My Favorite Year
My Favorite Year
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Benjamin Produced by Michael Gruskoff
Mel Brooks (Uncredited)
Joel Chernoff (Uncredited)
Written by Dennis Palumbo (Story and screenplay)
Starring Peter O'Toole
Music by Ralph Burns Cinematography Gerald Hirschfeld Editing by Richard Chew Studio Brooksfilms Ltd. Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Release date(s) October 1, 1982 Running time 92 minutes Country United States Language English Box office $20,123,620
My Favorite Year is a 1982 American comedy film directed by Richard Benjamin which tells the story of a young comedy writer. It stars Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna, Lou Jacobi, Bill Macy, Lainie Kazan, Selma Diamond, Cameron Mitchell, and Gloria Stuart. O'Toole was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film was adapted into an unsuccessful 1992 Broadway musical of the same name.
Benjy Stone (Mark Linn-Baker), the narrator, tells of the summer he met his idol, swashbuckling actor Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole). In the early days of television, Benjy works as a junior comedy writer for a variety show starring Stan "King" Kaiser (Joseph Bologna). As a special upcoming guest, they get the still famous (though largely washed-up) Swann. However, when he shows up, they realize that he is a roaring drunk. Kaiser is ready to dump him, until Benjy intervenes and promises to keep him sober during the week leading up to the show.
As Benjy watches out for Swann (or at least tries to keep up with him), they learn a lot about each other, including the fact that they both have family they try to hide from the rest of the world. In Benjy's case, it's his Jewish mother (Lainie Kazan), who is married to a Filipino former bantamweight boxer, Rookie Carroca (Ramon Sison), and Benjy's embarrassing relatives, such as uncouth Uncle Morty (Lou Jacobi). For Swann, it is his young daughter, Tess (Katie McClain), who has been raised entirely by her mother, one of his many ex-wives. He stays away, but admires her from afar and continues to keep tabs on her secretly, frustrated that he cannot muster the courage to re-connect with her.
During the week of rehearsals, Kaiser is threatened by corrupt union boss, Karl Rojeck (Cameron Mitchell), who doesn't appreciate being parodied on the show. "Accidents" start happening during rehearsals when Kaiser refuses to stop performing the "Boss Hijack" sketches.
In a subplot, Benjy tries, clumsily and over-enthusiastically, to win the affections of co-worker K. C. Downing (Jessica Harper). Swann advises him on the right approach, which includes crashing a party at the home of K.C.'s affluent parents.
The night of the show finally arrives, but minutes away from going on-air, Swann suffers a panic attack when Benjy informs him that the show is broadcast live. (He is accustomed to getting many takes to get his lines right, crying - with a line which brought the house down when O'Toole appeared and showed a clip on The Tonight Show - "I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!"). Swann gets drunk, and bolts from the studio, but is confronted by Benjy, who angrily tells him that he always thought of Swann as the swashbuckling hero he saw on the big screen, and that deep down, Swann possesses those qualities as a person. As Benjy puts it, "Nobody's that good an actor!"
As the "Boss Hijack" sketch gets underway, Rojeck's men show up backstage and begin beating up Kaiser. The fight spills onto the stage during the live broadcast (with the audience thinking that it is part of the comedy sketch). Swann and Benjy observe the melee from a balcony above stage, when the audience suddenly notices Swann and breaks into enthusiastic applause. Swann grabs a rope and swings into action (dressed as a Musketeer for a later skit), saving Kaiser in front of an appreciative if still clueless audience.
Benjy narrates the epilogue, relating that Swann, his confidence bolstered, finally gets up the nerve to visit his daughter the next day and the two apparently have a heartfelt reunion. The camera fades as Swann stands in front of a still applauding audience, taking a bow.
- Peter O'Toole as Alan Swann
- Mark Linn-Baker as Benjy Stone
- Jessica Harper as K.C. Downing
- Joseph Bologna as Stan "King" Kaiser
- Bill Macy as Sy Benson
- Ramon Sison as Rookie Carroca
- Lainie Kazan as Belle Carroca
- Lou Jacobi as Uncle Morty
- Adolph Green as Leo Silver
- Annie De Salvo as Alice Miller
- George Wyner as Myron Fein
- Cameron Mitchell as Karl Rojeck
- Selma Diamond as Lil
- Corrine Bohrer as Bonnie
- Gloria Stuart as Mrs. Horn
- Katie McClain as Tess Swann
Relationship to real life
Mel Brooks, executive producer of the film, was a writer for the Sid Caesar variety program Your Show of Shows, early in his career. Movie swashbuckler Errol Flynn was a guest on one episode, and this real-life occurrence inspired Dennis Palumbo's largely fictional screenplay. Swann was obviously based on Flynn, while Benjy Stone is loosely based on both Brooks and Woody Allen, who also wrote for Caesar.
