Sergeant York (1941)

Genres - War  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], War Drama  |   Release Date - Jul 2, 1941 (USA - Limited), Sep 27, 1941 (USA)  |   Run Time - 134 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Richard Gilliam

Sergeant York is among the best of war-time propaganda films, with a superb performance by Gary Cooper in the title role. It was natural that, as the United States entered World War II, Hollywood would want to make a movie about the life of Alvin York, the most decorated U.S. soldier in World War I. The real-life York set several conditions for the production, all to the betterment of the resulting film. It is a tribute to the skills of director Howard Hawks that, removed from its historical context, Sergeant York remains one of the most powerful screen biographies, though it perhaps falls short when compared with the realism of such later war-bios as Patton. The battle sequences, edited by William Holmes, are usually sharp, and Cooper gives one of the most memorable performances of his outstanding career. Sergeant York was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning two, Cooper for Best Actor and Homes for Best Film Editing.