American Values Film Series Continues with Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews and James Garner in "The Americanization of Emily."

“One of the things I treasure about Sag Harbor is its thriving arts community. The Cinema has been, both literally and metaphorically, at the center of that creative identity.  I fervently hope that it remains so,” said Academy Award winning actress and author Julie Andrews in Annette Hinkle’s book “Sag Harbor, 100 Years of Film in the Village.”

The American Values Film Series, presented by the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, continues on Sunday, March 4 at 2 p.m. with a screening of “The Americanization of Emily” at Pierson High School Auditorium. The post-film discussion will feature Andrews.

Both controversial and highly celebrated when it opened in 1964, “The Americanization of Emily” is a sharp, pacifist romantic comedy written by Paddy Chayefsky (“Network,” “Altered States”), loosely adapted from a novel by William Bradford Huie. Directed by Arthur Hiller, who fought the studio to photograph it in black and white, it is the first anti-war movie of the Vietnam era, released six years before “Catch 22” and “M*A*S*H.”  Its plot places the audience in 1944 London during the build-up to D-Day, where Charlie Madison (James Garner), an American naval officer with a taste for the good life, sees his priorities challenged when he falls in love with a moralistic British girl, Emily Barham (Julie Andrews).

“I feel so fortunate that my second foray into film-making was ‘The Americanization of Emily’,” Andrews said recently. “Paddy’s Chayevsky’s script about the folly of war was simply brilliant, and it was an honor to work with such industry giants as Arthur Hiller, James Garner, James Coburn and Melvyn Douglas, all of whom threw themselves into Paddy’s meaty characters and magnificent language with relish and respect. It remains among my favorite films, as relevant today as it was then.”

Ms. Andrews has been a beloved star of stage, screen and television for more than half a century. She received Tony Award nominations for her roles in the original Broadway productions of Camelot and My Fair Lady. She won an Academy Award for her title role in Mary Poppins and was also nominated for her performance in The Sound of Music. Andrews was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2000. In 2007, she received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for her professional accomplishments, and a few years later a Lifetime Achievement Grammy. In 2016, Andrews directed a production of My Fair Lady at the Sydney Opera House, in honor of the work’s 60th anniversary. Andrews and daughter Emma Walton Hamilton have co-authored over 30 extremely successful children’s books. They are currently collaborating on Andrews’ second memoir.

Coming up in the American Values Series: Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and “The People vs Paul Crump” by William Friedkin.