The Americanization of Emily (1964)

115 mins | Drama | 28 October 1964

Director:

Arthur Hiller

Writer:

Paddy Chayefsky

Producer:

Martin Ransohoff

Cinematographer:

Philip Lathrop

Editor:

Tom McAdoo

Production Designers:

George W. Davis, Hans Peters, Elliot Scott

Production Company:

Filmways, Inc.
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HISTORY

The Summary for this unviewed film was derived from FilmFacts and other contemporary materials at AMPAS library files.
       According to the 14 Jul 1959 NYT, William Bradford Huie’s The Americanization of Emily was published by E. P. Dutton & Company on 12 Aug 1959 as a continuation of the story of “Lieut. Comdr. Charles E. Madison,” who served as the narrator in The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1941). Shortly after the book’s publication, the 10 Feb 1960 NYT reported that Huie met with filmmaker Jack Clayton about a possible motion picture adaptation, and a 27 Jul 1960 LAT article noted that he was also interested in the work of Canadian director Daniel Petrie. However, General Artists Corporation (GAC) vice president Ned Brown told the 24 Jan 1963 DV that Huie’s novel failed to attract financiers until he prepared the material as a completed screenplay. Once in its new form, the property was picked up by Martin Ransohoff at Filmways, Inc. While the 30 Apr 1962 DV reported that Norman Rosten had completed the first half of a rewrite, a 13 Feb 1963 Var item suggested that Huie was still involved in the scripting process nearly a year later. On 10 Apr 1963, Var announced that Paddy Chayefsky had been assigned to complete the script, for which he received sole writing credit.
       Meanwhile, the 21 May 1962 LAT reported that William Holden had agreed to play the male lead opposite a yet unnamed British actress. With a star attached, items in the 6 Aug 1962 DV, ... More Less

