Radioland Murders

Watch Radioland Murders

"At station WBN, the hits just keep on coming."
  • PG
  • 1994
  • 1 hr 52 min
  • 6.1  (3,889)

Radioland Murders is a delightful murder-mystery-comedy film set in a 1930s radio station during their inaugural broadcast. A madman is on the loose in the studio, and it's up to a staff memorandum writer to solve the murders before the transmitter runs out of power at dawn. The film has an all-star cast, including Brian Benben as Roger, the frazzled and overworked writer; Mary Stuart Masterson as Penny, a sharp-tongued singer and Roger's ex-wife; and Ned Beatty as General Walt, the owner of the radio station. The rest of the cast is composed of a motley crew of radio directors, producers, advertisers, actors, and technicians, all scrambling to put together a flawless broadcast while dodging the killer's attacks.

The pace of the film is breakneck, as we are introduced to new characters and subplots every few minutes, but it never feels overwhelming or confusing. Rather, it's a testament to the snappy writing and direction of Mel Smith, who keeps the film moving at a brisk pace, with plenty of zingers, sight gags, musical numbers, and meta-commentaries on the radio industry of the time.

The film is also visually dazzling, with an art-deco style that evokes the glamour and decadence of the era. The radio station's sets are meticulously designed, with gleaming microphones, blinking on-air lights, and vintage sound equipment that add to the film's immersive quality. The costumes and makeup are equally impressive, with the actors decked out in flashy suits, fedoras, flapper dresses, and rouge lipstick that transport us back to the golden age of radio dramas.

Despite its manic energy and quirky humor, Radioland Murders also has a heart. The film is ultimately a celebration of the power of storytelling, and how it can bring people together in times of crisis. There are moments of genuine pathos and tenderness that emerge amid the chaos, such as when Penny sings a haunting ballad that reveals her vulnerability, or when Roger has a heart-to-heart conversation with his young daughter, who inspires him to solve the murders and save the broadcast.

The film's central mystery is also compelling, with enough twists and turns to keep the audience guessing until the final scenes. Although some of the clues and red herrings are a bit contrived, the overall plot is solidly crafted, with a satisfying resolution that ties together all the loose ends. The identity of the killer is well-hidden, and the motive is suitably convoluted, adding to the film's intrigue and suspense.

Overall, Radioland Murders is a joyous and inventive film that defies easy categorization. Part murder mystery, part screwball comedy, part musical, and part homage to a bygone era, it's a film that will keep you entertained and engaged from start to finish. Whether you're a fan of old-time radio, classic cinema, or just good old-fashioned fun, Radioland Murders is a film that is well worth your time.

Radioland Murders is a 1994 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 52 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.

Radioland Murders
Where to Watch Radioland Murders
Radioland Murders is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Radioland Murders for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 52 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (3,889)