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Americanization of Emily The (1964)

Americanization of Emily The (1964)

Directed by Arthur Hiller (Love Story (1970)) with a screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky (Marty (1955)) that was based on William Bradford Huie’s novel this essential anti-war comedy drama stars James Garner Julie Andrews (in the title role her only B&W film) Melvyn Douglas James Coburn Keenan Wynn as an old sailor Judy Carne Sharon Tate (uncredited) and more. It was nominated for B&W Art Direction-Set Decoration & Cinematography Oscars.

Garner plays Lieutenant Commander Charlie Madison an American officer stationed in England during World War II. He’s purposely managed to keep himself out of the conflict and behind the scenes in the service of an Admiral William Jessup (Douglas). But the Admiral’s mental health Charlie’s love for the titled prim British war widow (Andrews) and a peer of his ‘Bus’ Cummings (Coburn) conspire to involve him in the D-Day invasion which Charlie sees as a suicide mission. Garner’s character gets to opine various cynical anti-war "speeches" during the time leading up to his introduction to the front line such as this one:

"You American haters bore me to tears Miss Barham (Emily). I’ve dealt with Europeans all my life. I know all about us parvenus (great word look it up!) from the States who come over here and race around your old cathedral towns with our cameras and coca cola bottles brawl in your pubs paw your women and act like we own the world. We over tip we talk too loud we think we can buy anything with a Hershey bar. I’ve had Germans and Italians tell me how politically ingenuous we are. Perhaps so. But we haven’t managed a Hitler or Mussolini yet. I’ve had Frenchman call me a savage because I only took half an hour for lunch. Hell Miss Barham the only reason the French take two hours for lunch is because the service in their restaurants is lousy. The most tedious of the lot are you British. We crass Americans didn’t introduce war into your little island. This war Miss Barham to which we Americans are so insensitive is the result of 2000 years of European greed barbarism superstition and stupidity. Don’t blame it on our coca cola bottles. Europe was a going brothel long before we came to town."

There are a couple of more priceless speeches later in the film by Charlie about why he is an unabashed coward and what perpetuates war.

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