During the build-up to D-Day in 1944, the British found their island hosting many thousands of American soldiers who were "oversexed, overpaid, and over here". That's Lieutenant Commander Charles Edward Madison (James Garner) exactly; he knows all of the angles to make life as smooth and risk-free as possible for himself. But things become complicated when he falls for English woman Emily Barham (Dame Julie Andrews), and his commanding officer's nervous breakdown leads to Charles being sent on a senseless and dangerous mission.
The author of the novel, "The Americanization of Emily", William Bradford Huie, states in the foreword to the novel that: "The Americanization of Emily, like The Revolt of Mamie Stover, is from the war memoirs of Lieutenant Commander James Monroe Madison, U.S.N.R. All characters are fictitious." The novel's protagonist is Jimmie Madison. That character was named Charles Edward Madison, and was played by James Garner in this movie, and was named Jim Blair, and was played by Richard Egan in The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956). See more »
Lt. Cdr. Madison was addressed as "Commander" throughout. This is incorrect. Naval officers of this and lower ranks are addressed as "Mister." Madison would have been "Mister Madison" to admirals, "Mister Madison, sir" to anyone he outranked. See more »
Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison:
Hi, Harry. It'll only be a few moments, sir. Put that hand luggage in the automobile. Paul? Paul!
Chief Petty Officer Paul Adams:
Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison:
Put the footlocker in the jeep. Everything else goes in the two-and-a-half. Unloading shouldn't take long, so you won't be more than a few minutes behind us. I'll see you back at the hotel. Harry. Is everything set at the hotel?
[Slaps driver on butt]
Female driver, unidentified:
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The three women that James Coburn sleeps with are collectively credited as "The Three Nameless Broads (in order of appearance)". See more »
A black comedy about the excesses of war set against the backdrop of D-Day.
I first saw this movie in 1964 at the Air Force base where I was stationed. At the time I thought it was an odd choice to show on base, but in those days, I guess the military wasn't so sensitive that they had to censor the films shown on base. The movie practically disappeared for 40 years, and I was pleased to see that it is now released on DVD. I watched the DVD this weekend and was happy to find that the film still seemed fresh and had aged very well.
Watching this movie reminds one of why James Garner and Julie Andrews became stars. They are both extremely likable and have good chemistry together. Garner's character, Charlie Madison, is just a rift on his Maverick TV personae, but is well suited to the character. Andrews, in a non-singing role, is luminescent. She plays a British war widow the way all Americans think of British women. It is a classic portrayal. The star of this film though, is the script by Paddy Chayefsky. Snappy, witty dialog and that strong dose of black humor amply illustrate why Chayefsky should be considered on of the finest script writers of all time. This is equal to his work in Network.
The DVD extras are sparse. There is a 6 minute 1964 MGM featurette on the filming of the Omaha Beach scene. It is only notable by comparison of Mr Garner's treatment during filming to how today's over-indulged, ego-inflated, and under-whelming movie stars are treated. Recommended.
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