The year is nineteen thirty-nine and General Walt Whalen is launching America’s fourth radio network, WBN. The first night’s programming is live, and he is hosting all his potential affiliates to lure them into joining the network. Because this is their one shot and everything is being broadcast live when a couple of folks die after a mysterious voice interrupts the program no one stops. The show must go on you see.
Though when it is clear that someone is bumping off the stars of the network, they do call the police who try to unravel the murders all while the wacky goings on continue in the background. Unfortunately, married couple, Roger and Penny, get tied up in the nonsense as she gets promoted to director and station manager when the former holders of those jobs die, and he gets arrested when he keeps showing up at the scene of the crime. Though innocent the only way Roger can avoid going to jail is by escaping and leading the cops all thru the building trying to find out who the real killer is. Cue the craziness.
I think that they get around this by casting some of the funniest and most talented comedians available in the nineties. Michael McKean, Brian Benben, Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher Lloyd, Bobcat Goldthwait, Robert Klein, Stephen Tobolowsky, Larry Miller, and Harvey Korman all show up in parts. Korman is awesome as the drunken writer and plays that party up to the nines. Mary Stuart Masterson is also awesome as Penny and holds her own with all the comedic talent on display. It took a special cast to make this work and they found them. Radioland Murders also dips in for some familiar faces in what is maybe not more than glorified cameos but appreciated none the less. Ned Beatty, George Burns, Brion James, Rosemary Clooney, and freaking Billy Barty! Talk about an all-star cast!
If you haven’t figured it out yet I love this movie. I used to think it was a remake of Abbott and Costello’s Who Done It? But other than the setting and the murders it doesn’t seem to be. Though that movie has many similar characters like the General running the station and the Bell boy character running around. So, I feel like someone involved in Radioland Murders definitely saw that movie. Regardless this is a blast and a movie that I can highly recommend. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Ó Copyright 2022 John Shatzer