My Favorite Year is one of those movies that was always on premium cable when I was younger. Then it wasn’t anymore and I never thought about it again. That was my loss, but it doesn’t have to be your loss. Thanks to Warner Archive, we’re getting a stunning 1080p presentation of one of Peter O’ Toole’s greatest performances. Plus, Cousin Larry is pretty good in it too!
Loosely inspired by Mel Brooks’ time spent working with Sid Caesar, we get to see Peter O’ Toole gallivant as a loose stand-in for Errol Flynn. The worlds of acting collide as the master actor doesn’t believe he can function in live TV. The result is something that narrowly treads into Greatest Generation masturbatory fantasy about Golden Age TV, but ends up becoming something pretty heartwarming. Plus, I find Jessica Harper to be absolutely adorable in this era. It was that Suspiria/Shock Treatment/My Favorite Year trifecta that just does it for me.
Peter O’ Toole would land an Oscar nomination, but lose the big prize to Sir Ben Kingsley. Gandhi had such a stranglehold that year it was hard to float anything past He Who Won’t Eat. Also, did I forget to mention that Cameron Mitchell plays one of the villains? I love seeing Cameron Mitchell appear in oddball roles. This being his last big studio film before he kicked the bucket.
Warner Archive brings the honeypot of special features for this Blu-ray release. You get a commentary and a trailer. The only downside is that Richard Benjamin doesn’t really have enough interesting tidbits about the film. The A/V Quality is pretty superb, however the film shows its age in spots. Still, my hat is off to Warner Archive for releasing this comedy classic.