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.
Gary Cooper ... Alvin Cullum York
Walter Brennan ... Pastor Rosier Pile
Joan Leslie ... Gracie Williams
George Tobias ... 'Pusher' Ross
Stanley Ridges ... Maj. Buxton
Margaret Wycherly ... Mother York
Ward Bond ... Ike Botkin
Noah Beery Jr. ... Buck Lipscomb
June Lockhart ... Rosie York
Dickie Moore ... George York
Clem Bevans ... Zeke
Director: Howard Hawks
Nominated for 11 Oscars, won 2 Oscars: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Film Editing
Codecs: XVid / MP3
"Sergeant York" is my favorite classic movie. Gary Cooper stars as Sergeant Alvin York one of the most revered hero's in World War I. The movie takes you through his life from the days when he was a lot less responsible. When he drank a lot and had a short fuse, but ends when he become a hero of the war. The black and white picture enhances the beautiful cinematography in the film. Keep in mind most of the film revolves around his life before the war and so you get to see a lot of the fantastic scenery.
Gary Cooper won himself a well deserved Oscar for the film, but there were some other fine performances in the film. Walter Brennan, the star of almost 200 other films, plays York's small town Pastor, Rosier Pile. Young Joan Leslie plays the part of Gracie Williams who later marries York. Then there is Ward Bond in one of his many films (Over 250 of them I believe). Now a little for the trivia books. Cooper was 41 when he made this film and Leslie was only 16, but this is fairly consistent with the true ages of York and Gracie when they were beginning their relationship. So the film tries to be very accurate and honest. You won't find that in a modern film.
If you have not seen "Sergeant York" then you have yet to see one of the most touching films of all time. It is as much an attention holder today as it was back in 1941.
Gary Cooper + great script = Classic film
* The actual firearm used by York to dispose of a line of seven Germans was not a Luger as depicted in the film, but rather a 1911 .45 ACP automatic. The Luger was preferred for the filmmaking, however, purely on the basis that they couldn't get the .45 to fire blanks.
* Alvin C. York allowed the making of a movie based on his life only under the condition that Gary Cooper should play him.
* Joan Leslie was sixteen when she filmed "Sergeant York," the same age as the real Gracie. York had made it clear he didn't want any actress with any sort of notoriety connected with her portraying his wife. He specifically said, "No Ooomph Girls!" a clear reference to Warner contract player Ann Sheridan. Incredibly Jane Russell was considered before the wholesome Leslie was ultimately chosen.
* Warner Brothers sought and obtained releases from other surviving members of York's platoon.
* Alvin York thought he should be portrayed on the screen by Gary Cooper. When Samuel Goldwyn resisted releasing him, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, and even Ronald Reagen were considered. Goldwyn finally gave in when Warners agreed to lend Bette Davis to the independent producer for "The Little Foxes."
* Principle photography occurred between February and late April 1941, and the film was criticized by pacifists for its pro-war stance.
* The scene where Alvin's becomes converted with the bolt of lightning was an invention of the screenwriters. In reality his conversion by his future wife from a hard-drinking roustabout to Sunday school teacher was slower and less dramatic.