Stephen M’s review published on Letterboxd:
For me, this film just didn't work, in spite of all the accolades I saw on IMDB. It's basically an anti-war film and attempts (with a mixture of cynicism and comedy) to expose the misguided nobility and heroism of war and soldiers. But the character played by James Garner, a self-described "coward" who becomes the attache of a delusional admiral (Melvyn Douglass) in order to avoid combat, seems one-dimensional and his later reversal is unbelievable. It's also hard to understand why Emily (Julie Andrews) who lost her husband, brother and father to wartime combat would so readily fall in love with him.
The film was controversial upon its release, and the overt sexuality (Garner is basically a procurer of women for higher ranking officers) is surprising for a 1964 film. There's a fair amount of good satirical dialogue by Paddy Chayevsky, and the acting by Garner, Andrews, Douglas and James Coburn is professional and uniformly good. But it never engaged me and I felt like it was straining too hard.
Finally, I have a pet peeve with films set in earlier decades (here the 1940s), yet the characters (especially the women) all have 1960s hairstyles and clothing. I've seen this commonly in films from the 1950s and 1960s, and never understood why Hollywood didn't strive more for historical accuracy.
I saw this on the Watch TCM app.