Published on June 1st, 2007 | by Chris0
Sergeant York (1941)
Before the movie-generating events of World War II, there was "the big one" and the heroes that emerged from it. "Sergeant York" explores the events surrounding one of the most legendary heroes of the war, one Alvin C. York, masterfully played by Gary Cooper.
Once you get past the first oh, hour or so, of wondering exactly where this movie is leading, it all starts to make sense. York is a stereotypical Tennessee hillbilly, from a stereotypical 1916 rural Tennessee hillbilly town. He's a rough character, and eventually he starts to turn around when he meets a young lady, one Gracie Williams (Joan Leslie.) From there he gradually starts turning his life around, taking on more and more responsibility, and eventually completely turning himself around after a life-changing revelation brings him to religion....
Then the war breaks out. He has to reconcile himself with the fact he may be called into duty, and the conflict with his newfound religious beliefs. He's called up before his conscientious objector status can be confirmed, and is torn from his isolated existence and thrown into a brand new world.
Here he's given a big choice. He must choose between his duty to God and his duty to his country, and eventually realizes that the two aren't exclusive. He returns to duty, and is eventually shipped off to France, to fight in the trenches.
It's here he goes above and beyond the call of duty, singlehandedly overtaking a German machine gun emplacement and in the process, capturing over 100 enemy prisoners. Gaining himself several medals, including the Congressional Medal of Honor, and is thrown into the limelight.
He eschews all the fanfare and celebrity, though. He decides to return home to Tennessee and live happily after ever with Gracie.
I will admit to becoming a little disillusioned for the first hour or so. I had expected this to be more war movie than biography, but once the pieces fell together for me, I found it to be a very enjoyable, and very introspective bit of film. I'd go so far as to put it up against any war movie of our time for its ultimate message and portrayal of those we consider to be "war heroes."
The entire "hillbilly" routine gets a bit comical, also, but I suppose that's how it went. Keep in mind the timeframe this movie was made in. Released in 1941, it came out before the US was thrown into World War II, but provided, I think, a good bit of propaganda as to why we should've been there sooner, while at the same time addressing a lot of issues that go along with that notion. Whether that was the intent or not, I can't say.
A full 8/10 from Sgt. WMB. I'd have gone higher but the hillbilly bit dragged on a bit too much, and well, the southern drawl thing... I guess voice/accent coaches were hard to come by!
Sergeant York (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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Sergeant York: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)Story of World War I hero who captured German position single-handedly. Film also portrays York's earlier life in the mountains of Tennessee.]]>
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: Warner Brothers
Original Release Date:
- Gary Cooper
- Walter Brennan
- Joan Leslie
- George Tobias
- Stanley Ridges
- 2-Disc Special Edition
- 4 X 3 FULL FRAME
- Double Amaray Case
- Multi Disc
- Mono - English Mono 1.0 - French
- 2-Disc Special Edition
Summary: I had expected this to be more war movie than biography, but once the pieces fell together for me, I found it to be a very enjoyable, and very introspective bit of film. I'd go so far as to put it up against any war movie of our time for its ultimate message and portrayal of those we consider to be "war heroes."