A member of the House of Lords dies, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other, somewhat more respectable, members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensue.
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 <email@example.com>
At one point, a television network expressed interest in turning the film into a weekly comedy series. See more »
The cameras in the Comedy Cavalcade studio are RCA TK-14s, which were not introduced until the late 1950s. (NBC would have used RCA TK-30, TK-10 or TK-11 cameras for black-and-white shows at this time.) In another scene a Marconi Mark IV camera is being pushed through a hallway; this camera also was not available until the late 1950s. See more »
Who is that gorgeous-looking creature over there?
Oh, no, Mr. Swann. This is exactly the way it started last time.
In that case, we'll just order dinner... for now.
See more »
In the original version that was previewed for test audiences, the final sequence revealed Benjy Stone sitting next to the grave of Alan Swann. In effect, that version made the entire film a flashback. Then again, the opening sequence clearly establishes the entire film as a flashback. 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 »
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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