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Sergeant York
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Sergeant York More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

A classic and moving war film, even for propaganda

Author: markcarlson2222 from San Diego CA
6 August 2002

This is one of my all-time favorite films. I've seen it dozens of times and probably many more. The moving and deep drama of the Ozark hillbilly working himself to death to obtain some 'bottom land' is heavy and compelling drama in itself, so much so that one tends to wonder when the war will become an issue. But it does and again, it fills the heart and mind with pathos and suspense. Sergeant York was released during WWII, as an obvious war-bond pusher and patriotism builder, and it is no wonder that is was wildly successful. The war scenes and Cooper's acting are set into a realistic and colorful environment of battle and personal conflict. When York's "You done gimme command" line erupts from the speakers, the viewer is on the edge of his seat, already entranced by the personal heroism of this quiet man. What York did in the war, capturing 132 Germans was real, and the film's portrayal is right on the money, even to the extent, I believe, of filming it on the actual site, but I'm not willing to swear to it. It's the kind of film that makes one proud to be an American and that was its goal. Cooper is entirely believable, although the real Alvin York was hardly as good-looking. It's easy to fall in love with the ever-pretty Joan Leslie, a gem of a woman, as well as the simple and practical Margaret Wycherly as Ma York. Don't you get the idea that she and Pastor Pile have a thing going? Just an irreverent thought.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Still a Great Classic ,Oscar winning Performance for Cooper...

Author: JRobert from USA
23 October 1998

..SGT.YORK...yeah, it was released during WW2,to help the war effort, but it was a true story of the backwoods young man who really did not want to to go to war..and kill others in combat, which at first got him in some trouble.... But, did become a true hero and earned an Oscar for star Gary Cooper. The BEST part of the movie is before..York is drafted and first decides to hide in the hills ...Ward Bond, Walter Brennen are just two favorites that play important roles. The beautiful outdoor scenes in wonderful black and white, in the first of the film is unforgettable along with the fun and realistic setting of York's pursuit of his future wife and a piece of farm land,and the troubles he encounters before...going to war. Another 194O's classic with a lot of heart and soul, along with lots of entertainment value!.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

In My Top 10 List

Author: dentonsfarm from USA
24 September 2005

This film really shows Howard Hawk's flair for story telling. Turner didn't have to put this masterpiece in color for it to be colorful. The characters are extremely memorable, such as Walter Brennan as Pastor Pyle. I believe there was a comment made on IMDb that Sergent York was an Ozark hillbilly. I would like to correct that because in fact and according to the movie he was from the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee. The Ozarks are around Oklahoma and Arkansas.

However, to get back to what I was say about the film, it is perhaps one of the greatest films ever made. It is for sure, an under rated film by the American Film Institute. Why it was never placed in the top 100, I don't know. Or, why Michael Medved never placed it in his top 10 list of greatest Christian films.

On top of this it is a good family film with extremely high redeeming values. The war scenes toward the last half of the film have some mildly violent images, compared to now days. I'm saying this because there are some families out there who may not want to subject there children to any violence what so ever, not even on screen.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Gary Cooper wasn't the only great actor in this movie.

Author: var-1 from Midwest
12 April 2002

I feel one of the great strengths of this movie are the actors who played in the supporting character rolls. Joan Leslie, who must at this time only of been a teen ager, as York's wife. Margaret Wycherly as his mother was most compelling. Walter Brennan was just simply great. Add in George Tobias and Ward Bond to help cement the story and you see how they gave Gary Cooper the power of the main character.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Gary Cooper is a very good reason to see Howard Hawk's timeless film "Sergeant York", besides everything else the story represents of an American hero

Author: Ruby Liang (ruby_fff) from sf, usa
13 October 2004

"Sergeant York" (1941) is based on the true life story of Alvin C. York - a must see. It has every facet of life: struggles and celebrations, pride and humility, anger and reflections, war and peace, atheist and faithful, lazy and zealous, in solitude, in combat, in glory, in contentment of family, satisfying love and rewarding joy. The yin and yang's of living.

Yes, it's the perfect role for Gary Cooper to portray Corporal Alvin C. York. In fact, York himself had the insight to personally make it a condition for the realization of the film with no other but Cooper to play him. The film encompasses the humble beginnings, the struggles York went through from a seemingly good-for-nothing' fellow (but quite a sharpshooter for mischief or turkey hunting) to becoming a decent faith abiding man with his dream for a good piece of land and a house for the girl (Joan Leslie portrays the energetic & affectionate Gracie) he yearned for. The firm yet nurturing love of his mother was exemplary, in spite of the hardship a widowed woman raising 3 children (York being her eldest), Mama York's enduring strength helped York to go on when things didn't turn out as he expected. She patiently prayed and believed that faith would come to her eldest when the time comes. Besides her kindred, she's well-respected by the pastor, shopkeeper, neighbors one and all.