According to Brooks, the character of Rookie Carroca also was based on a real person, a Filipino sailor in the U. S. Navy who was his neighbor in Brooklyn. Much like Alan Brady on The Dick Van Dyke Show, King Kaiser represented Sid Caesar ("Kaiser" is the German equivalent of the Roman title Caesar). Selma Diamond, another former Your Show of Shows writer (who inspired Rose Marie's 'Sally Rogers' character on The Dick Van Dyke Show), appears as a costume mistress.
Other writers from Your Show of Shows had already made their own use of their experiences. The comic play, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, by Neil Simon included thinly disguised versions of Sid Caesar and his staff, as did The Dick Van Dyke Show, which was created by Brooks' friend and colleague, Carl Reiner (who would later star in Van Dyke's show as Alan Brady).
Brooks acknowledges that most of the movie's plot was fabricated. He says that Flynn's appearance on Your Show of Shows was uneventful, that none of the writers got much of a chance to talk to Flynn, let alone become his friend or take him home to dinner.
The film was the first directing effort for actor Richard Benjamin.
My Favorite Year opened in 714 North American theaters on October 1, 1982 to $2,400,696 (#3, behind An Officer and a Gentlemen's eleventh weekend and E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial's eighteenth.
It is one of the few movies that holds a 100% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
- ^ Variety film review; September 29, 1982.
- ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=1982&wknd=41&p=.htm
- My Favorite Year at the Internet Movie Database
- My Favorite Year at Box Office Mojo
- My Favorite Year at Rotten Tomatoes
Films directed by Richard Benjamin 1980s 1990s 2000s
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
My Favorite Year — Où est passée mon idole ? Où est passée mon idole ? (My Favorite Year) est un film américain réalisé par Richard Benjamin, sorti en 1982. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution … Wikipédia en Français
My Favorite Year — Voir Où est passée mon idole? … Dictionnaire mondial des Films
My Favorite Year (musical) — My Favorite Year Original Production Poster Music Stephen Flaherty Lyrics Lynn Ahrens Book … Wikipedia
Favorite Stove — Range Company was an American manufacturer from the late 19th to the mid 20th centuries.In 1887, the Favorite Stove Range Company moved to Piqua, Ohio from Cincinnati, Ohio. The firm became Piqua s largest manufacturer. The company was also the… … Wikipedia
Favorite Deadly Sins — Directed by David Jablin Denis Leary Written by Lust: Ann Lembeck Greed: Jim Mulholland Michael Barrie Anger: Lee Biondi Starring Joe Mantegna … Wikipedia
Favorite Trick — Thoroughbred racehorse infobox horsename = Favorite Trick caption = sire = Phone Trick grandsire = Clever Trick dam = Evil Elaine damsire = Medieval Man sex = Stallion foaled = 1995 country = United States flagicon|USA colour = Dark Bay breeder … Wikipedia
Favorite Noise — Infobox Album | Name = Favourite Noise Type = Greatest hits Artist = Reel Big Fish Released = March 12, 2002 Recorded = Various California Studios Genre = Ska punk Length = 50:27 Label = Mojo, Jive Producer = Reel Big Fish Reviews = * BBC… … Wikipedia
Oprah's Favorite Things — was an annual segment that appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show from 2002 to 2010, with a one year hiatus in 2009. In the segment, which was typically aired during the holiday season, Winfrey shared products with her audience that she felt were… … Wikipedia
My Favorite Kind of Geniie — (Sexy Edition) cover Studio album 超級喜歡 by Genie Chuo … Wikipedia
Singing News Fan Awards for Favorite Male Singer — The Favorite Male Singer award is awarded yearly in the Singing News Fan Awards ceremony to honor the vocalist fans select as their favorite that year.HistoryThe award has been given throughout the thirty seven year history of the Fan Awards.… … Wikipedia