Monday, May 25, 2009

5/20/09: Sergeant York (1941)

If my Movie-a-Day project has done nothing else, at least it has put a face to the name Gary Cooper—today's feature is the third Cooper movie I've seen this month. An added bonus: I can now differentiate two similarly titled wartime dramas, Mister Roberts (a work of fiction) and Sergeant York (a biography).

The story of Sergeant York is extremely simple. Alvis C. York is a hillbilly with a fondness for drinking and fighting. A freak run-in with a lightning bolt turns him into a religious man, but soon he's drafted to fight in WWI. His expertise at hunting and shooting make him an experts marksman overseas, and soon he's a big war hero. The end. Although not particularly complex, York is an entertaining and inspiring real-life story with outstanding performances (especially by Cooper); it's always fun to hear Walter Brennan talk—that one-of-a-kind voice always makes me think of his 1962 single "Old Rivers." Joan Leslie is attractive as the love interest. Rating: 4/5.

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