Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|My Favorite Year|
Actors: Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna, Bill Macy
Director: Richard Benjamin
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... more »
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O'Toole Dazzling in Wonderful in 'Golden Age' Homage!
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 10/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. Just as Flynn, by the 1950s, was a nearly burned-out roue, his classic good looks long gone, O'Toole's matinee-idol appearance, after years of self-abuse, had aged into a gaunt mask, making Benji Stone's film montage of 'classic' clips more poignant. What Flynn still had, in abundance, was charm and a ready wit, and O'Toole's 'Swann' is so enchanting a personality that you can't help but love him, and root for him to succeed.From the opening nostalgic strains of Nat King Cole's rendition of 'Stardust', through Benjy's futile effort to attempt to keep Swann sober (Red Skelton loved to tell how he kept Flynn sober on his program...he emptied all of the actor's bottles of vodka, replacing it with water...and Flynn couldn't tell the difference!), to a riotous Swann dinner with Benjy's family, to the near-disastrous broadcast, with Swann developing stage fright, and Kaiser brawling with mob enforcers...MY FAVORITE YEAR has one glorious scene after another, each unforgettable!One of the AFI's '100 Greatest Film Comedies', MY FAVORITE YEAR will bring a tear to your eye, even as you laugh. It was a time of legends, and heroes who would live up to boyhood dreams.Film comedy doesn't get any better than this!"
Very Funny With a Fantastic Cast
A. Fultz | Santa Barbara, CA, USA | 04/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
"Double the lad's bet for me, you toad!"
Kevin Kartchner | Albuquerque, NM United States | 12/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""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."
Funny, poignant film is a must see!
S. Naimpally | Dallas, TX USA | 10/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The acting is superb, the plot is excellent, the dialog is sharp and witty, what more do you want! O'Toole plays an Errol Flynn like actor who is a legend as a movie star, womanizer, and alcoholic. One his fans, a young writer for an early live comedy show modelled after Cid Cesar's show, decides to bring the alcoholic movie star on to the show.
Worth owning - I have seen it a dozen times and never tire of it."