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My Favorite Year (1982)

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


Richard Benjamin


Norman Steinberg (screenplay), Dennis Palumbo (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 overview, first billed only:
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 DiBenedetto Tony DiBenedetto ... Alfie Bumbacelli
George Wyner ... Myron Fein
Selma Diamond Selma Diamond ... Lil
Cameron Mitchell ... Karl Rojeck
Jenny Neumann Jenny Neumann ... Connie


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


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi año favorito See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$266,009, 3 October 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The names of some of the classic movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood that swashbuckling film legend actor Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole) had starred in were "Rapture", "Amarillo", "Swords of Glory", "Sands of Sudan", "Defender of the Crown" and "Captain from Tortuga". See more »


The film shows full dress rehearsals in the broadcast studio early in the week before the air day, complete with scenery. Rehearsals were done in a rehearsal space, so studios could be available for other shows on other days. Dress rehearsals with scenery in studio would be held on the day of the broadcast. See more »


Alan Swann: We'll be two for dinner. Telephone the Stork Club.
Alfi: You sure you mean the Stork Club, Mr. Swann?
Alan Swann: Certainly. It's been a year and a half. Surely they've repaired the wall of the bandstand by now.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #16.37 (1999) See more »


How High the Moon
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

Summoning Up Your Inner Flynn
22 March 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Peter O'Toole, who's been known to take an occasional drink himself, probably had a lot of experience to bring to the part of Alan Swann, swashbuckling movie star of bygone years who's gone to seed. O'Toole has a tax problem and he's agreed to do an appearance on a top rated television comedy show of the Fifties to satisfy Uncle Sam's lien on his future income and to avoid deportation. But by now he's a boozy shadow of his former self and the star of the show Joseph Bologna assigns his most junior writer, Mark Linn-Baker to keep him in reasonable condition to perform.

As it turns out it means bringing O'Toole into his world which is Jewish Brooklyn of the Fifties, something I'm somewhat familiar with myself. Baker and O'Toole become a marvelous comedy duo themselves here. I'm surprised they did not team to do a whole lot more films than this.

O'Toole's performance succeeds on a lot of levels. Yes it's pretty funny, sidesplittingly funny at times. But there's also an element of sadness in it as well. You see in film clips the man O'Toole once was and now only commands attention by making a public spectacle of himself at times. I knew someone like that in my life, one who hardly had any kind of a career, but also HAD to be the center of attention at all times and usually did it by getting riotously drunk and acting abominably dumb. He had a certain charm and could get away with it, a lot though not the way O'Toole does.

Based on Mel Brooks's recollections of having to work with Errol Flynn, the film lets you know it's Flynn were remembering. Note the almost step by step choreographed duel recreation of Flynn and Basil Rathbone's final duel from The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Joseph Bologna is great as the egotistical comedy star and the Brooklyn vignette has a great performance by Lainie Kazan as Baker's most Jewish mother and Lou Jacobi as his most Jewish uncle.

Still it's what goes on and what's between O'Toole and Baker that makes My Favorite Year an all time comedy classic.

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