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The Americanization of Emily

207 customer reviews

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(May 10, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

An American naval officer, in London during WW II, falls in love with his British military driver.
Genre: Feature Film-Comedy
Rating: NR
Release Date: 10-MAY-2005
Media Type: DVD

Special Features

  • Featurette: Action on the Beach
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: James Garner, Julie Andrews, Melvyn Douglas, James Coburn, Joyce Grenfell
  • Directors: Arthur Hiller
  • Writers: Paddy Chayefsky, William Bradford Huie
  • Producers: John Calley, Martin Ransohoff
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007TKNGU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,028 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Americanization of Emily" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 167 people found the following review helpful By David J. Kucharski on February 6, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Hollywood movies were becoming increasingly adventurous in the early 1960s, tackling a wide variety of subjects with candor and intelligence. THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY is one of the finest films of that period, a movie that manages to be a biting satirical comedy, a clear-eyed love story, and a passionate denunciation of warfare all at the same time.
James Garner portrays "dog-robber" Charlie, an American naval officer stationed in London during WWII and charged with the duty of keeping his admiral (Melvyn Douglas) in as complete a state of comfort as possible. Charlie freely admits that he likes his job because it keeps him far away from combat and the risk of death. This attitude does not intially endear Charlie to Emily (Julie Andrews), a military driver and Britisher who has lost several family members to the fighting. Slowly, however, the two fall in love and plan to build a life together. Then trouble intervenes: the admiral devises a public relations plan to ensure that the first man killed in the D-Day invasion is a sailor. And it looks like Charlie is in danger of becoming that man. . .
THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY was made in 1964, the same year as DR. STRANGELOVE, an anti-war film that has now become legendary. EMILY was popular enough but somewhat overlooked at the time of its release, and it is not as well-known today as it deserves to be.
Paddy Chayevsky's screenplay is filled with witty, pungent dialogue (even during Charlie and Emily's love scenes). And the performances are excellent. Garner has said more than once that this is his favorite of his films.
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90 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Cowboy Buddha on June 27, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I first saw The Americanization of Emily many years ago and I have always loved it. Before getting it on video recently, I had not seen it for a very long time but I thought about it often - not least because I had since followed the film's example by being an American guy in love with an English Rose. That culture shock is the heart of the film and is something I can attest to. I also remember my father, who had been in the US Navy in WWII, telling me how accurately the film depicted the navy brass. All in all, The Americanization of Emily gets better every time I see it.
Paddy Chayefsky's script gives the film its solid foundation with three dimensional characters who speak articulate yet believable dialogue. The mixture of satire, sex and sentiment is just right. The British are fond of saying that Americans have no sense of irony. They have obviously never seen this film.
Holding everything together and making the audience genuinely care is James Garner in the most impressive performance of his career. He plays a "dog robber" - personal aide to an important admiral, an officer dedicated to making the war as comfortable as possible, and a devout coward. Stationed in London during the buildup to D-Day, Garner is having a very pleasant war indeed. He is a man who is very sure of himself and what he believes in. At least, until he meets Julie Andrews - English war widow and military driver. These two people have absolutely nothing in common. So it is inevitable, yet somehow oddly logical, that they fall in love.
But a little thing called World War Two keeps getting in the way. Garner's mentally unhinged admiral decides that the first dead man on Omaha Beach should be a sailor and wants Garner to photograph the event - if not have the honour of being dead himself.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Dave on December 5, 2005
Format: DVD
Lt. Cmdr. Charles Madison (James Garner) is a veteran "dog-robber", meaning his main task is to keep whatever commanding officer he's assigned to as comfortable as possible. Assigned to Admiral William Jessup (Melvyn Douglas), Madison keeps him supplied with the best food, clothes, and women. Madison is not only the best "dog-robber", he's also a self-confessed coward who avoids combat duty like the plague. While staying in London in May, 1944, as the Allied forces prepare for D-Day, Madison meets an attractive British war widow, Emily Barham (Julie Andrews). Emily has lost a father, a brother, and a husband in this war, and she is sick and tired of gallant men sacrificing their lives in a seemingly endless war.

Madison talks freely and honestly about his cowardice, and Emily finds herself falling in love with this American officer who sees no glory in young men being blown apart for their country. But as their relationship progresses and they talk of marriage, the deadline for the D-Day invasion draws near. Admiral Jessup is temporarily insane and comes up with a suicidal mission that will get the U.S. Navy plenty of glory on D-Day. He orders Madison to take a camera crew and join the first wave attacking Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, where casualities among the attackers are expected to be 50% or higher. Madison is ordered to film the first sailor being killed on Omaha Beach, and before long he realizes that HE is supposed to be the first sailor killed!

Although universally categorized as an anti-war movie, Arthur Hiller, the director insists in the audio commentary that The Americanization of Emily is not anti-war, but "anti-glorification of war." But this brilliantly-directed movie takes quite a poke at the U.S. military, and at times even America itself.
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