Sergeant York Overview:

Sergeant York (1941) was a Action - Black-and-white Film directed by Howard Hawks and produced by Howard Hawks, Hal B. Wallis and Jesse L. Lasky.

SYNOPSIS

This is one of the greatest of war sagas because it is the true story of a simple man who accomplishes extraordinary feats through quiet determination and faith. Cooper deservedly won acclaim for his portrayal of the WWI hero (York himself insisted that Cooper take the role if his story was filmed) from rural east Tennessee. At first hot-headed, with fast fists and no direction, Cooper first changes his life with hard work meant to earn land for a farm that will win him the hand of Leslie. He then takes a devout turn after divine intervention prevents him from murdering his rival for Leslie's affections. Reluctantly enlisted in WWI after denied conscientious objector status, Cooper performs heroic feats motivated by his desire to stop a German machine-gun nest from killing. Upon his return, Cooper is greeted with parades, Leslie's love, and a farm of his own presented by the people of Tennessee, bounty Cooper ascribes to God's grace. A compelling story, expertly directed by Hawks, of inner strength from inspired purpose first seen in York's personal struggles and then his actions on behalf of his comrades.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).

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Sergeant York was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2008.

Academy Awards 1941 --- Ceremony Number 14 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best ActorGary CooperWon
Best Supporting ActorWalter BrennanNominated
Best Supporting ActressMargaret WycherlyNominated
Best Art DirectionArt Direction: John Hughes; Interior Decoration: Fred MacLeanNominated
Best CinematographySol PolitoNominated
Best DirectorHoward HawksNominated
Best Film EditingWilliam HolmesWon
Best Music - ScoringMax SteinerNominated
Best WritingAbem Finkel, Harry Chandlee, Howard Koch, John HustonNominated
Best PictureWarner Bros.Nominated
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BlogHub Articles:

1001 Classic Movies: Sergeant York

By Amanda Garrett on May 17, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films

Sergeant York (1941), starring Gary Cooper, is one of the 1001 classic movies you should see. Each Monday, I'm going to recommend a classic movie you should see (for the reasons behind the 1001 series and reviews of earlier films covered go here). Throughout May, I'll celebrate the 75th anniversa... Read full article


Sergeant York (1941)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 11, 2013 From 4 Star Films

Starring a wonderful cast including Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, and Joan Leslie with director Howard Hawks, this is a feel-good film. Alvin C. York (Cooper) lives in a small town in Tennessee where he works hard but also drinks a lot. Over time however he becomes a devout Christian and falls for a ... Read full article


Sergeant York (1941)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 11, 2013 From 4 Star Films

Starring a wonderful cast including Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, and Joan Leslie with director Howard Hawks, this is a feel-good film. Alvin C. York (Cooper) lives in a small town in Tennessee where he works hard but also drinks a lot. Over time however he becomes a devout Christian and falls for a ... Read full article


Sergeant York

By Alyson on Mar 31, 2011 From The Best Picture Project

I hate to make this comparison, but you know that film within Inglorious Basterds, Nation?s Pride? ?Today, this seems like the friendlier, American version, only instead of two hours of just patriotic shooting, we get the true story of a young man from rural Tennessee reformed by hard work and relig... Read full article


Sergeant York(1941).

By Dawn on Feb 18, 2011 From Noir and Chick Flicks

Sergeant York(1941). Biographical film about the life of Alvin York, the most-decorated American soldier of World War I. It was directed by Howard Hawks. The film was adapted by Harry Chandlee, Abem Finkel, John Huston, Howard Koch, and Sam Cowan (uncredited) from the diary of Alvin York as edited b... Read full article


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Quotes from

[Alvin puts a handful of dirt onto a plate at the table and pushes it toward his mother]
Mother York: 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!
Alvin: I'm gonna *get* us a piece of bottom land!
Mother York: Your pa set out to get a piece of bottom land once. Nary a man ever tried any harder! Liked to *kill* hisself tryin'!


Ike Botkin: Ain't nobody ever cut 5 centers, lessen' it were Daniel Boone.


Gracie Williams: Folks say you're no good, 'ceptin' for fighting and hell-raising.


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Facts about

Gary Cooper's acceptance speech typified so many of the actor's performances when he said "It was Sergeant Alvin York who won this award; Shucks, I've been in this business sixteen years and sometimes dreamed I might get one of these things. That's all I can say! Funny, when I was dreaming, I always made a good speech." As he left the stage, he forgot the Oscar on the podium.
Warner Brothers sought and obtained releases from other surviving members of York's platoon.
The actual firearm used by Alvin C. 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.
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Best Actor Oscar 1941






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National Film Registry

Sergeant York

Released 1941
Inducted 2008
(Sound)




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Also directed by Howard Hawks




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Also produced by Howard Hawks




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Also released in 1941




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