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||IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 from votes
||Release: 27 September 1941 (USA) /
||Genre: Biography, Drama, History, Romance, War
||Stars: Charles Trowbridge, Clem Bevans, David Bruce, Dickie Moore, Gary Cooper, George Tobias, Harvey Stephens, Howard Da Silva, Joan Leslie, June Lockhart, Margaret Wycherly, Noah Beery Jr., Stanley Ridges, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond
||Synopsis: A hillbilly sharpshooter becomes one of the most celebrated American heroes of WWI when he single-handedly attacks and captures a German position using the same strategy as in turkey shoot. Written by Keith Loh [email protected]
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Watch Sergeant York - Alternative Versions.
Alvin Cullom York (1887-1964), a modest American and Christian hero of
World War I, is the subject of this biographical picture which goes
beyond the mere telling of the tale how he won all the medals he did
for bravery during the Meuse Argonne Offensive. It's the inner struggle
of a man whose pacifist Christian beliefs came into conflict with his
patriotism. It's the heart and soul of this film, beautifully crafted
by director Howard Hawks.
The real Sergeant York eschewed all money making ventures that would
have capitalized on his heroics in World War I and had resisted giving
the rights to his story to Hollywood. He relented because in 1941 he
became concerned with the danger fascism posed for the world and
advocated preparedness. Part of what brought him out was the
speechmaking of that other American hero Charles A. Lindbergh who was
an appeasement advocate.
York even called the shots on who was to play him. So Jack Warner made
a call to Adolph Zukor over at Paramount and probably paid one hefty
sum for Gary Cooper's services. It was worth every penny of it as
Cooper got his first Oscar for Best Actor.
Alvin York is a poor farmer supporting a widowed mother and a brother
and sister. And he likes to cut loose every so often with a jug and a
rifle. But he gets converted and gets involved in Walter Brennan's
church which is a strict fundamentalist sort with pacifist tenets. When
America gets into World War I, his very soul is tormented by the tenets
of his church and the volunteer tradition of his state. Tennessee is
known as the Volunteer State and that nickname is no lie. It bothers
him more than other men because as Pastor Walter Brennan tells him he's
"got the using kind of religion."
These people may be fundamentalists and somewhat backward, but they're
not phonies. No high hog living preachers here, just simple people
trying to get through life the best they can. Howard Hawks did a
masterful job in casting this film with some actors very used to
playing rustics. Ward Bond, Noah Beery, Jr. Howard DaSilva, Clem Bevans
and most of all Walter Brennan as Pastor Rosier Pyle, tripling as
preacher, postmaster, and owner of the general store. Brennan got an
Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but since he'd
already won three of them, the Academy voters gave Donald Crisp a break
that year for How Green Was My Valley.
The York family is played by Margaret Wycherly, June Lockhart and
Dickie Moore as mother, brother, and sister. Wycherly is one you'll
remember also. Hard to believe this is the same woman who is also James
Cagney's Ma in White Heat. Come to think of it, maybe not, Ma York and
Ma Jarrett are both tough survivors.
As for the action that won him decorations from all the Allied powers
including the Congressional Medal of Honor, you'll just have to see the
film for that. But while some liberties are taken with York's pre-war
story, what happened in the Argonne is actually what happened.
We could use a whole lot more Sergeant Yorks, those with the using kind
Tags for Sergeant York Full Movie
, Clem Bevans
, David Bruce
, Dickie Moore
, Gary Cooper
, George Tobias
, Harvey Stephens
, Howard Da Silva
, Joan Leslie
, June Lockhart
, Margaret Wycherly
, Noah Beery Jr.
, Stanley Ridges
, Walter Brennan
, Ward Bond
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