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My Favorite Year

4.6 out of 5 stars 249 customer reviews

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(Jul 09, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Peter O'Toole gives a knock-out performance as Alan Swann, a booze-loving former matinee idol who is forced into making a live appearance on a variety show to appease the IRS. Mark Linn-Baker plays the fledgling writer for the show who must keep Swann on the sober and narrow.

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary:Feature-length commentary by director Richard Benjamin
Interactive Menus
Scene Access
Theatrical Trailer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna, Bill Macy
  • Directors: Richard Benjamin
  • Writers: Dennis Palumbo, Norman Steinberg
  • Producers: Art Levinson, Joel Chernoff, Mel Brooks, Michael Gruskoff
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 9, 2002
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000648ZX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,029 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Favorite Year" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Have you ever watched a film and wished it wouldn't end? Where you loved all the characters, adored each scene, and laughed at every joke, even after you'd seen the film so many times that you could quote the dialog? MY FAVORITE YEAR is that kind of movie!
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
This sometimes forgetten gem of a film is a wonderful combination of comedy with an intense emotional message of redemption. Although O'Toole was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayl of aging matinee idol Alan Swann ("I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!), many people have either not seen or completely forgotten this great film (including, it seems, the studio, who has yet to release it on DVD). Their loss. One of the funniest movies of its time, it stands up today just as well as it did when it came out years ago.
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"My Favorite Year" is one of my favorite movies. Set in 1954, it's about an aging movie idol, Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole), who is to make a guest appearance on a television variety show hosted by King Kaiser (Joseph Bologna). However, it turns out that Swann is a libidinous lush, and the freshman writer for the show, Benjie Stone (formerly Steinberg, played by Mark Linn-Baker), is assigned to stay with him--and keep him sober and out of trouble--until after the show. The rest of the movie concerns their adventures together. The film overflows with one-liners and physical comedy, all of which stays remarkably fresh and amusing, even after repeated viewings. The script produces some classic lines; for example, during a take-out feast in which Stone is trying to woo the object of his lust (K.C. Downing, played by Jessica Harper), she comments that he really knows his dim sum. He replies, "Katherine, Jews know two things: suffering and where to find great Chinese food." The DVD also has an informative voice-over commentary by Richard Benjamin, whose first directing job was this film.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
My Favorite Year is many things. It is a depiction of the early days of television - everything was live and an oops was seen by the whole world. It is a depiction of the cross over between the big screen and small screen. It is the story of a man who is at a point in his career where his fame over past exploits is all that he can market - the present day star is a relentless boozer and womanizer and likely soon to be unemployable. It is is also the story of one man's entry into the world of television as a writer for a variety show of 1954.
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.
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My Favorite Year - Blu-ray
Love it -- but I shudder to think of the cost if the DVD is currently running $90!
Dec 16, 2013 by M. Casey |  See all 6 posts
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