More About Sergeant York
A stirring biography of World War I hero Alvin York, SERGEANT YORK features Gary Cooper in one of his most famous roles as a wild, hard-drinking young man from rural Tennessee who finds religion and reforms after almost killing a man for revenge. Alvin becomes a pillar of his community; when the war breaks out, he refuses to defy the Bible and kill the enemy, and his pacifist views prevent him from enlisting. However, after being drafted and put into combat, Alvin realizes that duty to his fellow soldiers and his country are important as well and succeeds in capturing more than 100 Germans almost single-handedly at the Battle of Argonne. A moving war drama that boasts an Academy Award-winning performance by Cooper, SERGEANT YORK is an affectionate look at a simpler time in U.S. history as well as an inspirational portrait of a true American hero.
1941 - Academy Awards - Best Film Editing Winner
1941 - Academy Awards - Best Actor Winner
Main Cast & Crew
Howard Hawks - Director
Noah Beery Jr.
Gary Cooper won an Oscar for his portrayal of real-life soldier Sergeant Alvin York, a war hero who astonished the world with his bravery and modesty. Although an unruly lad while growing up in rural Tennessee, he later reformed to pacifist ideals, but was called to serve in World War I where his valor on the battlefield earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. The film is directed by Howard Hawks and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards.
Theatrical release: September 9, 1941. Alvin York was the most highly decorated American to fight in World War I, receiving the Medal of Honor, the French Croix de Guerre, and 400 acres of farmland from the state of Tennessee. York served as a consultant on the film. He had held on to the movie rights to his life story for years, and sold them on the condition that he be played by Gary Cooper. The specific Bible quote York claimed allowed him to decide to fight as a soldier is Mark 22:21. Hawks received his only Academy Award nomination for directing SERGEANT YORK, losing to John Ford for HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY. Impressed with screenwriter John Huston's work on SERGEANT YORK, Hawks recommended to the studio that Huston be allowed to direct his own film. Huston did, resulting in THE MALTESE FALCON. The film earned 11 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay. It won 2 Academy Awards: Best Actor (Gary Cooper) and Best Film Editing. SERGEANT YORK is also available in a colorized version.