Talk Radio (1988)


“Tell me something I-I’m curious. How do you dial a phone with a straitjacket on?” – Barry

Number of Times Seen – at least twice (Cable in the late 80’s and 23 Jun 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A late night radio talk show host engages his listeners to the limits while trying to get picked up nationally.

My Take on it – This is a film that has amazing dialogue which is so interesting to listen to, yet the plot itself is super thin.

Eric Bogosian who wrote the script is superb here and I’m surprised that his career didn’t skyrocket after a role like this.

I’m totally shocked that a film like this can be so engaging yet still feel like it is constantly running in place for nearly two hours.

This is a rare feat to be able to accomplish in Hollywood.

The supporting cast is great with Alec Baldwin, John Pankow, John C. McGinley, Leslie Hope and Ellen Green all doing fine work, but none of them come anywhere close to giving the performance of a lifetime that Bogosian manages here.

Bottom Line – Great dialogue which is delivered amazingly by Bogosian yet the story itself is very weak. It’s a rare feat that a film can feel so engaging yet seem as if it is running in place.  Great supporting cast of Baldwin, Pankow and Green but none of them can help elevate the storytelling.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film’s source stage play’s original off-Broadway production opened at Martinson Hall and the Joseph Papp Public Theater on 29th May 1987 and ran for 210 performances across six months until it closed on 29th November 1987. The play’s debut on Broadway, a revival commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the play, opened at the Longacre Theater on 11th March 2007, and ran for 121 performances across about 3½ months, until it closed on 24th June 2007. This production won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in 2007. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

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One thought on “Talk Radio (1988)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1988 |

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