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The Americanization of Emily back to product details

Anti-War, and for some interesting reasons
written by talltale May 15, 2005 - 8:10 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Paddy Chayefsky sure picked a popular war--WWII--to satirize and deflate in his script (from a novel by William Bradford Huie) for THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY. The movie, though embraced by some critics, bombed as mainstream entertainment at the time of its release. In the retrospect of 40 years, however, it holds up surprisingly well. While Korea was a more recent endeavor and Vietnam was already upon us when the movie was made (1964), those were much easier wars to dislike. If you're going to be truly anti-war, you might as well tackle the big boys, and to Paddy's credit, he did.

The movie is so original and surprising--even today--that these qualities somewhat mask its deficiencies. Arthur Hiller's direction is sometimes flat and the script is repetitive (how many times must be hear about the "tomb of the unknown sailor"?). Fifteen to 20 minutes could have been cut; a good tightening wouldn't have lost much. And while the characters too often act as mouthpieces for Chayefsky's sermonizing, at least his sermons are worth hearing. Andrews and Garner are terrific; both have been underrated in their day, and I suspect this is one of a number of films that will keep their reputations high.

In any case, add this movie to your list: If you haven't seen it, you should; if you saw it 40 years ago, check out how pertinent it remains.


(Average 7.45)
22 Votes
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