Film Review: The Americanization of Emily

This is my favorite film next to “The Sound of Music.” I was in love with Julie Andrews as a young kid and she brought James Garner into my house as a True Movie Star. This is also James Garner’s favorite film. I chose to review it to pay Tribute to a Great Actor and Gentleman JAMES GARNER who died on the 19th of July 2014, the week before my birthday and three days after Elaine Stritch. I have created a Tribute for Ms. Stritch on Expats Post and I felt James Garner was of such grand caliber to bring me to create what I feel is an enlightening and enjoyable Tribute to such a wonderful man.

He starred in many things but here I am going to do a review of his favorite film and mention he also did two other films with Julie Andrews: “Victor/Victoria” and made for TV “One Special Night.” I loved when these two worked together. It was always a treat. As a young kid, I saw Julie Andrews in “The Americanization of Emily” first long before “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music.” James Garner brought out her bawdy side. So, I didn’t see the angel in nun’s habit or a flying Nanny first. I saw her in the lusty scenes with James making love with Julie. I was more than delighted even though young. There were even words they used then I had to look up in the dictionary when I got home. Quite an education I received watching the two of them together trying to make it through WWII alive.

I am doing a review in a different way. There will be lots of SPOILERS but not of the kind you expect. I have filled this review with photographs from the film with captions written under most of the images. If you would rather see the film first then just enjoy viewing the extensive collection I have brought together.

The rest of this review speaks for itself. I also included three videos to give the viewer a flavor of the film.

1 taoe-poster-yellow-rim

A Poster to Open the way.

2 emily-driving-charlie-back-from-getting-supplies-like-freash-oranges-for-his-admiral

Emily driving Commander Charlie Madison back to the hotel after they collected supplies of food for his Admiral while they’re staying in London just near the time of D-Day WWII

3 madison-saying-goodnight-to-emily-the-first-time-she-drove-for-him

Cmdr Madison saying goodnight to Ms Barham the first time she drove for him. He is about to give her a quick pat on the bottom for which he receives his just rewards

4 charlie-faking-an-old-war-wound-to-ask-emily-to-join-a-party-brigde-game-with-admiral

Charlie faking an “old war wound” in order to ask Emily to join a dinner & bridge to entertain the Admiral & his special guest

The Americanization of Emily – Scenes from Film

5 the-americanization-of-emily-movie-poster-1964

Yes, Stop the War I want to Get Off

6 emily-giving-charlie-a-hard-time-at-beginning-of-film

Emily is giving Charlie a hard time near the beginning of the film after his invitation to the dinner party

7 charlie-has-just-told-emily-she-is-a-bit-of-a-prig

Charlie has just told Emily she is a bit of a prig. Her response is: “I don’t mean to be.”

8 emily-and-co-mate-in-bunk-area-discussing-the-party-quite-a-spread

Emily talking with a fellow bunk mate who is changing her hair colour for the due as a guess for Charlie’s dinner party. She tells Emily that “Charlie throws together quite a spread.”

8a taoe-emiy-on-bunk-thinking-about-past-husband-dying

Emily while lying on her bunk thinking, she asks her friend, “Do you think I am a bit of a prig.” Her friend tells her: “Yes, you are. The way you go around here acting like a saint.”

9 americanizationofemily-on-bunk-thinking-is-she-a-prig

Emily begins talking about her passion for any wounded man in uniform. How her husband and her got married on his last night before he is shipped out and he goes and gets himself killed. She tries to comfort who come home wounded from battle.

10 emily-shows-up-at-the-store-where-charlie-gives-away-good-like-hershey-bars-cloths-perfume

Emily shows up at the store where Charlie gives away goods like Hershey Bars, cloths, perfume and nylons. Things that are impossible to get over in Europe during WWII. Emily tells Charlie she would love to come for dinner & bridge. He offers her a dress. She refuses & tells him she has her own, she doesn’t “need any Hershey Bars.”

11 emily-in-gorgeous-black-dress-at-party-charlie-threw

Emily shows up in her gorgeous black dinner dress. Charlie is impressed & makes sure Emily knows he is pleased. Before leaving for the night, Emily asks Charlie, “Do you have a woman?” His response, “Frankly, Ms. Barham that’s none of your business.”

12 the-americanization-of-emily-julie-andrews-james-garner-1964-poster piquant

A Piquant moment

13 emily-charlie-just-b4-piquant-moment

Emily is in his room sitting on the bed when he returns from tucking the Admiral in for the night. As Charlie enters the room & sees Emily, he states, “As a matter of fact, I don’t have a woman.” They fall into each other’s arms on the bed. At some point, he starts talking again and Emily tells him, “Shut up and kiss me.”

