🎥 Sergeant York – 1941
The Story …
Before America’s entry into World War I, Alvin York is a poor, young farmer in rural Tennessee, living with his widowed mother, sister, and younger brother.
Alvin’s leisure time is spent fighting and getting drunk with friends. Alvin’s goal is to purchase a piece of farmland, fertile “bottomland”. Alvin works hard to acquire the price for the land, and is given an extension by the owner.
Alvin’s sharpshooting skills enable him to raise the money needed, but the owner reneges, making Alvin angry and bitter. En route to seek revenge, Alvin and his mule are struck by lightning.
The incident prompts Alvin’s conversion to Christianity …
When the U.S. enters World War I, Alvin seeks exemption as a conscientious objector, which is denied. Alvin is torn between fighting for his country and the biblical prohibition against killing. His sympathetic commanding officer gives him leave to go home and come to a decision. Alvin reconciles his moral conflict after reading the biblical injunction to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
During the Meuse–Argonne offensive, York’s qualms vanish when he sees his friends and comrades being killed as they assault a strong German position. With his superiors dead or incapacitated, he takes charge. He infiltrates the German lines by himself and finds a position that lets him enfilade the main German defensive trench.
He kills so many German soldiers that they eventually surrender to him en masse. One of the prisoners of war treacherously grenades Alvin’s good friend, “Pusher” Ross, and is gunned down by York. He and the handful of survivors from his unit lead their many captives behind their lines, but have a hard time finding anyone to take the Germans off their hands. The officer who finally does is astonished to learn that so few men captured so many of the enemy.
York is decorated and hailed as a national hero, feted in Europe, New York, and Washington DC, but he desires to return home. He rejects commercial offers that would make him wealthy, explaining that he could not take money for doing his duty. York returns home to marry his fiancée, Gracie. To his surprise, the state has purchased the bottomland farm and built a house for Gracie and him.
“One of Gary Cooper’s first leading roles! …”
- Directed by : Howard Hawks
- Screenplay by : Harry Chandlee, Abem Finkel, John Huston and Howard E. Koch
- Based on : Sergeant York – His Own Life Story and War Diary by Tom Skeyhill
- Produced by : Howard Hawks, Jesse L. Lasky and Hal B. Wallis
- Cinematography : Sol Polito
- Edited by : William Holmes
- Music by : Max Steiner
- Distributed by : Warner Bros. Pictures
- Release Date : July 2, 1941
- Gary Cooper as Alvin C. York
- Walter Brennan as Pastor Rosier Pile
- Joan Leslie as Gracie Williams
- George Tobias as “Pusher” Ross, a soldier from New York City and one of Alvin’s friends
- Stanley Ridges as Major Buxton
- Margaret Wycherly as Mother York
- Ward Bond as Ike Botkin
- Noah Beery Jr. as Buck Lipscomb
- June Lockhart as Rosie York, Alvin’s sister
- Dickie Moore as George York, Alvin’s brother
- Clem Bevans as Zeke
- Howard Da Silva as Lem
- Charles Trowbridge as Cordell Hull
- Harvey Stephens as Captain Danforth
- David Bruce as Bert Thomas, another of Alvin’s soldier friends
- Charles Esmond as German Major
- Joseph Sawyer as Sergeant Early
- Pat Flaherty as Sergeant Harry Parsons
- Robert Porterfield as Zeb Andrews
- Erville Alderson as Nate Tomkins
Film Information :
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