The Americanization of Emily


1h 57m 1964
The Americanization of Emily

Brief Synopsis

A British war widow falls for an opportunistic American sailor during World War II.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
Emily
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
War
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 27 Oct 1964
Production Company
Filmways, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
London, England, United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Americanization of Emily by William Bradford Huie (New York, 1959).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System), Stereo
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

In wartime London just before D-Day, Lieut. Comdr. Charlie Madison, an aide to eccentric Rear Admiral Jessup, specializes in supplying the top Navy officers with luxuries such as party girls. Madison is an exponent of cowardice as a virtue because he believes reverence of heroism promotes war. He falls in love with Emily Barham, his British motorpool driver, a young woman who has lost her husband and brother in the war. Admiral Jessup is obsessed with the idea that the Army has a better image than the Navy and is determined that the first dead man on Omaha Beach on D-Day be a sailor. Jessup orders Madison to photograph the D-Day landing, and, despite his protests which alienate Emily, Madison is forced at gunpoint to be the first man to land on Omaha Beach. Running from the bombs, Madison trips a land mine and is reported to be the first man killed in the invasion. Photographs of his supposedly dead body appear in the newspapers, and he becomes a hero, but later he is found alive. Admiral Jessup then organizes a hero's welcome for Madison, but he threatens to confess the true story of his cowardice to the press. Emily, in a reversal of sentiment, promises to marry him if he will keep his secret, and Madison agrees to remain quiet.

Photo Collections

The Americanization of Emily - Publicity Art
Here are a few specialty drawings created by MGM for newspaper and magazine reproduction to publicize The Americanization of Emily (1964), starring James Garner and Julie Andrews.
The Americanization of Emily - James Coburn Publicity Stills
Here are some photos taken of James Coburn and some female co-stars from The Americanization of Emily (1964). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Promo

Film Details

Also Known As
Emily
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
War
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 27 Oct 1964
Production Company
Filmways, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
London, England, United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Americanization of Emily by William Bradford Huie (New York, 1959).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System), Stereo
Color
Black and White

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1964

Best Cinematography

1964

Articles

The Americanization of Emily


A WWII "dog robber" stationed in London, whose job entails procuring steaks, liquor and women for his Navy superiors, Charles Madison (James Garner) is a self-proclaimed coward opposed to the feigned bravery and self-sacrifice of war. A combination personal assistant and black marketeer, Charlie attends to the every whim of an increasingly scatterbrained Admiral William Jessep (Melvyn Douglas, who based his character on his own military experience), from stocked bars to shoulder massages... while his countrymen wage war in Europe.

In this black comedy scripted by Paddy Chayefsky (Marty (1955), Network, 1976) Charlie is just as cynical when it comes to women, greeting female soldiers with a friendly pat on the rump until his palm meets the wrong woman, Emily Barham (Julie Andrews).

Released between the blockbuster films Mary Poppins (1964) and The Sound of Music (1965), The Americanization of Emily (1964) proved that Andrews's talents were hardly limited to her singing voice and that her charms were just as engaging in a modest comedy as in a lavish musical.

A proper, repressed war widow who refuses to take part in the atmosphere of frivolity that infects her countrywomen in uniform, Emily nonetheless falls for the cavalier Charlie, whose cowardice turns out to be his best selling point for a woman who has lost a husband, father and brother in the war. "It is your most important asset, being a coward," she tells him, "Every man I ever loved was a hero and all he got was death,"

But Charlie's taste for absurdity is trumped when he and his love 'em and leave 'em roommate "Bus" Cummings (James Coburn) are given a sobering assignment: to film the landing on Omaha Beach and record the first death of a Navy man. Suddenly two men enjoying the high life far from the front lines are forced to confront the ridiculousness of war firsthand, risking their lives to valorize the certain death of another, all in the name of public relations and patriotism.

A cynical soldier who sees the war as an opportunity for profit rather than for noble self-sacrifice, Charlie is the precursor to all the irreverent, pleasure-seeking soldiers of war films to come, such as MASH (1970), Catch-22 (1970) and Apocalypse Now (1979).