14 that-was-rather-piquant-wasnt-it-emily-charlie-on-bed-sit-up-suddenly-when-adm-bursts-in

The Admiral moments before bursts into the bedroom & states, “The first man on Omaha Beach must be a sailor.” Then just leaves. Emily and Charlie sit up fast & stare in the direction of the open door. Emily says, “That was rather piquant, wouldn’t you say?” Charlie says, “Yes, I would say that was rather piquant.”

15 pic-emily-and-charlie-in-rain-poster-with-title-and-a-blue-arm-unzipping-y

A Famous Scene from Film

16 taoe-first-tea-w-emilys-mom-and-cmdr-madison

Emily introduces her mother to Charlie at a tea party at their house. Her mother is in mourning over the loss of her husband and son during the war. Charlie talks about his feelings about war & a story of his wife back home. Emily wants to know what wife but he gets into a talk on “war” & “cowardice.” Emily discovers eventually about Charlie’s wife being upset when he comes home unexpectedly, so the only Mrs. Madison is his mother who lost a son already in the war. There is a great deal more to the scene. There is a clip near the end of the post which shows some of this part of the film. A good taste.

The Americanization of Emily – James Garner At His Best

17 emily-at-tea-w-charlie-and-mother-hershey-bars-darken-shine

Emily is looking on curiously. This is about the time he mentions his wife.

18 charlie-telling-mrs-barham-what-he-thinks-about-war-heroes-war-widows-glorifying-death

Charlie is telling Mrs. Barham what he thinks about war heroes, war widows & glorifying the death that happens in war. She hears him & admits the death of her husband & eventually says that she will accept his Hershey Bars even if Emily won’t. She, also, thanks him for his honesty. It puts a whole new spirit inside of her. She tells Charlie he is kind. She hopes he will come again.

19 charlie-and-emily-making-love-on-island-while-on-leave

Charlie while on leave rows Emily out to an island to be alone & make love.

20 cmdr-madison-on-leave-w-emily-on-an-island-making-love

Emily tells Charlie he’s a rogue “but it seems I don’t mind making love to one.”

21 james-garner-julie-andrews-emily-tells-charlie-they-are-incompatable-and-she-hopes-she-doesnt-get-pregnant

Emily continues by telling Charlie she feels they are basically incompatible & she hopes she doesn’t get pregnant. He tells her later, “Oh, I do hope you do get pregnant.”

22 charlie-proposing-what-is-a-lion-doing-a-mans-home-anyway-you-family-country-world-in-that-order

Charlie proposes. After which he says a speech which includes the line, “What is a lion doing in a man’s house anyway… I would die for you, my family, my country, a world, in that order.”

Screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky
Based on the novel by William Bradford Huie
Directed by Arthur Hiller
Produced by Martin Ransohoff.
Running time: 117 minutes

The Cast
Lieut. Charles E. Madison . . . . . James Garner
Emily Barham . . . . . Julie Andrews
Adm. William Jessup . . . . . Melvyn Douglas
Lieut. Comdr. “Bus” Cummings . . . . . James Coburn
Mrs. Barham . . . . . Joyce Grenfell
Adm. Thomas Healey . . . . . Edward Binns
Sheila . . . . . Liz Fraser
Old Sailor . . . . . Keenan Wynn
Capt. Harry Spaulding . . . . . William Windom
Chief Petty Officer Paul Adams . . . . . John Crawford
Capt. Marvin Ellender . . . . . Douglas Henderson
Admiral Hoyle . . . . . Edmond Ryan
Young Sailor . . . . . Steve Franken
Gen. William Hallerton . . . . . Paul Newlan
Lieut. Victor Wade . . . . . Gary Cockrell

23 charlie-with-friend-bus-james-coburn-cuts-his-orders-shots-at-him-up-omaha-beach-1st-man-sailor

Charlie’s friend & fellow officer Bus cuts his orders to make a film of the first man on Omaha Beach is a sailor. The film for the Admiral, who is going just a bit crackers. Charlie tells him he won’t go.

24 julie-and-james-in-rain-taoe

Emily drove Charlie to the plane to take him to the front line where they will take off in transport heading for Omaha Beach. They are saying their goodbyes. Charlie had given Emily the marriage papers. All she needs to do is sign them. But there is a hitch. He is all excited because he knows they are going to be late arriving. By the time they get there, everyone will have shipped off. But Bus is not aware of this. Emily doesn’t find it funny. She finally tells Charlie, she can’t marry him. She doesn’t like the prank he is playing on his country. Charlie told Emily she is the coward. She can’t stand the fact that he will come back alive. She prefers her men in battle to die before she has to really make a commitment. She tells Charlie, “I’ll slap your face, Charlie.” He tells her, “Go ahead, I’m a coward. I won’t slap you back.” This makes Emily furious. She gets to slap him a few times. Tears running down her face. But the rain covers her tears. Charlie says goodbye as he peals back the wrappings on his Hershey bar and he states what is written on the poster below. A great statement.

