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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Radioland Murders (1994)

In 1939 Chicago, a brand new radio station has a splashy opening night. But the usual opening night nerves quickly fade as members of the cast and band as well as executives start dropping dead. A married couple, one of the writers (Brian Benben) and the station owner's secretary (Mary Stuart Masterson), try to solve the murders before the end of the show. Based on a story by executive producer George Lucas and co-written by his AMERICAN GRAFFITI scripters Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, the film attempts to recreate the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s ..... unsuccessfully. HIS GIRL FRIDAY seems to be the template with Benben and Masterson as a battling couple spitting out rapid fire dialogue that whizzes by. But even if the material were better, Benben and Masterson aren't Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Normally, I'm a pushover for these farcical comedies where everyone flies around like a chicken with its head cut off and hysteria prevails, stuff like IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD and THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING but this one is just exhausting. So exhausting one yearns for a quiet moment. The storyline is near impossible to follow and finally one just stops trying. Directed by Mel Smith. The massive cast includes George Burns, Rosemary Clooney, Ned Beatty, Candy Clark, Christopher Lloyd, Harvey Korman, Peter MacNicol, Michael McKean, Anita Morris, Michael Lerner, Jeffrey Tambor, Corbin Bernsen, Anne De Salvo, Billy Barty and Stephen Tobolowsky.

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