Audio Commentary:Feature-length commentary by director Richard Benjamin
My Favorite Year
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Top Customer Reviews
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 the 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.Read more ›
The ensemble cast is excellent. Mark Linn-Baker (in his pre-t.v. sitcom days) and O'Toole are the main characters, but they are greatly complimented by Joseph Bologna, Selma Diamond, Lani Kazan, Michelle Jones and other great actors, most of whom you will not know by name, but will recognize once you see them.
The story as told from the memory of Benji Stone (Linn-Baker) is great. When Alan Stone is booked to appear on the old-time live t.v. show (based on Your Show of Shows), Benji is assigned to babysit over his hero, who is now a washed-up alcoholic. O'Toole was born to play this part. From the opening narration, this movie is an emotionally funny ride through the days of old-time t.v.
If you have never seen this movie, rent it, buy it or borrow it. You won't be disappointed, and once you have seen it once, you will want to see it again and again. I cannot give this movie a higher recomendation. It is truly a forgotten classic.
All of this being said, My Favorite Year tells all the stories and tells them well. You can sense the enthusiasm of the writer as he gets to chance to meet and work with his favorite movie star. You get something of his dismay when he has to fight his bosses, and he's so junior, everyone is his boss, in order to let his idol stay on the show after he shows up tanked the first day. He willingly undertakes the task of overseeing his idol as he makes his way through New York. He, and we, also learn a great deal more about his idol which makes him so much more human and down to earth.
We see the writers dealing with actors with huge egos. The pitfalls of producing a comedy sketch when the victim is a "percieved" crime boss are well demonstrated even as we laugh until our sides hurt.
At the same time the writer is overseeing his idol, he is actively pursuing a woman he is hopelessly in love with. SHe regards him as an embarressment best avoided. Dinner with the two of them is priceless both visually and through the dialog.
The conclusion is a reprise of the swash buckling of the 30s that was fizzling out in the early 50s. How many pirate movies were made in the 50s? Very few.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the funniest and truest films ever to grace the big screen. You will never forget the Dinner scene with uncle Morty!Published 4 days ago by Floyd Beatty
The movie, of course, is fantastic. But this copy looks like the "manufacturer" recorded it from a TV screen. It appears to be a pirated copy of the movie. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Vanessa Frank