TCM is having their annual Memorial Day Marathon. Last night dad and I watched Gary Cooper in this award-winning classic based on a true story of Alvin C. York, the most decorated soldier in World War 1.
I have watched this film several times, but somehow never got through the whole film. Not sure if it was because of interruptions or the rental time ended, but this time I finished. I never had reached the war scenes which were very realistic and suspenseful. Alvin’s bravery and being so genuine to his beliefs and religion impressed me.
IMDb review This is one of my all-time favorite films. I’ve seen it dozens of times and probably many more. The moving and deep drama of the Ozark hillbilly working himself to death to obtain some ‘bottom land’ is heavy and compelling drama in itself, so much so that one tends to wonder when the war will become an issue. But it does and again, it fills the heart and mind with pathos and suspense. Sergeant York was released during WWII, as an obvious war-bond pusher and patriotism builder, and it is no wonder that is was wildly successful. The war scenes and Cooper’s acting are set into a realistic and colorful environment of battle and personal conflict. When York’s “You done gimme command” line erupts from the speakers, the viewer is on the edge of his seat, already entranced by the personal heroism of this quiet man. What York did in the war, capturing 132 Germans was real, and the film’s portrayal is right on the money, even to the extent, I believe, of filming it on the actual site, but I’m not willing to swear to it. It’s the kind of film that makes one proud to be an American and that was its goal. Cooper is entirely believable, although the real Alvin York was hardly as good-looking. It’s easy to fall in love with the ever-pretty Joan Leslie, a gem of a woman, as well as the simple and practical Margaret Wycherly as Ma York. Don’t you get the idea that she and Pastor Pile have a thing going? Just an irreverent thought.
Wiki does a nice long bio on Alvin C. York to include all his medals.