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@example.com>
The scene where Alvin becomes converted because of the bolt of lightning was an invention of the screenwriters. In reality Alvin C. York was converted from his hard-drinking, roustabout ways to a Sunday-school teacher by his wife, and it was a longer and less dramatic process, unsuitable for a film depiction. See more »
When York removes a stump, a large boulder nearby wobbles much too easily for a rock of this size, given the minimal contact made. See more »
[Alvin puts a handful of dirt onto a plate at the table and pushes it toward his mother]
That there's bottom land soil, ain't it? Queer how the folks on the bottom looks down on the folks on the top. It was always that way. No changin' it!
I'm gonna *get* us a piece of bottom land!
Your pa set out to get a piece of bottom land once. Nary a man ever tried any harder! Liked to *kill* hisself tryin'!
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Perhaps when this comes out on DVD later in the year (2006), I'll enjoy this as I did when I first saw it on tape. Subsequent VHS viewings were nowhere as appealing at that first look, unfortunately. As most people know, this is the story of World War I hero Alvin York, who went from drunken good-for-nothing to solid Christian man and war hero.
Gary Cooper certainly was a great choice for the role. Few people in his era were better at playing modest, soft-spoken-but-manly heroes like "Coop." When "York" makes no apology for his 100 percent belief in the Bible, no one challenges him because he's earned the respect from all, believers and non- believers. Cooper's status as an actor helps make that all the more "believable." Sgt. York also gives one of the best examples of forgiveness I've ever seen on film.
Another nice feature of this movie is seeing Joan Leslie in the female lead. She was one of the most pretty and wholesome-looking ladies of her day. She's always a treat to see. Walter Brennan also is interesting, as usual, and in here plays a minister, which also was a surprise.
Much of this film was a surprise because I'm just not used to seeing on film things like true forgiveness, the hero citing Scripture, military officers shown in a compassionate light (letting York, with his pacifistic views, decide what he anted to do) etc. What a shame so few films in the last 50 years have had similar values.
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