"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Million Dollar Movie


My father was a Sid Caesar man. Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour trumped Benny, Berle, and Gleason.

So when My Favorite Year came out, Dad was eager to take his children to see it. I was eleven years old and we went one Saturday afternoon to the Paramount. I always loved that theater because it was underground. Dad fell asleep during the movie but my brother, sister and I enjoyed ourselves. It didn’t matter that Dad passed out (he was still boozin’ then). The subject meant something to him. The movie was funny and sentimental. And O’Toole was nominated for an  Oscar.

And Dad woke up for the finale:

[Photo Via: Cinema Treasures]


1 Matt Blankman   ~  Dec 16, 2013 9:32 am

Great movie and touching story, Alex.

"Alan Swann is beneath us."
"Of course he's beneath us, he's an actor."

2 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 16, 2013 10:40 am

That's the name of the pic my buddy and I were talking about ; couldn't remember what it was, but we were saying how that was one of our favorites.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 16, 2013 10:53 am

1) Funny because O'Toole played an incorrigible drunk and my dad was a year away from getting sober.

Loved that movie theater. You could see it blocks away with the electronic words scrolling around the marquee. You bought the tickets on the ground floor but went downstairs to the theater. It was like going down into a cave. Made it seem really exciting.

4 Matt Blankman   ~  Dec 16, 2013 11:12 am

[3] I can't place it in my mind - where was it?

5 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 16, 2013 11:17 am

It was at the foot of the Gulf & Western Building on the north side of Columbus Circle. Walking uptown I always saw it as the start of the Upper West Side. Or going downtown, goodbye on your way to midtown. When Trump bought the building he tore down the movie theater.

6 RagingTartabull   ~  Dec 16, 2013 11:27 am

so I saw Inside Llewyn Davis on Friday, and it was predictably fantastic.

The Coen Brothers movie I think it mostly lines up with is "A Serious Man", both in tone and theme. Oscar Isaac is a star, Timberlake isn't completely insufferable, the music is great, and it will prove to be endlessly quotable.

It's just great

7 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 16, 2013 11:43 am

6) Nice! Thanks for the review. I'm a go...

8 RagingTartabull   ~  Dec 16, 2013 2:50 pm

7) it captures the Village folk scene beautifully, but obviously with a Coen Brothers slant. Almost like it's probably not how The Village in 1961 was, but how we WANT to believe it was. And they know that and have fun with it.

I don't want to give a lot away, but there are just certain things that are perfect. The details of the set-design, especially in the apartments, are great. The "bad song" that is performed in a scene will be stuck in your head for weeks.

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