Glad TCM included "Sergeant York" in their film tributes to Gary Cooper. Besides the family aspect, the soldiers in training, army in battle segments are equally represented. In times of war as we are now, even though those of us who do not have immediate affiliation to men and women in battlefields abroad, it's so easy to simply dismiss the life-risking duty of a soldier. We are lucky to be enjoying 'pseudo'-peace within our country's soil vs. enemy grounds. War is never pretty. Deaths & injured are inevitable. Two World Wars past and we're still learning as history continues. When military situation arises, trust in our leaders may require leaps of faith, including their course of action. The decision to go to war as a peace-advocating nation is never easy - to fight for a cause and "to kill in order to save lives" (referenced in "Sergeant York") seem to be unappealing logic and of reasons hard to understand. Nevertheless, faith & trust we'd need as the film's biographical storyline of Alvin York reinforced.

We only hope our freedom of expression doesn't get overly abused or taken for granted: that journalism, documentaries, television broadcasts, political agenda do not indiscriminately expose information that may compromise safety of soldiers in combat or military strategies - that wars will eventually be unnecessary and global harmony will see the light of day.

Insightful filmmaker Errol Morris' "The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara" (2003) is a worthwhile & informative documentary film. It's available on DVD.

King Vidor's "Fountainhead" (1949) based on Ayn Rand's novel is another Gary Cooper film with tour de force performance along with a feisty irresistible Patricia Neal. Also in B/W with Max Steiner music. Unconventional, rebellious, conflict and passion, in work and in love, architect and socialite, it's dramatic to say the least. An enduring engaging film.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

"...a great movie for the entire family."

Author: jaredc_123 ( from Jamestown, Tennessee
17 September 2005

I reside in Fentress County, the county it talks about in "Sergeant York". Because I live here and also go to the Alvin C. York Agricultural Institue in Jamestown, I have seen this movie many times. Let me tell you it is a great movie for the entire family. It is a movie about Alvin York from Pall Mall, Tennessee. In the movie he turns from his wicked ways and gets saved. Shortly after this he is drafted into the War. There he captures many Germans and plays a vital role in helping America defeat Germany. Some parts may be a little corny... but then, what movie wasn't in the 1940's? If you have not watched this movie I encourage you to do so. It is great!

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Sometimes the story is the movie...

Author: glentom1 from United States
4 July 2006

In my book this is one of the best movies of all time. It is the story of Sergeant York, the most decorated soldier of WWI.

Whether the movie presents factual the story or not, is up to historians. But 50 or 100 years from now this movie WILL be the factual history.

Great filming, great acting, great story, all add up to perfection. One of the reviews at this site said something like "an otherwise undistinguished cast." Well, wake up, it has a cast of Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, Noah Beery, Jr. Howard DaSilva, Clem Bevans, Margaret Wycherly, June Lockhart, Dickie Moore, George Tobias, and Joan Leslie. Including probably the greatest character actor of all time, Walter Brennan.

One of the few movies I can watch over and over and over.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:


Author: b_pflanzer from Lake Villa, Il
14 November 2003

I've seen this film many times. I've been anxious for it to come to DVD but... so far-- it's not coming. It's a great sorry about someone who is quite a rabble-rouser until God gets his attention. Then, luck would have it-- he gets drafted. Even before I found Christ- I loved this movie; It's a good wholesome story-- Even great for Kids!!! I read a review today that this is coming to DVD in Feb 2004. I haven't found "proof" but I hope it's true. I don't doubt that I'll buy it as soon as possible. I've even considered VHS version; but my player isn't that good. I don't wanna buy a new player.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I recommend this film for your family video library!

Author: letitav from San Diego, CA
29 May 2004

Definitely a Must See and Must Own!! This movie rates a 10!! A great film for all ages and squeaky clean! My family love this movie, even my girls!! It has a good content and excellent acting. One of the best b&w movies that I have ever seen. It has great action and shows that those who stand behind their belief in God and still get the job done! I also, as a mom, appreciate a movie that I can watch at anytime with my whole family and not worry about too much violence, excessive sex or nudity and foul language. Gary Cooper was an excellent actor during his time and definitely gave Alvin York a worthwhile portrayal. I recommend this movie to all families!! I recommend this film for your family video library!

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:


Author: ciocc1001 from Chitna
20 January 2003

This movie might not be an entirely accurate depiction of what occurred, but it certainly is an enjoyable and inspiring movie. And I hope it will inspire viewers to look into this slice of history. With the internet, that is easy these days. I found a fascinating bio written by Michael Birdwell on the Alvin C. York Institute website. Did you know that York considered running against freshman Tennessee Senator Albert Gore in 1930? Just think: in a parallel universe, York's son might have run against George Bush!

This is one of those movies that stays with you the rest of your life. Watch it!

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