7.3/10
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Talk Radio (1988)

R | | Drama | 13 January 1989 (USA)
A rude, contemptuous talk show host becomes overwhelmed by the hatred that surrounds his program just before it goes national.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

Stephen Singular (book), Eric Bogosian (play) | 4 more credits »

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Bogosian ... Barry
Ellen Greene ... Ellen
Leslie Hope ... Laura
John C. McGinley ... Stu
Alec Baldwin ... Dan
John Pankow ... Dietz
Michael Wincott ... Kent / Michael / Joe
Linda Atkinson Linda Atkinson ... Sheila Fleming
Robert Trebor ... Jeffrey Fisher / Francine
Zach Grenier ... Sid Greenberg
Tony Frank Tony Frank ... Dino
Harlan Jordan Harlan Jordan ... Coach Armstrong
Bill Johnson ... Fan #1
Kevin Howard Kevin Howard ... Fan #2
Anna Levine ... Woman at Basketball Game / Denise
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Storyline

An acerbic radio talk show host based in Dallas starts what could be an important few days when he discovers that his controversial late night show is about to be "picked up" by a nationwide network of radio stations. However, all is not perfect for him, because on top of troubles with his love life and fears that the management of the network will try to alter the content of his show he has to cope with a neo-nazi group who have been angered by his forthright opinions. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Words can kill... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Vozes da Ira See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$80,547, 26 December 1988

Gross USA:

$3,468,572

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,468,572
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the Dallas radio station in Texas, USA was "KGAB". See more »

Goofs

During the flashback sequence, a Pepsi can with a tapered rim is seen on Jeff Fisher's desk. Dialogue sets the scene during the Carter administration (1977-81), but beverage cans with the tapered design weren't introduced until 1987, around the time the movie was filmed. See more »

Quotes

Dan: Barry you should ask me before you put another guest on the show.
Barry: Why?
Dan: Because I'm your boss, that's why.
See more »

Connections

References Easy Rider (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

KGAB Radio ID's
Written & Arranged by Otis Conner and Whitey Thomas
Produced by Otis Conner
Recorded at The Otis Conner Companies Studio, Dallas, Texas
Additional KGAB Music Backgrounds Provided by APM
See more »

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User Reviews

A highly captivating film!
1 November 2011 | by TOMNELSee all my reviews

Oliver Stone is known for making somewhat controversial films that oftentimes shape history to his liking. This film is completely different than the normal Stone. It's a character piece studying the madness that a radio talk show host is thrown into, and 80% of the film takes place in one setting, which makes the film both perfectly uncomfortable and claustrophobic, and allows intimacy with the protagonist. In addition to that, this is shot so well, taking full use of the tiny little set used.

Barry Champlain (star and screen/playwriter Eric Bogosian) is a talk radio host out of Dallas that hosts a controversial show offending many of his listeners. Barry has a failed marriage that he would like to rekindle, and even his fans seem to hate him. After being told his local show is going national, Barry has to put on one final local show, and in doing it, gains an insight into his audience.

Eric Bogosian first wrote this film as a play, and it was fleshed out to make this movie, and really there could not have been a better actor to play Barry than Eric. In addition to his great voice, he brings the perfect level of arrogance to the role, which contrasts nicely against the moronic callers the voice their lack of opinion on his show. The whole movie has a lack of opinion, and becomes a movie about the lack of opinion in people, Barry's revelation about this is a great scene.

The blocking and camera angles in the small radio set are great. Stone and his cinematographer Robert Richardson play with shadowy close-ups, and shots through windows with reflections, and angles that give the film a kind of creepy feel. The intimacy of the set, along with the callers who threaten to kill Barry give a constant feeling that something bad is going to happen. The direction and the writing meld perfectly together to make this fairly straightforward character piece a thriller. You don't really know what's around the bend, but the feeling of dread is strong.

Overall, this film is a character study, and at the same time, a minimalist thriller, relying completely on the audience's imagination as to what is going to happen. The dialogue is sharp, the acting is great, and the cinematography is cramped in a good way, showing a certain madness. This is definitely right up there with Stone's very best work!

My rating: **** out of ****. 109 mins. Rated R for language.


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