The Americanization of Emily

The Internet Movie Database       Movie Reviews

From the novel of the same name by William Bradford Huie

A prim British woman and an American of dubious values are thrown together in England during the last month before D Day in WWII.

GATADD-T visited on Thanksgiving weekend, and we went to our local emporiums du media, and found that Rasputin was having a gigantic sale on slightly used dvds- 3 for ten bucks or fifteen bucks, depending on how popular they were. So I mentioned this to Mr. Otter, who was working the day we all went shopping, and later in the week he went by there. And (among a bunch of chick flicks 😛 ) he brought home this.

I want you to see this, he said, I think you’ll like it.

So, time finally permitting, we did.

And I did.

Firstly, this movie has a great cast: James Garner, whom I have always liked. James Coburn, ditto. Julie Andrews, who is not a favorite of mine but in this she plays a slightly slutty Brit, very nice. And William Windom.

Both Mr. Otter and I pointed at his name in the credits, and when he came on screen, we both pointed at him and said, That’s William Windom! I started laughing and paused the DVD player.

Do you know why I recognize him? I said to Mr. Otter (and you have to realize here that although I’m very good with voices, I’m terrible at recognizing actors’ faces unless they’re in something that makes a big impression on me).

No, said Mr. Otter, I was surprised you know who he is.

I recognized him, I said, because he was in an episode of the original Star Trek series and I saw all of them about a billion times! I laughed like an idiot, and he just shook his head sadly.

But I digress. An excellent cast, and all are well suited to their parts. I especially liked Joyce Grenfell, who played Julie Andrews’ mother.

And the story is good: London during the very last month of WWII: rationing, tight belts, a lot of destruction…but of course the American generals had the best of everything, and so did their personal assistants, who had a funny dog-something nickname that I don’t remember but Mr. Otter is sure to email to me after the fact. In fact, the character is much like the scrounger Garner played in The Great Escape, a fixer who can supply or set up whatever is needed.

Anyway. So there Garner is, living high on the hog, and Julie Andrews is one of the women in the driving pool. She despises him, he thinks she’s a prig, and of course they fall in love. And complications ensue.

This movie is not only witty and charming, it also has a lot to say about war and heroism. Well worth watching, and I’m glad we own it, because I will want to see it again. As will you. Come on over and we’ll watch it together.

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