The Summary for this unviewed film was derived from FilmFacts and other contemporary materials at AMPAS library files.
       According to the 14 Jul 1959 NYT, William Bradford Huie’s The Americanization of Emily was published by E. P. Dutton & Company on 12 Aug 1959 as a continuation of the story of “Lieut. Comdr. Charles E. Madison,” who served as the narrator in The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1941). Shortly after the book’s publication, the 10 Feb 1960 NYT reported that Huie met with filmmaker Jack Clayton about a possible motion picture adaptation, and a 27 Jul 1960 LAT article noted that he was also interested in the work of Canadian director Daniel Petrie. However, General Artists Corporation (GAC) vice president Ned Brown told the 24 Jan 1963 DV that Huie’s novel failed to attract financiers until he prepared the material as a completed screenplay. Once in its new form, the property was picked up by Martin Ransohoff at Filmways, Inc. While the 30 Apr 1962 DV reported that Norman Rosten had completed the first half of a rewrite, a 13 Feb 1963 Var item suggested that Huie was still involved in the scripting process nearly a year later. On 10 Apr 1963, Var announced that Paddy Chayefsky had been assigned to complete the script, for which he received sole writing credit.
       Meanwhile, the 21 May 1962 LAT reported that William Holden had agreed to play the male lead opposite a yet unnamed British actress. With a star attached, items in the 6 Aug 1962 DV, 10 Oct 1962 DV, and 29 Jul 1963 LAT stated that the project drew the attention of directors Michael Gordon, George Roy Hill, and William Wyler. Wyler was reluctant to remain onboard, and on 11 Sep 1963, DV announced that he left the picture due to disagreements over the script, claiming that the necessary rewrites would conflict with his commitment to The Sound of Music (1965, see entry), from which he also later resigned. Blake Edwards was considered as a possible replacement, and the 8 Oct 1964 LAT claimed Robert Wise, who took over for Wyler on The Sound of Music, turned down a $400,000 contract because he “didn’t like the story.” Arthur Hiller was named the new director in a 30 Sep 1963 DV brief, which also reported that James Garner had stepped in for William Holden. Garner had originally been cast as “Lieut. Comdr. ‘Bus’ Cummings,” a role that was then assumed by James Coburn.
       The 10 Jun 1963 DV stated that Harry Caplan, a noted friend of William Holden, was signed as the film’s production manager. Items in the 18 Dec 1963 DV and 22 Jan 1964 Var named Justin Smith and Ned Wynn among the cast, but their participation could not be confirmed. Wynn was the son of actor Keenan Wynn, who appears in the film as “Old sailor.”
       The search for an actress to play British motorpool driver “Emily Barham” lasted over a year. The 6 Aug 1962 DV, 3 Apr 1963 LAT, and 18 Jun 1963 DV claimed Susannah York, Lee Remick (an American), and Shirley Eaton were all in contention for the role before the 4 Sep 1963 NYT announced that Julie Andrews had agreed to star. Several sources noted that this marked the first non-singing role for Andrews, who first gained acclaim as “Eliza Doolittle” in the Broadway production of My Fair Lady, recently completed the Walt Disney Pictures musical, Mary Poppins (1964, see entry), and signed a contract to headline the screen version of The Sound of Music.
       Principal photography began outside the Houses of Parliament in London, England, on 13 Oct 1963, according to a DV item published the following day. Once exteriors were completed in London, the unit returned to Los Angeles, CA, for the remainder of production. The 7 Nov 1963 DV indicated that studio work took place at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) backlot in Culver City, while a 12 Nov 1963 DV article referred to Desilu Productions’ Gower Street facility in Hollywood. The 23 Dec 1963 DV edition stated that the D-Day beach sequence included two LCVPs (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) obtained by “civilian sources,” as the U.S. Navy refused to provide the vessels due to the script’s cynical attitude toward war. Beach footage was shot in Oxnard, CA, but complications arose when the 9 Jan 1964 DV reported high tides and strong coastal winds caused damage to the set.
       Filming concluded shortly thereafter. However, on 27 Jan 1964, DV stated that James Garner, James Coburn, and Judy Carne were called to re-shoot a scene in which Carne appeared nude. Throughout production, producer Martin Ransohoff had become embroiled in a dispute with Production Code Administrator Geoffrey Shurlock over several instances of nudity by Carne, Janine Gray, and Kathy Kersh. Ransohoff filmed the material in defiance of Shurlock’s objections, but the 18 Mar 1964 DV indicated he was forced to back down in order to obtain a Code Seal of approval from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). A NYT article published the following day explained that Ransohoff’s decision to cut the scenes was prompted by warnings from MGM executive Robert H. O’Brien, who refused to release the picture without a seal. Ransohoff planned to include the excised footage in the European release, and publicly admonished the MPAA for its strict censorship regarding nudity. The story suggested that Ransohoff may have amplified the controversy as a way to promote the film and increase its box-office prospects, although he denied such accusations.
       On 21 Mar 1964, editor Tom McAdoo died of a heart attack. Although the 12 Mar 1964 DV announced that editing had already been completed, an 8 Apr 1964 Var item named Tom McCarthy as his replacement for the remainder of post-production. According to a 17 Sep 1964 DV brief, Johnny Mandel reallocated one of his themes from the soundtrack to his score for The Sandpiper (1965, see entry), which was also produced by Ransohoff. The 1 Sep 1964 DV reported that Andy Williams had recorded the film’s title song, “Emily,” for Columbia Records, while modern sources noted that renditions were also performed by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Barbra Streisand.
       According to a 4 Nov 1964 Var article, two additional endings had been planned that significantly differed from the final version. In an early draft, Madison was to remain dead following the landmine accident on Omaha Beach, while Cummings was promoted to admiral and Emily Barham placed in an insane asylum with Madison’s boss, “Adm. William Jessup.” However, the scene’s costly parade sequence was deemed too expensive for the limited budget, and filmmakers considered another scenario in which Cummings was condemned for his role in Madison’s death and reassigned to the North Pole. James Coburn reportedly shot footage for this version, which was ultimately never used.
       Although Ransohoff hoped for a quick opening, the 3 Aug 1964 DV stated that he had agreed to wait until Disney released Mary Poppins, which was a hit at the box-office. The Americanization of Emily premiered 27 Oct 1964 at the Loew’s State Theatre in New York City before beginning simultaneous engagements at the State and Loew’s Tower East Theatres the following day. The picture opened in Los Angeles on 25 Dec 1964.
