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My Favorite Year

My Favorite Year

5.0 2
Director: Richard Benjamin,

Cast: Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper


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In Richard Benjamin's directorial debut, Mark Linn-Baker stars as Benjy Stone, junior writer on the popular 1950s TV comedy/variety series The King Kaiser Show. Kaiser (Joseph Bologna)'s guest star this week is Hollywood matinee idol Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole), a swashbuckling Errol Flynn type, right down to his indiscriminate womanizing and fondness for mass


In Richard Benjamin's directorial debut, Mark Linn-Baker stars as Benjy Stone, junior writer on the popular 1950s TV comedy/variety series The King Kaiser Show. Kaiser (Joseph Bologna)'s guest star this week is Hollywood matinee idol Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole), a swashbuckling Errol Flynn type, right down to his indiscriminate womanizing and fondness for mass quantities of booze. Stone is assigned to keep the actor out of trouble during rehearsals and deliver him sober to the performance. Becoming fast friends, Stone and Swann alternate baby-sitting responsibilities: Swann takes the young writer to the Stork Club and on an early-morning jaunt through Central Park with a "borrowed" police horse, while Stone takes Swann to his home, where the star is fawned over by Benji's mom (Lainie Kazan) and asked embarrassing questions about his love life by Uncle Morty (Lou Jacobi). Despite a few anxious moments, all goes well until Swann, panicking at the discovery that King Kaiser's show will be telecast live and not on film, walks out just before airtime. Shamed by Benjy into honoring his committment, Swann makes a spectacular, timber-smashing entrance, saving the show and rescuing Kaiser from being rubbed out by a gangster (Cameron Mitchell) whom the comedian has offended. The film co-stars Jessica Harper, Gloria Stuart and Selma Diamond, a real-life comedy writer for Sid Caesar. My Favorite Year was converted into an unsuccessful Broadway musical in the early 1990s.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
A hilarious homage to the Golden Age of television, My Favorite Year pokes fun at the behind-the-scenes zaniness that typified TV production in New York during that halcyon era. The year is 1954; Senate hearings vie with old B-westerns for ratings, and young Benjy Stone (Mark Linn-Baker) is writing for Comedy Cavalcade, the hottest variety show on the air. He's on top of the world, and chaperoning that week's guest star -- fading matinee idol Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole) -- should be a pleasurable assignment. But Swann is a dissolute rake whose outrageous antics keep Benjy in constant damage-control mode; it's a toss-up as to whether or not the old boy will make it to the broadcast sober and in one piece. Director Richard Benjamin (Mermaids) lovingly re-creates this colorful era in showbiz history, using for his supporting cast many of the actors and celebrities who were actually working in the New York studios during those years. O'Toole, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his scene-stealing performance, was enough of an off-screen carouser himself to lend verisimilitude to his characterization of Swann, who was obviously patterned after swashbuckling movie star Errol Flynn. O'Toole's flamboyant manner and rich comic timing make him an absolute delight, and he's ably supported by Joseph Bologna (playing TV host King Kaiser), Bill Macy, Lainie Kazan, Lou Jacobi, Selma Diamond, and Adolph Green. Wryly satirical in some spots and openly slapstick in others, My Favorite Year is a real rib-tickler from first frame to last -- as fresh and satisfying today as it was in 1982. Benjamin and O'Toole reminisce about the film's making in their commentary for the DVD, which also includes highlights of O'Toole's career and Year's original theatrical trailer.
All Movie Guide - Dan Friedman
An excellent film from top to bottom, My Favorite Year captures a long-lost time and place to perfection through the use of very clever dialogue, humorous situations, and casting that is nearly as perfect as can be. The story, loosely based on the late career of Errol Flynn, involves a dissolute matinee idol named Alan Swann, played by Peter O'Toole, and his scheduled appearance on a live television variety show à la Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows. Told through the eyes of junior writer Mark Linn-Baker, who idolizes Swann, the film is a tour de force for O'Toole that allows him to show off and stretch his comedic skills. Mostly associated with the great epics of his career, it's a delight watching O'Toole play this swashbuckling souse with such aplomb. Joseph Bologna, in the Caesar role, is truly wonderful, as he doesn't resort to stereotyping and has a definite edge to him that would not ordinarily be expected in someone who is more or less a clown. Linn-Baker has the put-upon look of exasperation down to a science, and gets to use it very well in the scenes with his overbearing mother, played by Lainie Kazan. Fans of Kazan from My Big Fat Greek Wedding will be interested in seeing her playing more or less the same role with a different ethnicity. Director Richard Benjamin shows a nice comedic touch in letting the more subtle humor shine through and many of the jokes are almost lost in the surrounding mayhem, but they are all very funny. The rest of the cast is a who's who of comedy character actors, including Bill Macy, Lou Jacobi, and the late great Adolph Green as Bologna's main foil. There are many little subplots that feed into the big climax, which is the live broadcast. The scene where O'Toole realizes that he is going to appear on live television and his subsequent reaction to that information is a classic.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
[Dolby Digital Mono]

