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|Gary Cooper||Sgt. Alvin C. York|
|Walter Brennan||Pastor Rosier Pile|
|Joan Leslie||Gracie Williams|
|Ward Bond||Ike Botkin|
|Stanley Ridges||Maj. Buxton|
|Margaret Wycherly||Mother York|
|George Tobias||Michael T. "Pusher" Ross|
|Noah Beery Jr.||Buck Lipscomb|
|June Lockhart||Rosie York|
|Dickie Moore||George York|
|Harvey Stephens||Capt. Danforth|
|David Bruce||Bert E. Thomas|
|Charles Esmond||German Major|
|Joe Sawyer||Sgt. Early|
|Pat Flaherty||Sgt. Harry Parsons|
|Robert Porterfield||Zeb Andrews|
|Erville Alderson||Nate Tompkins|
|Murray Alper||Gunnery Spotter|
|Arthur Aylesworth||Marty, Bartender|
|Lucia Carroll||Saloon Girl|
|Lane Chandler||Corporal Savage|
|Clyde Cook||British Soldier|
|Elisha Cook Jr.||Piano Player|
|Donald Douglas||Capt. Tillman|
|Theodore Von Eltz||Prison Camp Commander|
|Frank Faylen||Butt Boy|
|Jo Gilbert||Fat Woman|
|Joseph W. Girard||Gen. John Pershing|
|Kit Guard||Bit part|
|William Haade||Card Player|
|Creighton Hale||AP Man|
|Jane Isbell||Gracie's Sister|
|Selmar Jackson||Gen. Duncan|
|Si Jenks||Bit part|
|Edward Keane||Oscar of the Waldorf|
|Rita La Roy||Saloon Girl|
|Tully Marshall||Uncle Lige|
|Frank McGlynn Sr.||Farmer|
|Charles B. Middleton||Mountaineer|
|Gaylord "Steve" Pendleton||Scorer|
|Jack Pennick||Corporal Cutting|
|Howard Da Silva||Lem|
|Kay Sutton||Saloon Girl|
|Ray Teal||Bit part|
|Charles Trowbridge||Cordell Hull|
|Jean del Val||Marshal Foch|
|Lee "Lasses" White||Luke, the Target Keeper|
|Guy Wilkerson||Tom Carver|
|Douglas Wood||New York Spokesman|
|Howard Hawks||Director, Producer|
|Leo F. Forbstein||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Oliver S. Garretson||Sound/Sound Designer|
|John Hughes||Art Director|
|Fred MacLean||Set Decoration/Design|
|Max Steiner||Score Composer|
|Hal B. Wallis||Producer|
Gary Cooper is wonderful as always portraying Sgt. Alvin York, a conscientious objector during WWI. It is the true story of a man's struggle to apply his faith in what the Bible teaches to the issues of war and his country's expectations of him. It is also a story that details his journey to finding a life of faith. In the beginning he is a bit on the wild side, but has an experience which opens his eyes to the truth that there is a God to reckon with. It is a wonderful, passionate pursuit, adventurous and entertaining as well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
"Sgt. York," the tale of the greatest American hero of The Great War, has all the makings of a Hollywood WWII flick -- an unreliable, hard drinking and hell-raising partying man finds God, finds love and finds himself during war time, becomes a hero and marries the girl next door to live happily ever after. All the makings of a WWII flick -- except it is somewhat based on fact, and it dealt with life during WWI. Before you launch into this, remind yourself of several things:
1. This is not a "war" movie -- the war just happens to be a key part of the film.
2. Certain elements have to be, fittingly, taken on faith. Did the real Alvin York change his ways after nearly being killed by lightning? Did the pages of the Bible really blow open to the exact section he needed as he debated about remaining a "conscientious objective" to the war? Was he really as devoted to his mother as he appears to be in this film (is anyone)?
3. Given the military's general view of "acceptable loss ratio," is there any way in real life that eight guys could possibly have captured -- and maintained order of -- 132 soldiers?
4. The real Alvin York was not as smart as Gary Cooper's version [real-life York had nine months of schooling to his name], had no control of money, and really didn't end up with as happy an ending as in this picture. But it is, after all, only a movie. Suspend belief for a bit and enjoy the ride.
And what a ride it is: Cooper plays York as a near-loser in the beginning, a gracious winner at the end, and a perfectly mortal guy in between. You want this guy to change and he does; you want him to take it to the Germans and he does; you want him to end up with his darling Gracie and he does.
Classic moments abound, but none tops this one: York goes to training camp for target shooting, shoots and hits the bulls-eye, but a inch or so off from dead center. "I'll do better the next time," he says. His sergeant gives him five more bullets, and he proceeds to nail the target dead center every time. "Where'd you learn to shoot?" They ask. "I ain't never learned," he says. "Folks say I could shoot as soon as I could carry a gun."
By the time we reach the war sequence -- when he officially becomes a hero -- we're wondering how much damage he's going to inflict upon the Germans. "He might just knock off your entire sauerkraut army," friend "Pusher" Ross (George Tobias) tells a captured German officer. If this were Rambo 16, he probably would.
But alas, we'll have to settle for the 132 soldiers he and seven others take in. And we get to revel in the message that any person, no matter how flawed, can always redeem himself.
One last watch-for-it moment: catch a very young June ("Lost in Space" Mrs. Robinson) Lockhart as York's younger sister, Rosie.
Posted October 15, 2008
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Posted April 8, 2010
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