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Hullabaloo


Monday, May 28, 2018

 
 Watch The Americanization of Emily, an anti-war movie written by Paddy Chayefsky

by Spocko
Do you want to watch an anti-war movie following Memorial Day? I recommend watching The Americanization of Emily. The screenplay is by Paddy Chayefsky, who wrote Network. As you know, I'm a huge fan of Network. It changed the way I looked at the news businesses. This movie stars Julie Andrews and James Garner.  It goes places you really don't expect, and makes a case against war in a very different way. It was anti-war about WWII, the "good war" which people have an easier time justifying.

Here's the set up:
In wartime London just before D-Day, Lieut. Comdr. Charlie Madison (James Garner), an aide to eccentric Rear Admiral Jessup (Melvyn Douglas), specializes in supplying the top Navy officers with luxuries such as party girls. Madison is a proponent of cowardice as a virtue because he believes reverence of heroism promotes war. He falls in love with Emily Barham (Julie Andrews), his British motor pool driver, a young woman who has lost her husband, brother and father in the war.

I'd love to share all the long quotes from the film to show just how interesting the views are and how brilliant the screenplay is. Here are three clips from the scene with James Garner's character talking to Mrs. Barham, the mother of Julie Andrews' character, Emily.
First he talks about how war gives a man a chance to do something redeeming. Next he talks about how he believes in cowardness.

In the final clip he talks about how we perpetuate war. The following quote is from this clip.

Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison: I don't trust people who make bitter reflections about war, Mrs. Barham. It's always the general with the bloodiest records who are the first to shout what a hell it is. It's always the war widows who lead the Memorial Day parades.
Emily Barham: That was unkind, Charlie, and very rude.
Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison: We shall never end wars, Mrs. Barham, by blaming it on the ministers and generals, or warmongering imperialists, or all the other banal bogeys. It's the rest of us who build statues to those generals and name boulevards after those ministers. The rest of us who make heroes of our dead and shrines of our battlefields. We wear our widow's weeds like nuns, Mrs. Barham, and perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices.

Trivia:  James Garner said it was his favorite movie. Julie Andrews made this film between Mary Poppins and Sound of Music. The movie is available to stream on Filmstruck.com. It's a great quality transfer of the B&W print. They have lots of great movies and a free trial for new subscribers. I'm watching a bunch of musicals next.

Another interesting connection that I don't think anyone has made is that James Garner's character and his eventual involvement in the war is very much like Tom Cruise's character in Edge of Tomorrow.