A Memorial Day Alternative: The Americanization of Emily

Lew Rockwell reports:

I have grown weary of the war-lovers taking over every holiday and exploiting them for their own deadly ambitions. Turning July 4th into a celebration of militaristic statism (see the old Bing Crosby musical Holiday Inn) was bad enough. But then seeing a Santa Claus in a flag-draped Uncle Sam suit on a Christmas card a couple years ago was simply too much.

Memorial Day is one holiday on which I often hold an “Anti-War Film Festival,” inviting a few friends – who, being friends of mine, have no need to be reminded of the evils of warfare – to watch what I consider the best of the films that bring war into disrepute. Instead of going out to a cemetery to join an “honor guard” gang to play taps and fire their rifles to celebrate the deaths of victims of warfare, I suggest such an anti-war film festival for your own consideration.

*** The Americanization of Emily – I have saved my favorite anti-war film for last. This James Garner/Julie Andrews picture is quite good. The most powerful portion of it is the garden scene, in which Garner and Andrews are talking with Andrews’ mother about war. Garner’s impassioned soliloquy on the nature of war – with emphasis on the wives and mothers who keep the bloodbaths going by honoring them – packs more wallop than just about any other film. Garner ends up declaring that it will be cowards – such as himself – who will save the world.


  • Anonymous

    Amen to the idea of an alternative to the typical american celebration of war. And this is a great movie that speaks honestly to the ideas that are espoused so much in this country. Paddy was a genious. As he so accurately wrote about the television business in Network he even was better in truley speaking of war in this movie. May I also suggest Mark Twains “The War Poem”, written for another american war in 1898. We never learn do we.