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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. 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 »
Stone, women love to be intrigued. They enjoy unraveling the mystery that is man, but you must allow them the freedom to discover you.
Is that what you do?
No. I don't have that luxury. The women who are interested in me know exactly who I am and what they want, and nine times out of ten, they get it.
That's some curse.
You'd be surprised. You see, no matter what I do, I can never fulfill their expectations.
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The version of "My Favorite Year" syndicated to (American) broadcast television contains at least three extra scenes:
At the beginning of the film, Benjy Stone is carrying a cardboard cutout of Alan Swann into the RCA Building; as he dashes to an elevator in the lobby, the theatrical version jumps to Benjy's arrival in the writers' office. But in the broadcast version, we see Benjy take the elevator up; also on the elevator is K.C., who ignores Benjy's attempts to engage her in conversation.
The broadcast version extends the rehearsal of the "Boss Hijack" sketch to include several more pieces of business, including the illusion of steam shooting out of King Kaiser's ears.
Following Benjy and Alan's wild horse ride through Central Park, the broadcast version adds a shot of the horse parked in front of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
The best movies have moments -- scenes so powerful, or simply so note-perfect, that they live on in your memory after the plot is forgotten.
"My Favorite Year" has more than its share of these.
Other reviewers on this page have singled out the dinner at Belle Mae Steinberg Carioca's (Lainie Kazan's) Brooklyn apartment. They might also have mentioned the scene in which a titanically intoxicated Alan Swann (O'Toole)essays to "shimmy down" the side of a building, using a fire hose as rapelling gear, or the farcically climactic fight scene on live 50's TV.
But two other moments resonate even more strongly; they explain completely why Peter O'Toole was cast in this otherwise comedic role.
In the first, O'Toole's character interrupts his own plans for an evening of debauchery to fulfill a fantasy by dancing with an aging, but still glorious Gloria Stuart. Both onscreen and off, the audience is spellbound in the midst of the slapstick as these two senior-citizen actors seize the screen for the duration of their waltz.
Even more compelling is an important scene later in the movie in which Swann makes a quick trip to visit a young daughter whom he hasn't seen in years. He watches her from the car, but can't bring himself to get out and speak to her. The scene is played completely without dialogue. With the camera focused tightly on the warring emotions which play across O'Toole's face, no dialogue is necessary. It's a powerful, lump-in-the-throat moment every divorced dad will recognize.
I join others on this page in urging you to rent this movie for the laughs. As you laugh, however, stay alert for two of the truest moments ever placed on film. Enjoy.
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