Posts Tagged ‘My Favorite Year’

“If you think I’m drunk wait till you see Peter O’Toole!” 1932 – 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 6.50.33 AMCritic Richard Crouse discusses the late actor’s most memorable role as the star of ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ and his many Oscar nominations.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Drama of live TV a perfect fit for the big screen In Focus by Richard Crouse FOR METRO CANADA Published: November 12, 2010

peter-otoole-my-favorite-yearThere are no second chances or do-overs in live television. Just ask the cast of the Armchair Theatre play Underground who had to continue performing even though the star of the show, Gareth Jones, died during the live broadcast. The show, as they say, must go on whether your star drops dead, you have a wardrobe malfunction, or, as we see in this weekend’s Morning Glory, your co-hosts can’t stand one another.

The unpredictability of live television is exciting, so it’s not surprising that movies about TV have been around almost since the boob tube’s beginnings.

Just nine years after regular commercial network television programming began in the U.S. A Face in the Crowd, Andy Griffith’s 1957 film debut, showed the dangers of live television. The future Andy of Mayberry played Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, a charismatic television star whose career falls apart when an open microphone picks up a rant about his viewers—he calls them “idiots, morons, and guinea pigs”—during a live show.

That rant ruined Lonesome’s career but in Network the immediacy of a live tirade was used to much different effect. Peter Finch plays longtime news anchor Howard Beale who reignites his career with a series of angry diatribes and the catchphrase, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” The motto struck a chord with people and has since been referenced by everyone from Bill O’Reilly in his book Who’s Looking Out for You? to Samuel L. Jackson, who, in the television movie Un-broke encourages people to yell, “I’m broke as Hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

A very different slogan, inspired by the amiable goodbye Edward R. Murrow used to sign-off his broadcasts, served as the title of Good Night and Good and Good Luck. The story of Murrow’s battles against McCarthyism showed the power of early television, allowing Murrow to expose Communist hunter Joe McCarthy for what he was—a fear monger—live on air. “We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason,” he said.

Perhaps the best movie about live television is My Favorite Year, a fictionalized account of Errol Flynn’s appearance on the variety program Your Show of Shows. It’s a frenzied and very funny account that breathes new life into the saying “the show must go on.” Best line? “I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star!”

From Beerfest to The World’s End: The drunken buddy comedy strikes again By Richard Crouse Metro Canada August 21, 2013

the-worlds-end-pub632This weekend as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost embark on an epic pub crawl in The World’s End, they are continuing a Hollywood tradition of raising a glass in the movies.

“Tonight, we will be partaking of a liquid,” says Gary King (Pegg), “although we may return with a twinkle in our eyes, we will be in truth blind… drunk.”

Pegg and pals add a sci fi twist to their story, but at its heart it’s a boozy comedy.

W.C. Fields pioneered drinking on film. During his 1930s heyday he made a name for himself with snappy one-liners like, “A woman drove me to drink and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her.”

He liked a cocktail off screen as well. On set he had an ever-present vacuum flask of mixed martinis he referred to as his “pineapple juice.” While shooting a movie in 1942 a jokester replaced his gin with real pineapple juice. After his first sip Fields shrieked, “Who put pineapple juice in my pineapple juice?”

My Favorite Year, the 1982 Peter O’Toole comedy, was a fictional story based on a real life actor with a legendary taste for alcohol. O’Toole, a hellraiser who once went for a drink in Paris and woke up in Corsica days later, plays a character based on Errol Flynn’s appearance on Sid Caesar’s television program Your Show of Shows. Premiere Magazine ranked the performance number 56 on their 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time list.

More recently Beerfest celebrated ale quaffing in a story based on the von Wolfhausen family tradition of spreading relatives’ ashes on the official ground of the Munich Oktoberfest.

This down and dirty ode to drinking beer stars the members of Broken Lizard—the comedy troupe that gave us Super Troopers and Club Dread—and only has a 41% rating at Rotten Tomatoes but is worth a look if only to see someone drink their way out of a vat of lager.

In Barfly Mickey Rourke plays Henry Chinaski, an alcoholic writer and alter ego to real life poet and “crown prince of self-abuse” Charles Bukowski. “Anybody can be a non-drunk,” he slurs. “It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance.” He was so convincing in his portrayal that when Bukowski died The New York Post ran a picture of Rourke from Barfly rather than a photo of the poet.