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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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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  »

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

On his DVD audio-commentary, director Richard Benjamin says how Peter O'Toole, who insisted to do as many of his own stunts as he could, said that the great thing about swashbuckler actors like Errol Flynn, was that they did many or most of their own stunts, so when the audience saw the action sequence, they knew it was really the star in the scene, and not some faked double in a cutaway. This realism gave authenticity and believability to a sequence which would be lost by faked sequences with doubles. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, "The Comedy Cavalcade" is broadcast from an auditorium studio in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. In the 50s, NBC had leased various Broadway theaters for their prime time variety shows, which were not done from 30 Rock. The 30 Rock studios were built to produce radio variety shows and were suitable for game shows and later programs like The Tonight Show, but could not handle sketch comedy shows with large casts and lots of scenery. (Studio 8-H, now home of SNL, was set up for live dramas with no studio audience.) See more »

Quotes

Benjy Stone: First rule: never tell a joke sitting down. You have to be on your feet - and use your hands: This guy walks into a Psychiatrist's office. He has a duck on his head. The Psychiatrist says, "Can I help you?" The duck says, "Yeah, get this guy off my ass."
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Connections

Features Lord Jim (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

How High the Moon
(1940)
Music by Morgan Lewis (uncredited)
Lyrics by Nancy Hamilton (uncredited)
Performed off-screen by Les Paul and Mary Ford during the opening scene
Played also as dance music at the Waldorf
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

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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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