My Favorite Year!

22 Mar

Since Wednesday I am deep in bed with

influenza and last night, awakening
from a sort of marathon sleep, switching on the TV and with in seconds I
was Bright Eyes and what scene do you think is right     in front of my
very eyes at this very minute? 

The very scene John describes in
his Titchfield article, Errol going accidentally into the ladies'
bathroom    I couldn't believe my eyes or my ears – I was stunt and
again I laughed my head off!  They actually used Errol's incident in a
movie.  There you see, the poor man couldn't even go to bathroom without
a movie being made of it! Ha – ha – ha!

Maybe this is old news
to some of  you, sorry, but maybe not to all of you, it
is news to me! Let's Enjoy!

At the time I saw the movie TCM's
schedule was different “The Ruling Class” also with Peter O'Toole, but
as per my research the movie playing was “My Favorite Year” 1982 starring Peter O'Toole in a divine
comedy and parody of Errol Flynn.  My research about this movie took me
to You Tube, I thought due to missing the beginning I could maybe see
it there, but what I found instead is an actual presentation of the
passage. What would the British say that?  I say, I say old

chap on you tube, you don't say?…


is a most delightful movie “A Must Watch It” for an Errol fan, in
addition containing a very profound precious scene when Benjy
Stone is mad at Allan Swann (Errol) for having fears and being in
self-denial. Priceless!
Alan Swann:
Stone… I'm afraid. I'm afraid. That's why I couldn't get out of the
car to see my Tess, my child.

Benjy Stone:
Alan Swann, afraid? The Defender of the Crown? Captain from Tortuga? The
Last Knight of the Round Table?

Alan Swann:
Those are movies, damn you! Look at me! I'm flesh and blood, life-size,
no larger! I'm not that silly God-damned hero! I never was!

Benjy Stone:
To *me* you were! Whoever you were in
those movies, those silly goddamn
heroes meant a lot to *me*! What does it matter if it was an illusion?
It worked! So don't tell me this is you life-size. I can't use you
life-size. I need Alan Swanns as big as I can get them! And let me tell
you something: you couldn't have convinced me the way you did unless
somewhere in you you *had* that courage! Nobody's that good an actor!
You *are* that silly goddamn hero!

I think this is a very beautiful passage, extremely
fitting and to the point!

Movie Review – A Perfect Film

Have you ever watched a film and wished it wouldn't end?
Where you loved
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
it together each week, and a sincere homage to Errol Flynn, whose antics
larger-than-life persona, in the waning years of his life, still had a
of magic that could enthrall a shy young fan, or make a woman

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
comedy 'pros', Stone suffers from an unrequited love from fellow staffer
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
legendary physical 'presence' and irreverence to authority. When
by gangsters over a 'too close to home' series of parodies about crime
Karl Rojeck (portrayed with brute menace by veteran actor Cameron
Kaiser 'thumbs his nose' at them, mimicking the gangster mercilessly.
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
no actor could have 'channeled' Errol Flynn better. Just as Flynn, by
1950s, O'Toole was a nearly burned-out roué, his classic good looks long
O'Toole's matinee-idol appearance, after years of self-abuse, had aged
a gaunt mask, making Benji Stone's film montage of 'classic' clips more
poignant. What Flynn still had, in abundance, were charm and a ready
and O'Toole's 'Swann' is so enchanting a personality that you can't help
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
Flynn couldn't tell the difference!), to a riotous Swann dinner with
family, to the near-disastrous broadcast, with Swann developing stage
fright, and Kaiser brawling with mob enforcers…MY FAVORITE YEAR has
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
who would live up to boyhood dreams.

Film comedy doesn't get any
better than this!

— Tina

1 Comment

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  1. Anonymous

    March 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    To be exact, the infamous ladies' room quote was originally attributed to John Barrymore years earlier. It has somehow been attached to our own dear boy, though not unfittingly.