My Favorite Year
My Favorite Year was inspired by Mel Brooks' real-life experience with Errol Flynn when he appeared on Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows. Mel Brooks (the producer of My Favorite Year) was a junior writer at the time and was assigned the role of chaperon for the former swashbuckler, who was hitting the bottle hard. Indeed, Richard Benjamin described Brooks's involvement in My Favorite Year as being more than just financial. It was the former comedy writer's experiences with Flynn that helped Benjamin find the right tone for the film - a mixture of awe and comic exasperation toward a once famous star who was trying to hide his insecurities through heavy drinking.
Not surprisingly, Peter O'Toole, once a heavy drinker himself, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his flamboyant portrayal of Swann. With the exception of his performance in The Stunt Man (1980) two years earlier, My Favorite Year was O'Toole's most critically acclaimed performance since The Ruling Class in 1972 and he still hasn't topped it.
Director: Richard Benjamin
Producer: Mel Brooks, Michael Gruskoff
Screenplay: Norman Steinberg, Dennis Palumbo
Cinematography: Gerald Hirschfeld
Editor: Richard Chew
Art Direction: Herb Mulligan, Larry Rapaport, Donald J. Remacle
Music: Ralph Burns
Cast: 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).
C-93m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.
by Kerryn Sherrod