Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1964. Filmways Pictures. Screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky, based on the novel by William Bradford Huie. Cinematography by Philip H. Lathrop. Produced by Martin Ransohoff. Music by Johnny Mandel. Production Design by George W. Davis, Hans Peters, Elliot Scott. Costume Design by Bill Thomas. Film Editing by Tom McAdoo. Academy Awards 1964.
A comedy about D-Day? In Paddy Chayefsky’s brilliant screenplay, there is room made in cinema history for the one soldier who doesn’t want to be a war hero, and by God, James Garner is that man! He is excellent, in one of his very best film performances, as an American in England who doesn’t want to get his head blown off to save his country. Julie Andrews, who never really can appear on screen without radiating gorgeous intelligence, turns in a fantastic performance in one of her first films as an army cab driver who is at first impressed with his idealistic, hands-off policy to war and then totally repulsed by it when things really get serious. Like many period films made in the fifties and sixties, this film doesn’t make one whit of an effort to be historically accurate (check out the hairdos and outfits), but this doesn’t affect the quality of the experience.