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter O'Toole Alan Swann
Mark Linn-Baker Benjy Stone
Jessica Harper K.C. Downing
Joseph Bologna King Kaiser
Bill Macy Sy Benson
Lainie Kazan Belle Carroca
Anne de Salvo Alice Miller
Basil Hoffman Herb Lee
Lou Jacobi Uncle Morty
Adolph Green Leo Silver
Tony di Benedetto Alfie Bumbacelli
George Wyner Myron Fein
Selma Diamond Lil
Cameron Mitchell Karl Rojeck
Phil Adams Stagehand #1
Rex Benson Makeup Man
Corinne Bohrer Bonnie
Richard Brestoff Stage Manager
Stanley Brock Mr. Berkowitz
Philip Bruns Fed. Marshal Holt
Richard Butler Stagehand #2
Nick Dimitri Thug #4
George Fisher Thug #2
Teresa Ganzel Dumpling
Martin Garner Mr. Cantor
Howard George Artie
Ted Grossman Marris
Karen Haber Vivian
Archie Hahn Delivery Boy
Fox Harris Curt
Barbra Horan Lady Eleanor
Priscilla Kovary Priscilla
Denver Mattson Thug #1
John Medici Scalfoni
Jed Mills Member #1
Jenny Neumann Connie
George Marshall Ruge Lord Drummond
Vincent Sardi Policeman
Pearl Shear Mrs. Kessler
Ramon Sison Rookie Carroca
Norman Steinberg Sandy
Richard Warwick Technical Director
John Welsh Cubby Brown

Technical Credits
Richard Benjamin Director
William S. Beasley Asst. Director
Ralph Burns Score Composer
Richard Chew Editor
Michael Gruskoff Producer
Gerald Hirschfeld Cinematographer
Jerry Jost Sound/Sound Designer
Art Levinson Producer
Michael Levy Producer
Herb Mulligan Set Decoration/Design
Chris Newman Sound/Sound Designer
Dennis Palumbo Original Story,Screenwriter
Larry Rapaport Set Decoration/Design
Donald J. Remacle Set Decoration/Design
Charles Rosen Production Designer
May Routh Costumes/Costume Designer
Norman Steinberg Screenwriter


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My Favorite Year 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MarilynRH More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore this movie and want very much to see it available in Blu-ray.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was a pleasant surprise. It pokes fun at the ''Your Show of Shows'' concept. There is no better cast than this one. Peter O'Toole is one of my favorites, but it is the first time I ever saw Mark Linn-Baker in anything, and he really does hold his own. I was so impressed with everyone, and I don't normally say that. The surprising thing is that Gloria Stuart is in this movie, she dances with Peter O'Toole, and I spoke to her about this movie. It is her favorite as well. Her and I agree that Peter O'Toole is one of the best actors there is. You must see this movie.