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Action on the Beach (1964)

| Short, Documentary
Behind the scenes look at the D-Day special effects created in filming The Americanization of Emily (1964).
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Complete credited cast:
Martin Ransohoff ...
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Paul Byrd ...
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Al Shenberg ...
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Storyline

The D-Day invasion scene in The Americanization of Emily (1964) lasts approximately 3 minutes on the screen. However, it took four months of setup work to prepare the location for shooting. This short shows how the production crew handled the various challenges they faced. The scene was filmed on an unidentified California beach. Sand had to be dredged; special scaffolding had to be built to accommodate the cameras and sound equipment; and explosives had to be placed properly (and safely) to simulate shelling by German troops. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@verizon.net>

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Short | Documentary

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Included as a special feature on the DVD The Americanization of Emily (1964) released in 2005 by Warner Home Video. See more »

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References The Americanization of Emily (1964) See more »

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All the hard work that goes into three minutes of screen time...
28 March 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

A sequence in THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY required a three minute scene depicting JAMES GARNER and JAMES COBURN emerging from the water and engaging in a battle scene recreating D-Day WWII's action on the Normandy beachhead.

For this three minute scene, four months of preparation went into rigging the scaffolds to hold cameras and equipment, including heavy lights (even for daytime filming), dredging the sand to plant explosives set to go off by cue, and finally training the actors to know where the explosives were planted and how to avoid injuries during the actual shot.

Garner is shown taking directions from director Arthur Hiller as he and Coburn prepare for the shot.

An interesting glimpse of the painstaking effort that goes into making even a brief scene in an effort to recreate an historical event with authenticity. Fortunately for all concerned, the scene, using four cameras shooting simultaneously, went off without a hitch.


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