Saturday, August 9, 2014


Okay, it looks like I was lying about a Saturday Random Ten.  Turns out my day was scheduled a little beyond my control, although not in a bad way.

Last night I watched The Americanization of Emily, which I'd ordered from the library.  Actually it turns out that I could have watched the whole thing on YouTube, but hell, why not give my TV set something to do?  It was getting bored.

It's an antiwar comedy released in 1964, so while it's sentiments were a little more acceptable to society than they had been, it wasn't really something most people had been thinking about.  James Garner is a navy "dog-robber", which is to say the guy who makes sure the admiral is coddled and happy.  He's a self-professed coward, and so of course falls into a love affair with Julie Andrews, a widow who buys into the myth of war being noble.  It's well cast all around with Melvyn Douglas as the loony admiral and James Coburn as a propaganda officer.  His character goes power-mad and has moments of pomposity that kind of play against his cool image.

I'm not sure the movie keeps all the balls in the air, but it is worth seeing.


susan said...

We enjoyed watching this one just a couple of years ago. It's a pretty heavy duty satire about the military and the folly of war in general. I remember really liking Joyce Grenfell as Julie Andrews' mother in the garden scene.

After the Bay of Pigs standoff and people's realization about just how many nuclear weapons there suddenly were in the world, the anti-war movement and movies reflecting that change became quite popular. The best of them was another made in 1964, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. That's a film I can watch (and have done) frequently since first seeing it in a Toronto theatre. It can still make me cry too.

Ben said...

Grenfell does give a lovely performance. She's one of the quieter characters, and I think that's part of the point.

Did Kubrick ever top Dr. Strangelove? He came close to it a few times, but I think it still has to be counted among his very best.

On no account will a commie ever drink water, and not without good reason.

susan said...

A number of people think it's a toss up between Strangelove and 2001. I think it was the former by a couple of lengths.