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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Americanization of Emily

Americanization of Emily is a 1964 American comedy-drama war film directed by Arthur Hiller and written by Paddy Chayefsky, loosely adapted from the novel of the same name by William Bradford Huie.
Set in London in 1944 during World War II, in the weeks leading up to D-Day, the black-and-white film stars James Garner, Julie Andrews and Melvyn Douglas and features James Coburn, Joyce Grenfell and Keenan Wynn. Both Garner and Andrews consider it their personal favorite of their films.
LCDR Charlie Madison (James Garner), USNR, is a cynical and highly efficient adjutant to RADM William Jessup (Melvyn Douglas) in London. Madison's job as a dog robber is to keep his boss and other high-ranking officers supplied with luxury goods and amiable Englishwomen. He falls in love with a driver from the motor pool, Emily Barham (Julie Andrews), who has lost her husband, brother, and father in the war. Madison's sybaritic, "American" lifestyle amid wartime scarcity both fascinates and disgusts Emily, but she does not want to lose another loved one to war and finds the "practicing coward" Madison irresistible.
Under stress since the death of his wife, Jessup obsesses over the Army and its Air Corps overshadowing the Navy in the forthcoming D-Day invasion. The mentally unstable admiral decides that "The first dead man on Omaha Beach must be a sailor." A film will document the death, and the casualty will be buried in a "Tomb of the Unknown Sailor."

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