back. As the broadcast begins, a mysterious voice breaks the broadcast and suddenly members of the cast turn up dead. It's up to her husband Roger, to search out whodunit as the police chase him through the halls of WBN.
Released: 21 Oct 1994 Director: Mel Smith Writers: George Lucas (story), Willard Huyck (screenplay), Gloria Katz (screenplay), Jeff Reno (screenplay), Ron Osborn (screenplay) Actors: Brian Benben, Mary Stuart Masterson, Ned Beatty, George Burns Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Musical, Mystery, Romance
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Radioland Murders Reviews:

I am glad to tell that I have this picture on video now, and it is still one of my favorite movies. I think the movie brilliantly captures how a radio station (or a scene production even) can be controlled chaos at times.This movie was unfairly maligned in my opinion. I like the murder mystery/comedy genre. At times, it can be badly done, but here it is very well-handled. Brian Benben, Mary Stuart Masterson and the team of celebrities who cameo, handle their scenes very well. My only true complaint would be that Christopher Lloyd and Michael McKean have very tiny to do.But the plot twists and the resolution both pay off excellently and Mel Smith directs the piece with panache. There are also few nice musical numbers thrown in as well. I give this movie 8/10.


Unfairly and almost universally trashed, this is a charming and atmospheric imagining of a hectic night in the life of a Chicago radio station whose ambition it is to go national. The sponsors are a tough sell, nothing is going as planned, and everything is pure chaos, compounded by a mounting tally of murder victims."Radioland Murders" is one of the noisiest and busiest live-action films I've seen, literally wall-to-wall in each frame with rapid-fire slapstick and pratfalls, and it does not quite work as a comedy, but even as a comedy, it's breezy and pleasant in the face of its frenzied pace -- not unlike an old Warner Bros. cartoon of the Merrie Melodies variety. Better, though, it works as a nostalgic notion of old-time radio. The staggering gaps in logic and plot are meant to be ignored, as this is fantasy; it embraces the concept of radio in its heyday as the missing url between paperback journeys and television, requiring the listener's imagination to do half the work, while tv requires none of it. The film amounts to what should likely be a 9-year old listener's visual projection of what he's hearing on the radio.It's technically dazzling, too, with the lens darting into rooms, out of windows and around the action becoming its own frenetic participant, and there's some breathtaking shots of the exterior of the station, often accentuating its height and distance from the town road far below. Brian Benben and Mary Stuart Masterson might strike the same one or two chords throughout the movie, but they're likable, as is this movie. And Scott Michael Campbell is very funny as Billy the pageboy, a type of wide-eyed Quentin Tarantino of the radio age; fast-talking (everyone in the movie is fast-talking, actually) and easy distracted (the look on his face as he accidentally barges into the ladies' dressing room and becomes mesmerized by the sight of the topless actresses is priceless), his whole grammar and understanding of life is derived from the radio shows of which he has encyclopedic knowledge.Finally, "Radioland Murders" closes with some wistfully ironic thoughts (the film is mostly gratis of contemporary irony, with the exception of this and an unsuccessful line about warning labels on cigarette packs) about tv (best summed up by three uniformed cops hypnotized by a cathode ray tube) and the immortality of radio. A film more about myth than story, "Radioland Murders" is written in the scattershot style of the radio tools depicted. It might merely be a sanitized and moderate entertainment (particularly when viewed vs something like "The Hudsucker Proxy"), but it's affectionate, details lively music, looks great, and is fully innocent.


If you're looking for a serious mystery--or for that matter, a serious anything--don't watch this movie.If you just wish a fun film that you can watch again and again, this one is for you! It takes zone in the studios of radio station WBN on the night of its national debut. The station managers, directors, writers, and actors, already stressed with the debut and pleasing the affiliates, are shocked when a trumpet user in the orchestra is poisoned and killed. The station team then has to hold the tools going while the police investigate and the writers go on strike. After more murders are committed, writer Roger Henderson, the innocent prime suspect, has to simultaneously evade the police, rewrite scripts for shows about to air, and solve the crime to prove his innocence.There are some discrepancies and parts I'm sure critical folks split hairs over. Don't expect a masterpiece, just some nice fun.



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