23a the-americanization-of-emily-charlie-in-the-rain-unregenerately-eating-a-hershey-bar

Charlie is enjoying his Hershey Bar as he knows he thinks he has put something over on the Navy. He appears to be an “Ass” & turns out he just might be.

25 charlie-in-transport-on-d-day

Charlie was wrong. When they arrived D-Day had been postponed because of rain. They got drunk & the next day in a drunken state they were loaded on a transport, given cameras & on their way to Omaha Beach to shoot the first man on Omaha Beach being a sailor.

26 charlie-running-from-bus-shooting-at-him-onto-omaha-beach

This is Charlie running up on Omaha Beach. The first sailor to arrive. Reason for this bravery is Bus was shooting at him. It’s pure panic you see.

The Americanization of Emily Trailer [1964]

27 facing-what-she-thinks-is-charlies-death-on-d-day

Emily is sad & numb. Her mother keeps burning the Daily papers. Bus shows up to pay his condolences & tells them the grand plan for Charlie. He is the first dead man on Omaha Beach & he is a sailor. The Admiral will have a statue erected for him. Mrs. Barham & Emily’s reactions are “Why on Earth would you do that. Isn’t it bad enough he’s dead. No, we must get on with our lives. Charlie wouldn’t want any of this.” Bus is confused. He thinks they should be proud Charlie’s a hero but they are not going to celebrate Charlie’s death & they feel Bus should stop all this nonsense.

Julie Andrews & James Garner tribute — Clips from “The Americanization of Emily

28 americanization-of-emily-the-film-shows-the-absurdities-of-war

Charlie is in his underwear thinking D-Day had happened. SPOILER but had it? If it rains does the show go on?

The Americanization of Emily R.I.P. James Garner

29 charlie-coming-back-from-being-dead-emily-going-to-meet-him

SPOILER!!! Charlie comes back from the dead and Emily has been flown to the location by the Admiral to go meet him. But this is not the complete ending.

Originally Posted on Friday, 27, September, 2013 by the secret keeper in a similar form but has been edited for Expats Post in My Tribute to James Garner and the wonderful film he made with Julie Andrews: “THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY” The best anti-war film ever made in this film reviewer’s experience.

The film is available in many locations. If you have access to ROKU or a streaming device you will find this film available at present through VUDU, Amazon, MGO, Redbox for a fee at time of viewing. [Not covered under Prime or Subscription. These are all for Streaming Access Only. I left off YouTube Streaming. It is available through them, also. The film is NOT available on Netflix or HuluPlus.]

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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
Film Review: The Americanization of Emily, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

About the Author:

Words. Ideas. Visions. Sounds. Abstractions. Attract the Writer. Poet. Artist Inside of Me. Seeking Out the Unknown & Infinite Possibilities & Impossibilities. Living My Life Filled with Imagination & Creativity. Zen – j.kiley
  • I saw this movie long ago. I had to sneak off to Wikipedia to find out how it ended because I couldn’t remember. I should check it out again. I loved James Garner. When they were both young, he and my brother looked amazingly alike.

    Did you see “Torn Curtain” with Julie Andrews and Paul Newman? That was another one Way outside of her usual style. I can still remember that very graphic kitchen scene. Traumatic! I think it was partly because it Was Julie involved.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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  • jennifer kiley

    Great ending. I was thrilled. So young & able to see something so exciting. “Torn Curtain” was thrilling also. The opening with Michael and Miss Sherman under all the coats b/c it was so cold outside & on the boat. The film was so exciting for me to be able to see Paul Newman in bed with Julie Andrews. I love them both. I was always a Paul Newman fan. I have some stories about him I will tell you privately. I lived in the same town with him for awhile. I love anything Julie does & with James Garner, I felt he brought out some of her best performances. Aside of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. I love The Sound of Music above all else. I love films but I am a romantic at heart. I always felt James Garner was gorgeous. I remember in Grand Prix & when I was really small I watched Maverick. SO cool. I love the film version.

    As for the kitchen scene in torn curtain when Gromeck followed him in and starting threatening everyone, that was a brutal scene to watch. Even today it is a rough scene to make it through. I often turn away or jump through most of the scene. If I do watch it is b/c i want to get the full effect of Hitchcock. But the real Bitch in Torn Curtain was that bitch of a ballet dancer. I could knock her down a bit.

    You are welcome and the same thank you to you. Bringing these memories to the front of my brain.

    It is sad the way the Big Ones are passing away from us. Every day lately it seems someone else has died. It is sad. But that is what happens in life.

    I am going to have to have a triple feature & watch some Garner as well as Andrews films. Hopefully with them both in all of them. Thanks Melody. Sorry for the late response. Been having some health issues that have been driving me batty. Think I have a handle on it finally. Thumbs up. <3 Jennifer

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    • Keep your shield up. And you should check out “Support Your Local Sheriff”. It has a great cast and is a charmer.

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