Both Eric Bogosian, who stars, and Oliver Stone, who directs, wrote Talk Radio for the screen. Talk Radio had first been a stage play written by Bogosian, and many of the same actors from the play appear in the movie. Other notable actors who star include: Alec Baldwin, Ellen Greene, Leslie Hope, John C. McGinley, and Michael Wincott.
Talk Radio is a movie about Barry Champlain (Bogosian), a controversial talk radio host in Dallas, Texas. He mostly makes fun of his callers, harasses or insults them, or just plain pisses them off. However, he gets good ratings, and Metrowave has decided to pick up his show and syndicate it nationally, much to the joy of his boss, Dan (Baldwin), who set everything up. Barry has mixed feelings about this, and calls up his ex-wife, Ellen (Greene), for support and invites her down for the premiere of his first national show. He is also dating his producer, Laura, who is none too happy about this. As his show continues, Barry soon begins to realize that he isn't as loved as he leads himself to believe, after he gets numerous death threats in the mail. Callers are becoming increasingly hostile to him, and Barry soon realizes that the only thing some of his "fans" want is him silenced – permanently.
To me, Talk Radio was a mixed bag. I thought the performances were great: Bogosian especially does a great job as Barry, and he carries the whole film. The story was also well developed; the flashback scene in the middle of the film was interesting, and really helped define the character of Barry. However, the character of Barry turned me off at some points, as he is genuinely not a nice guy and he says some pretty offensive stuff. I realize that is part of the movie: you're not supposed to like Barry. I think they went a bit overboard, though. Overall, the movie is pretty good, but it won't be something I revisit anytime soon.