A real hunk of celluloid, this. Basing the attraction on the diary of the central figure, regarded generally as the No. 1 hero of the First World War, Jesse L. Lasky and Hal B. Wallis, helped enormously by director Howard Hawks, good script writing, fine production qualities and an excellent cast, collectively deliver a job. The story of Alvin York starts him in his hell-raising, liquor-drinking days in the Tennessee mountains, takes him along his life line until religion hits him and finally transplants him to the front in France where, by individual exploit, he captured 132 German soldiers, cleaned out nests of machine guns and earned the highest military awards of the French and American governments. The film has stirring events in its pivotal character. As such, it is a human and dramatic portrayal, very substantially enhanced by the completely understanding performance of Gary Cooper aided by sterling support, chiefly in the hands of Walter Brennan and Margaret Wycherly. As the mother, she is superb and stands out with Rock of Gibraltar strength. "Sergeant York" is a quadruple "A" attraction, destined to go many places and leaving complete satisfaction in its wake.
In these days of war preparedness, hookups for "Sergeant York" ought to be a cinch. The best exploitation channels at once suggest themselves as these: American Legion posts, Veterans of Foreign Wars, army recruiting offices. The real Alvin York is prominent in religious work; this obviously presents its own angles. The "real life story" angle likewise is recommended for publicity purposes.
The Stirring Story of the Greatest Single Act of Heroism... See "Sergeant York." Cooper Plays Sergeant York. His Finest Role in One of the Greatest Attractions of Them All.
Warner Bros. 134 mins.