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Welcome Back, Mr.McDonald (ラヂオの時間, Rajio no Jikan, "The Time of Radio") is a 1997 Japanese film directed by Kōki Mitani. It was popular in Japan upon its release and won 3 Japanese Academy Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Supporting Actor (Nishimura Masahiko). It was also nominated for Best Actor (Karasawa Toshiaki), Best Actress (Kyōka Suzuki), Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Film, Best Lighting, Best Music Score, and Best Supporting Actress (Keiko Toda).

Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald
Directed byKōki Mitani
Written byKōki Mitani
StarringToshiaki Karasawa
Masahiko Nishimura
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • 1997 (1997)
Running time
103 minutes



A late-night live broadcast of a radio drama begins with none of the cast or crew being pleased with the project. When the lead actress Nokko Senbon (Keiko Toda) decides she won't play her role unless she's allowed to change her character's name, the whole cast eventually insists on changing various parts of the play to their liking. This begins a chain of events that completely changes every aspect of the story and requires the entire staff to participate in completing the drama, all while live on the air.



  • This film was also released at the Berlin International Film Festival.
  • This film was originally a play starring the Tokyo Sunshine Boys in Japan.
  • This film is the first film ever directed by Kōki Mitani. In the "making of" commentary included on the Japanese DVD, Mitani claimed that he worried the scenes were too long—as a theatre writer, he did not know how to write short scenes.
  • Ken Watanabe plays the Truckdriver Yaro. He played a similar character in the movie Tampopo, a movie directed by Juzo Itami. Another homage to Itami is a cameo by Itami's wife, Nobuko Miyamoto who starred in all of Itami's movies, including Tampopo.

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