- Sergeant York
name = Sergeant York
caption = Movie poster
Harry Chandlee Abem Finkel John Huston
Gary Cooper Walter Brennan
Howard Hawks Jesse L. Lasky Hal B. Wallis
July 2 1941(USA)
runtime = 134 minutes
language = English
budget = $2,000,000 [cite web |url=http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=1386&category=Notes |title=Notes for Sergeant York (1941) |publisher=
imdb_id = 0034167
:"For the unsuccessful U.S. weapon system, see
M247 Sergeant York.""Sergeant York" is a 1941 biographical film about the life of Alvin York, the most-decorated American soldier of World War I. It was directed by Howard Hawksand was the highest-grossing film of the year.
The movie was adapted by
Harry Chandlee, Abem Finkel, John Huston, Howard Koch, and Sam Cowan (uncredited) from the diary of Alvin York as edited by Tom Skeyhill. The real York was originally against the idea of making a movie of his experiences, but relented when World War IIbroke out, on the condition that Gary Cooperplay him. [cite web |url=http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:43758~T1 |title=Sergeant York Review |publisher= Allmovie|accessdate=2008-07-25]
Cooper went on to win the
Academy Award for Best Actorfor his portrayal. The film also won for Best Film Editing and was nominated in nine other categories, including Best Picture, Director (Hawks), Supporting Actor ( Walter Brennan), and Supporting Actress ( Margaret Wycherly). The American Film Instituteranked the film 57th in the its 100 most inspirational American movies. It also rated Alvin York 35th in its list of the top 50 heroes in American cinema.
Alvin York (
Gary Cooper), a poor Tennessee hillbilly, is an exceptional marksman, but a ne'er-do-well prone to drinking and fighting, which doesn't make things any easier for his patient mother (Margaret Wycherly). He undergoes a religious awakening and turns his life around, assisted by Pastor Rosier Pile ( Walter Brennan).
When York is drafted into the army for World War I, he tries to get out as a conscientious objector due to his religious beliefs, but a sympathetic commanding officer persuades him to stay. York decides to leave it in God's hands, but still doubts he can kill someone who has not done him any harm. During
basic training, his superiors find out that he is a phenomenal marksman and promote him to corporal.
His unit is shipped out to Europe and participates in an attack. Pinned down by German fire and seeing his friends being shot down all around him, his self-doubt disappears. Owing to the large number of casualties, York suddenly finds himself placed in charge. He works his way around behind German lines and shoots with such deadly effect that the Germans surrender. Then, York forces a captured German officer (Charles Esmond) at gunpoint to order the Germans still fighting to surrender. He and the handful of other survivors end up with 132 prisoners. York becomes a national hero and is awarded the
Medal of Honor.
York later explains that he did what he did to hasten the end of the war and minimize the killing.
Gary Cooperas Alvin York. Henry Fonda, James Stewart, and even Ronald Reaganwere all considered for the role, but the real York insisted on Cooper.
Walter Brennanas Pastor Rosier Pile
Joan Leslieas Gracie Williams, York's girlfriend
George Tobiasas "Pusher" Ross, a soldier from New York City; Alvin's friend
Stanley Ridgesas Major Buxton, the kindly officer who convinces York to stay in the army
Margaret Wycherlyas Mother York
It was also nominated for:
*Best Director - Howard Hawks
*Best Supporting Actor - Walter Brennan
*Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Margaret Wycherly
*Best Writing, Original Screenplay - Harry Chandlee, Abem Finkel, John Huston, Howard Koch
*Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -
*Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture -
*Best Sound, Recording
*Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Black-and-White
The actual firearm used by York to dispose of a line of seven Germans was not a
Lugeras depicted in the film, but rather a 1911 .45ACP automatic. The Luger was preferred for the filmmaking, however, purely on the basis that it proved impossible to get the .45 to fire blanks. Also, the movie utilizes a Springfield 1903 rifle, whereas York actually used an M1917 Enfield rifle.
*tcmdb title|id=1386|title=Sergeant York
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/19117 Sergeant York And His People] , by Sam Cowan, 1922, from
* [http://www.historynet.com/wars_conflicts/world_war_1/3717286.html Alvin York and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive] , by Douglas Mastriano, Military History magazine, Sept 2006. (Corporal York's actions as seen from the German perspective.)
* [http://www.sgtyorkdiscovery.com/ Photos and details of the discovery of the site where York earned the Medal of Honor] , Discovered
21 October 2006by the Sergeant York Discovery Expedition.
* [http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/26/news/york.php/ International Herald Tribune article announcing the discovery of where York earned the Medal of Honor] .
* [http://www.voicenet.com/~lpadilla/york.html Medal of Honor Recipients Portrayed on Film]
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