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My Favorite Year (1982)

PG | | Comedy | 8 October 1982 (USA)
A dissolute matinee idol is slated to appear on a live TV variety show.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
K.C. Downing
...
King Kaiser
...
Sy Benson
...
Belle Carroca
...
Alice Miller
...
Herb Lee
...
Uncle Morty
Adolph Green ...
Leo Silver
Tony DiBenedetto ...
Alfie Bumbacelli
...
Myron Fein
Selma Diamond ...
Lil
...
Karl Rojeck
Jenny Neumann ...
Connie
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Storyline

Benjy Stone is the junior writer on the top rated variety/comedy show, in the mid 50s (the early years). Its a new medium and the rules were not fully established. Alan Swann, an Erol Flynn type actor with a drinking problem is to be that weeks guest star. When King Kaiser, the headliner wants to throw Swann off the show, Benjy makes a pitch to save his childhood hero, and is made Swann's babysitter. On top of this, a union boss doesn't care for Kaiser's parody of him and has plans to stop the show. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi año favorito  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$266,009 (USA) (3 October 1982)

Gross:

$20,123,620 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the television variety comedy show was "The Comedy Cavalcade". See more »

Goofs

In the family dinner scene, Belle calls Alan Swann "Al," to which Benjy responds, "Ma, it's not Al. If I invite Capone or Jolson, then it's Al." At that point, Uncle Morty says, "Jolson's coming?" The movie takes place in 1954. Al Jolson died in 1950, and Capone died in 1947. Of course, Benjy could have been making a facetious remark, but Uncle Morty acts as if he thinks Jolson is still alive. See more »

Quotes

Swann: Stone, I want you to know that this morning I had absolutely no idea I was in the process of inserting myself into an arrangement that already existed between you and Miss Downing.
Benjy Stone: Would it have made any difference?
Swann: No.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.19 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Stardust
(1927)
Music by Hoagy Carmichael (uncredited)
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish (uncredited) (1929)
Performed off-screen by Nat 'King' Cole during the opening credits
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

A Perfect Film Comedy!
18 October 2003 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

Have you ever watched a film and wished it wouldn't end? Where you loved all the characters, adored each scene, and laughed at every joke, even after you'd seen the film so many times that you could quote the dialog? MY FAVORITE YEAR is that kind of movie!

Directed with gusto by Richard Benjamin, the film is both a loving tribute to Sid Caesar's 'Your Show of Show', and the remarkable talents that brought it together each week, and a sincere homage to Errol Flynn, whose antics and larger-than-life persona, in the waning years of his life, still had a kind of magic that could enthrall a shy young fan, or make a woman swoon.

Three dynamic performances dominate the film. Mark Linn-Baker, as Benjy Stone, based on the young Mel Brooks, is a shy kid who hides his insecurities behind a rapid-fire wit. The dazzling young star in a staff of comedy 'pros', Stone suffers from an unrequited love from fellow staffer K. C. Downing (Jessica Harper), and has an inspiration, inviting legendary swashbuckler Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole) to appear on the show. As King Kaiser, star of the hit series, Joseph Bologna captures much of Sid Caesar's legendary physical 'presence' and irreverence to authority. When threatened by gangsters over a 'too close to home' series of parodies about crime boss Karl Rojeck (portrayed with brute menace by veteran actor Cameron Mitchell), Kaiser 'thumbs his nose' at them, mimicking the gangster mercilessly. "I'll KEEP doing it!" he taunts. "Why? Because it's FUNNY!"

Then there is Peter O'Toole's 'Alan Swann'. With his own career a roller coaster ride of alcoholism, resulting in the near destruction of his health, no actor could have 'channeled' Errol Flynn better. Just as Flynn, by the 1950s, was a nearly burned-out roué, his classic good looks long gone, O'Toole's matinee-idol appearance, after years of self-abuse, had aged into a gaunt mask, making Benji Stone's film montage of 'classic' clips more poignant. What Flynn still had, in abundance, were charm and a ready wit, and O'Toole's 'Swann' is so enchanting a personality that you can't help but love him, and root for him to succeed.

From the opening nostalgic strains of Nat King Cole's rendition of 'Stardust', through Benjy's futile effort to attempt to keep Swann sober (Red Skelton loved to tell how he kept Flynn sober on his program...he emptied all of the actor's bottles of vodka, replacing it with water...and Flynn couldn't tell the difference!), to a riotous Swann dinner with Benjy's family, to the near-disastrous broadcast, with Swann developing stage fright, and Kaiser brawling with mob enforcers...MY FAVORITE YEAR has one glorious scene after another, each unforgettable!

One of the AFI's '100 Greatest Film Comedies', MY FAVORITE YEAR will bring a tear to your eye, even as you laugh. It was a time of legends, and heroes who would live up to boyhood dreams.

Film comedy doesn't get any better than this!


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