       The critical depiction of wartime heroism conveyed in Huie’s original text and Chayefsky’s screenplay elicited a mixed response from critics and audiences. Arthur Hiller published a defense of the film in the 3 Jan 1965 LAT after attending a public screening at a local theater, claiming that many viewers misinterpreted the tone as disapproval of soldiers instead of a “comment on the lunacy of the attributes…[attached] to war” that were often celebrated.
       The film received Academy Award nominations for Art Direction (Black-and-White) and Cinematography (Black-and-White).
       On 6 Sep 1967, NYT announced that The Americanization of Emily had been re-released as Emily to capitalize on the recent popularity of James Coburn and considerable stardom of Julie Andrews, who had since won an Academy Award for Mary Poppins and enjoyed success in The Sound of Music, Hawaii (1966, see entry), and Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967, see entry). The following summer, the 5 Jul 1968 NYT reported plans for a musical stage adaptation produced by Norman Rosemont and Barry Kobrin, but the project did not move ahead. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Apr 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
6 Aug 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Oct 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
24 Jan 1963
p. 19.
Daily Variety
10 Jun 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Jun 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Sep 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1963
p. 5.
Daily Variety
25 Oct 1963
p. 6.
Daily Variety
7 Nov 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Nov 1963
p. 1.
Daily Variety
18 Dec 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
23 Dec 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Jan 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Jan 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Mar 1964
p. 6.
Daily Variety
18 Mar 1964
p. 1.
Daily Variety
25 Mar 1964
p. 111.
Daily Variety
3 Aug 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Sep 1964
p. 11.
Daily Variety
17 Sep 1964
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
27 Jul 1960
p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
28 Mar 1962
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
21 May 1962
Section C, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
3 Apr 1963
Section C, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jul 1963
Section E, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
15 Nov 1963
Section D, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
8 Oct 1964
Section D, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
24 Dec 1964
Section C, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
28 Dec 1964
Section B, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
3 Jan 1965
Section B, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
6 Oct 1967
Section D, p. 12.
New York Times
14 Jul 1959
p 27.
New York Times
10 Feb 1960
p. 43.
New York Times
4 Sep 1963
p. 35.
New York Times
10 Nov 1963
Section X, p. 9.
New York Times
19 Mar 1964
p. 28.
New York Times
28 Oct 1964
p. 51.
New York Times
6 Sep 1967
p. 40.
New York Times
5 Jul 1968
p. 16.
Variety
13 Feb 1963
p. 7.
Variety
10 Apr 1963
p. 22.
Variety
22 Jan 1964
p. 94.
Variety
8 Apr 1964
p. 10.
Variety
28 Oct 1964
p. 11.
Variety
4 Nov 1964
p. 5.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Martin Ransohoff Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Orch cond
SOUND
Sd rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstyles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Americanization of Emily by William Bradford Huie (New York, 1959).
SONGS
"Emily," words and music by Johnny Mercer and Johnny Mandel.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Emily
Release Date:
28 October 1964
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 27 October 1964
New York opening: 28 October 1964
Los Angeles opening: 25 December 1964
Production Date:
13 October 1963--January 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Filmways, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 July 1964
Copyright Number:
LP28978
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
115
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In wartime London just before D-Day, Lieut. Comdr. Charlie Madison, an aide to eccentric Rear Admiral Jessup, specializes in supplying the top Navy officers with luxuries such as party girls. Madison is an exponent of cowardice as a virtue because he believes reverence of heroism promotes war. He falls in love with Emily Barham, his British motorpool driver, a young woman who has lost her husband and brother in the war. Admiral Jessup is obsessed with the idea that the Army has a better image than the Navy and is determined that the first dead man on Omaha Beach on D-Day be a sailor. Jessup orders Madison to photograph the D-Day landing, and, despite his protests which alienate Emily, Madison is forced at gunpoint to be the first man to land on Omaha Beach. Running from the bombs, Madison trips a land mine and is reported to be the first man killed in the invasion. Photographs of his supposedly dead body appear in the newspapers, and he becomes a hero, but later he is found alive. Admiral Jessup then organizes a hero's welcome for Madison, but he threatens to confess the true story of his cowardice to the press. Emily, in a reversal of sentiment, promises to marry him if he will keep his secret, and Madison agrees to remain ... +


In wartime London just before D-Day, Lieut. Comdr. Charlie Madison, an aide to eccentric Rear Admiral Jessup, specializes in supplying the top Navy officers with luxuries such as party girls. Madison is an exponent of cowardice as a virtue because he believes reverence of heroism promotes war. He falls in love with Emily Barham, his British motorpool driver, a young woman who has lost her husband and brother in the war. Admiral Jessup is obsessed with the idea that the Army has a better image than the Navy and is determined that the first dead man on Omaha Beach on D-Day be a sailor. Jessup orders Madison to photograph the D-Day landing, and, despite his protests which alienate Emily, Madison is forced at gunpoint to be the first man to land on Omaha Beach. Running from the bombs, Madison trips a land mine and is reported to be the first man killed in the invasion. Photographs of his supposedly dead body appear in the newspapers, and he becomes a hero, but later he is found alive. Admiral Jessup then organizes a hero's welcome for Madison, but he threatens to confess the true story of his cowardice to the press. Emily, in a reversal of sentiment, promises to marry him if he will keep his secret, and Madison agrees to remain quiet. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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