Controversial upon its original release, The Americanization of Emily was a vanguard anti-war film, poking fun at mindless patriotism years before such films were fashionable or popularly accepted. Yet the film proved a commercial success, and earned Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Musical Score.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Producer: Martin Ransohoff
Screenplay: Paddy Chayefsky
Based on the novel by William Bradford Huie
Cinematography: Philip Lathrop
Production Design: George W. Davis, Hans Peters, Elliot Scott, Henry Grace, Robert R. Benton
Music: Johnny Mandel
Cast: James Garner (Lt. Comdr. Charles E. Madison), Julie Andrews (Emily Barham), Melvyn Douglas (Adm. William Jessep), James Coburn (Lt. Comdr. "Bus" Cummings), Joyce Grenfell (Mrs. Barham), Keenan Wynn (Sailor).
BW-115m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Felicia Feaster

The Americanization Of Emily

The Americanization of Emily

A WWII "dog robber" stationed in London, whose job entails procuring steaks, liquor and women for his Navy superiors, Charles Madison (James Garner) is a self-proclaimed coward opposed to the feigned bravery and self-sacrifice of war. A combination personal assistant and black marketeer, Charlie attends to the every whim of an increasingly scatterbrained Admiral William Jessep (Melvyn Douglas, who based his character on his own military experience), from stocked bars to shoulder massages... while his countrymen wage war in Europe. In this black comedy scripted by Paddy Chayefsky (Marty (1955), Network, 1976) Charlie is just as cynical when it comes to women, greeting female soldiers with a friendly pat on the rump until his palm meets the wrong woman, Emily Barham (Julie Andrews). Released between the blockbuster films Mary Poppins (1964) and The Sound of Music (1965), The Americanization of Emily (1964) proved that Andrews's talents were hardly limited to her singing voice and that her charms were just as engaging in a modest comedy as in a lavish musical. A proper, repressed war widow who refuses to take part in the atmosphere of frivolity that infects her countrywomen in uniform, Emily nonetheless falls for the cavalier Charlie, whose cowardice turns out to be his best selling point for a woman who has lost a husband, father and brother in the war. "It is your most important asset, being a coward," she tells him, "Every man I ever loved was a hero and all he got was death," But Charlie's taste for absurdity is trumped when he and his love 'em and leave 'em roommate "Bus" Cummings (James Coburn) are given a sobering assignment: to film the landing on Omaha Beach and record the first death of a Navy man. Suddenly two men enjoying the high life far from the front lines are forced to confront the ridiculousness of war firsthand, risking their lives to valorize the certain death of another, all in the name of public relations and patriotism. A cynical soldier who sees the war as an opportunity for profit rather than for noble self-sacrifice, Charlie is the precursor to all the irreverent, pleasure-seeking soldiers of war films to come, such as MASH (1970), Catch-22 (1970) and Apocalypse Now (1979). Controversial upon its original release, The Americanization of Emily was a vanguard anti-war film, poking fun at mindless patriotism years before such films were fashionable or popularly accepted. Yet the film proved a commercial success, and earned Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Musical Score. Director: Arthur Hiller Producer: Martin Ransohoff Screenplay: Paddy Chayefsky Based on the novel by William Bradford Huie Cinematography: Philip Lathrop Production Design: George W. Davis, Hans Peters, Elliot Scott, Henry Grace, Robert R. Benton Music: Johnny Mandel Cast: James Garner (Lt. Comdr. Charles E. Madison), Julie Andrews (Emily Barham), Melvyn Douglas (Adm. William Jessep), James Coburn (Lt. Comdr. "Bus" Cummings), Joyce Grenfell (Mrs. Barham), Keenan Wynn (Sailor). BW-115m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Felicia Feaster

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in London. Reissued in 1967 as Emily.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1964 New York Times Film Critics.

Released in United States March 1979

Released in United States October 27, 1964

Released in United States Summer July 17, 1964

Broadcast over TNT (colorized version) October 26, 1988.

Re-released in 1967 under the title "Emily".

Released in United States March 1979 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (FilmEssay: Misappreciated American Films) March 14-30, 1979.)

Released in United States Summer July 17, 1964

Released in United States October 27, 1964