A cynical American Naval officer first clashes with and then falls in love with his idealistic British driver who is a war widow. After convincing her to enjoy life and stop being so altruistic, he... A cynical American Naval officer first clashes with and then falls in love with his idealistic British driver who is a war widow.
After convincing her to enjoy life and stop being so altruistic, he is selected by the Navy's PR machine to become "the Unknown Sailor," the first man to die landing at Normandy on D-Day, a death that will prove that the Navy can't be equaled, especially by the Army, in bravery. A sometimes brilliant script by Paddy Chayevsky elevates this one well above the normal fare. Starring: Julie Andrews, James Garner, Melvyn Douglas, James Coburn---------RT
Ok, so now you know the storyline. This is an anti-war film which chooses comedy to make its point. The main job of this naval officer is to supply his superiors with creature comforts, including girls.
Didn't find this "hilarious" at all (as described on the dvd jacket. It was mildly humourous, if that.) James Garner and James Coburn fans will be pleased as these two dominate most of the film. MASH, the movie and tv series was far more sarcastic about war than this film could ever hope to be. But I guess for its day it was supposed to be a statement. Dr. Strangelove was of the same era and was obviously more potent in that respect.
But I must admit this...... James Garner and Julie Andrews make a very handsome couple. Besides, I like both of them.
Got to know NOTES about the film:
1 Both James Garner and Julie Andrews consider it their favorite of the films they appeared in.
2 The film was nominated for two Academy Awards:
Academy Award for Best Art Direction - (George W. Davis, Hans Peters, Elliot Scott, Henry Grace, Robert R. Benton)
Academy Award for Best Cinematography - (Philip H. Lathrop)
BAFTA Award for Best Actress - (Julie Andrews)
3 The screenplay's theme of cowardice as a virtue has no parallel in the novel; in fact, the novel does not mention cowardice at all.
4 The screenplay implies, but never explicitly explains what is meant by the term "Americanization." The novel uses "Americanized" to refer to a woman who accepts, as a normal condition of wartime, the exchange of her sexual favors for gifts of rare wartime commodities.
5 Sharon Tate, a small bit in the film, was brutally murdered in what later became known as the Sharon Tate Murders. A very sad thing.
James Garner as Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. "Charlie" Madison
Julie Andrews as Emily Barham
Melvyn Douglas as Admiral William Jessup
James Coburn as Lt. Cmdr. Paul "Bus" Cummings
Joyce Grenfell as Mrs. Barham
Keenan Wynn as Old Sailor
Edward Binns as Admiral Thomas Healy
Liz Fraser as Sheila
William Windom as Captain Harry Spaulding
John Crawford as Chief Petty Officer Paul Adams
Douglas Henderson as Captain Marvin Ellender
Edmon Ryan as Admiral Hoyle
Steve Franken as Young Sailor
Alan Sues as Petty Officer Enright
Sharon Tate had an uncredited role as "Beautiful Girl".
Directed by Arthur Hiller
Produced by Martin Ransohoff
Written by William Bradford Huie (novel)
Paddy Chayefsky (screenplay)
Music by Johnny Mandel
Cinematography Philip H. Lathrop
Editing by Tom McAdoo
Distributed by MGM
Release date(s) 27 October 1964
Running time 115 minutes