7.4/10
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80 user 19 critic

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.

Director:

Richard Benjamin

Writers:

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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Stars: Peter O'Toole, Richard Roundtree, Peter Cellier
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Cast

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
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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 | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi año favorito See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$266,009, 3 October 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$20,123,620
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film formed the basis of a Tony Award winning musical play also called "My Favorite Year" which was first performed in 1992 which was around a decade after this movie was first released in 1982. See more »

Goofs

When Swann first goes out to see Tess in Connecticut, the Chrysler parked in front of Tess' house is a 1955 model that was not yet available at that time of year (before Fall). See more »

Quotes

Swann: Are you in love with the girl?
Benjy Stone: I think I am. But, I don't know what she wants.
Swann: Romance, Stone. That's the only thing that you can be sure they all want.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Final Girls (2015) 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

 
Plastered Makes Perfect
15 May 2003 | by Bill SlocumSee all my reviews

Really fun movie, with a tone and style all its own. It has the same zippy sitcom character of the set which is its main stage, and the comedic acting is often over the top. Yet it drives through some very subtle and deep ideas about what makes a celebrity tick, the price culture extracts from its most ballyhooed figures, and the scars divorce and drink can leave on those with the smoothest of surfaces.

The secret to this film's success is O'Toole, who gives up some of his most intimate and affecting moments on screen and intersperses them with ass-over-elbow feats of physical schtick that would make a Ritz Brother proud. What a shock we never saw much else from him after this tour de force. Richard Benjamin did go on to direct other films like "Shoot The Moon," but he never managed to get it all absolutely right the way he did here. It's so note-perfect, from the opening shot of midtown Manhattan 1954 with the cars, outfits, and bustle all coming together beneath the strains of Les Paul and Mary Ford's "How High The Moon" into a tight closeup of Benjy Stone carrying a cardboard cutout of his hero, Alan Swann, through an uncaring, jostling crowd.

I almost wish they could have made a sitcom featuring the King Kaiser crew, with of course Joseph Balogna, Bill Macy, Adolph Green and the rest all reprising their roles in a kind of "Remember WENN"-style show. O, what roads left untravelled. Balogna is so good, managing to carry off his Sid Caesar-inspired role with the same kind of aplomb that made the original Caesar early television's most dynamic and celebrated comedy performer. There's a nice scene early on where Stone sticks up for a prone Swann by telling Kaiser he can't fire the swashbuckler. "You're a big star now, and I'm sure you always will be," Benjy says. "But suppose, and I know it will never happen, you end up like this. I hope nobody does to you what you're doing to him." Of course Caesar did end up like this, strung out on substance-use problems that derailed his post-50s career, and knowing that gives the scene, both funny and tension-filled, a certain undertone of poignancy for those in the know.

Mark Linn-Baker could have taken it down a notch or two, and the Brooklyn idyll was to die for, and not in a good way. I'd like to know how the hell I'm supposed to lock lips with the woman of my dreams by stuffing my face with Chinese food and showing her old movies, but I don't think my repeated viewings have helped my love life much. It has given me many hours of pleasure though. This is one film that keeps on giving. With lines like "Plastered? So are some of the finest erections in Europe" "These must be his drinking socks" and "Tongue...Death," how can it do anything less?


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