Combustible Celluloid
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With: Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna, Bill Macy, Lainie Kazan, Anne De Salvo, Basil Hoffman, Lou Jacobi, Adolph Green, Tony DeBenedetto
Written by: Dennis Palumbo, Norman Steinberg, based on a story by Dennis Palumbo
Directed by: Richard Benjamin
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 92
Date: 10/01/1982

My Favorite Year (1982)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Comedy Is Hard

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Sometimes a movie is just funny. I've seen this movie at least five or six times over the past 20 years and it never fails to make me laugh. Peter O'Toole plays a drunken swashbucking movie star who gets hired to do a live television variety show. Mark Linn-Baker plays a young writer who's in charge of looking after him. O'Toole is superb and the dialogue is amazing; every character is funny and the zingers just keep coming. One of my favorites: after a night of drinking, Linn-Baker tells O'Toole that he's going to be "unwell." O'Toole replies (in his noble English accent): "Stone, ladies are unwell -- gentleman vomit." It also carries an effective nostalgic tone about the live TV era of the 1950s in New York. The actor Richard Benjamin directed it and provides a commentary track. It's still his best film, and actually his only good film. He went on to make the likes of Milk Money and My Stepmother Is an Alien.

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