My Favorite Year (1982) - Rotten Tomatoes

My Favorite Year (1982)




Critic Consensus: My Favorite Year is a joyful ode to the early days of television, carried with a deft touch and Peter O'Toole's uproariously funny performance.

My Favorite Year Photos

Movie Info

It is 1954, and the larger-than-life, swahbuckling movie star Alan Swann is set to make his first television appearance on the hugely popular show, The Comedy Cavalcade. Given Swann's reputation as a wild, unpredictable alcoholic, the producers give their new writer, young Benjy Stone, the job of babysitting Swann and getting him to the show on time and sober. The experience is far more stressful than Benjy expected, but after some adventures, he and Swann both learn some valuable lessons and develop a friendship.

Watch it now


Peter O'Toole
as Alan Swann
Mark Linn-Baker
as Benjy Stone
Jessica Harper
as K.C. Downing
Joseph Bologna
as King Kaiser
Bill Macy
as Sy Benson
Lainie Kazan
as Belle Carroca
Anne De Salvo
as Alice Miller
Basil Hoffman
as Herb Lee
Lou Jacobi
as Uncle Morty
Adolph Green
as Leo Silver
Tony DiBenedetto
as Alfie Bumbacelli
George Wyner
as Myron Fein
Cameron Mitchell
as Karl Rojeck
George Marshall Ruge
as Lord Drummond
Barbra Horan
as Lady Eleanor
John Welsh
as Cubby Brown
Richard Brestoff
as Stage Manager
Philip Bruns
as Fed. Marshal Holt
Jed Mills
as 1st Member
Teresa Ganzel
as Dumpling
Phil Bruns
as Federal Marshal Holt
C. Eleanor Heutschy
as Gossip Columnist
Archie Hahn III
as Delivery Boy
Bob Windsor
as Alvin Horn
Gloria Stuart
as Mrs. Horn
Clyde McLeod
as Club Dancer
Harry Bill Roberts
as Orchestra Leader
Ramon Sison
as Rookie Carroca
Pearl Shear
as Mrs. Kessler
Stanley Brock
as Mr. Berkowitz
Martin Garner
as Mr. Cantor
John Medici
as Scalfoni
Robert G. Denison
as 1st Stockbroker
John Christy Ewing
as 2nd Stockbroker
Vincent Sardi
as Policeman
Richard Warwick
as Technical Director
Rex Benson
as Make-up Man
George Fisher
as 2nd Thug
Bob Terhune
as 3rd Thug
Nick Dimitri
as 4th Thug
Phil Adams
as 1st Stagehand
Richard Butler
as 2nd Stagehand
View All

Critic Reviews for My Favorite Year

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (2)

The movie concludes on a saccharine note intended to send you away smiling and it might, if you like fairy tales where no alcoholic is unlovable.

October 23, 2018 | Full Review…

My Favorite Year, with the possible exception of Lawrence of Arabia, is my favorite Peter O'Toole performance.

September 17, 2020 | Rating: 4.0/4.0 | Full Review…

My Favorite Year turns aggravated mayhem, assault, and hammery into comic gold.

February 26, 2020 | Full Review…

Filmmaker Benjamin delivers a lackadaisically-paced yet generally entertaining comedy that benefits substantially from the leads' superb work...

February 25, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The script's soul-searching moments feel forced, but the comedy quotient is top-notch.

October 5, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Peter O'Toole received an Oscar nomination for playing an eccentric womanizer and boozy star (modeled on Errol Flynn) in this charming comedy set in the 1950s.

August 16, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for My Favorite Year


I love The Sid Caesar Show and Your Show of Shows, the original sketch comedy show, which Carol Burnett and then Saturday Night Live carried on. Those early sketch shows started the careers of many famous writers and comedians. Mel Brooks was one, and this movie is based on a story he wrote about his experiences writing in those early days of TV. I had high expectations, but was disappointed. I haven't been a fan of Peter O'Toole just because his performances usually bother me in their delivery. This was no different. Overall, all the other performances and the story just weren't that funny!

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer


Absolutely charming. Peter O'Toole gives a fantastic performance as an Errol Flynn facsimile named Alan Swan.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


A tribute to the golden age of live television. Peter O'Toole plays "Swann", a great drunken washed-up actor. It's got some fun comical scenes.

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

My Favorite Year Quotes

News & Features