A passing worth noting…

27 Mar

Mel Brooks:

“It’s a sad day when Norman Steinberg leaves us. From BLAZING SADDLES to MY FAVORITE YEAR, he was one of the best writers I ever worked with. I’m so glad I rescued him from a dull stable legal career, because he always permeated the writers room with his infectious comic spirit.”

Here’s a little more of the story behind one of of my favorites:…

— Karl


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  1. shangheinz

    March 27, 2023 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, KK. I have yet to see “My favorite year“, but the script alone is a How-to-do for any aspiring writer:…

    • Ralph Schiller

      March 31, 2023 at 1:15 am

      “My Favorite Year” (1982) is a priceless gem of a film, and Norman Steinberg’s “Mr. Mom” (1983) is a delightful comedy with Michael Keaton and a hit at the box office. “Blazing Saddles” (1973) was big box office but time has proven it was never more than a tasteless, sophomoric comedy. Mel Brooks’ films later declined into a series of unfunny, off-color jokes. Norman Steinberg also wrote some of the biggest box office stinkers of the era, including “Looking For Love” (1980) that was so bad it ended Gene Wilder’s theatrical film career, “Yes, Giorgio” (1982) a disastrous attempt to make a leading man out of overweight, corpulent, opera star Luciano Pavarotti, and “Johnny Dangerously” (1984) with Michael Keaton a pathetic comedy about 1930’s gangster that failed to generate a single laugh.

      • shangheinz

        March 31, 2023 at 5:11 am

        Ralph, I wonder what MFY would have looked like, if Albert Finney, whom I have always thought of being flynney, had accepted the lead:…

        • Ralph Schiller

          March 31, 2023 at 2:47 pm

          Albert Finney was a brilliant and gifted actor. He would have acquitted himself well in the role. However Peter O’Toole was born to play the Errol Flynn character in “My Favorite Year”.

          • shangheinz

            April 1, 2023 at 7:11 am


            Finney set up O‘Toole a second time, when he left Sam Spiegel‘s set two weeks into shooting “Lawrence of Arabia“. He starred in in the most Flynn-like film though, when he did “Tom Jones“.