DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY HOWARD HAWKS
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY HOWARD HAWKS
Information From IMDb
Alvin York (Gary Cooper), a poor Tennessee hillbilly,
is an exceptional marksman, but a ne'er-do-well prone
to drinking and fighting, which doesn't make things
any easier for his patient mother (Margaret Wycherly).
He undergoes a religious awakening and turns his life around,
assisted by Pastor Rosier Pile (Walter Brennan).
When York is drafted into the army for World War I,
he tries to get out as a conscientious objector
due to his religious beliefs, but a sympathetic commanding officer
persuades him to stay.
York decides to leave it in God's hands, but still doubts
he can kill someone who has not done him any harm.
During basic training, his superiors find out that
he is a phenomenal marksman and promote him to corporal.
His unit is shipped out to Europe and participates in an attack.
Pinned down by German fire and seeing his friends being shot down
all around him, his self-doubt disappears.
Owing to the large number of casualties,
York suddenly finds himself placed in charge.
He works his way around behind German lines and shoots
with such deadly effect that the Germans surrender.
Then, York forces a captured German officer (Charles Esmond)
at gunpoint to order the Germans still fighting to surrender.
He and the handful of other survivors end up with 132 prisoners.
York becomes a national hero and is awarded the Medal of Honor.
York later explains that he did what he did to hasten
the end of the war and minimize the killing.
edited by ethanedwards
Gary Cooper ... Alvin Cullum York
Walter Brennan ... Pastor Rosier Pile
Joan Leslie ... Gracie Williams
George Tobias ... 'Pusher' Ross
Stanley Ridges ... Maj. Buxton
Margaret Wycherly ... Mother York
Ward Bond ... Ike Botkin
Noah Beery Jr. ... Buck Lipscomb
June Lockhart ... Rosie York
Dickie Moore ... George York
Clem Bevans ... Zeke
Howard Da Silva ... Lem
Charles Trowbridge ... Cordell Hull
Harvey Stephens ... Capt. Danforth
David Bruce ... Bert Thomas
Carl Esmond ... German major (as Charles Esmond)
Joe Sawyer ... Sgt. Early (as Joseph Sawyer)
Pat Flaherty ... Sgt. Harry Parsons
Robert Porterfield ... Zeb Andrews
Erville Alderson ... Nate Tomkins
and many more...
Alvin C. York (diary) (as Sergeant York)
Tom Skeyhill (diary editor)
Abem Finkel (screenplay) &
Harry Chandlee (screenplay) and
Howard Koch (screenplay) &
John Huston (screenplay)
Howard Hawks .... producer
Jesse L. Lasky .... producer
Hal B. Wallis .... producer
* The actual firearm used by York to dispose of a line of seven Germans was not a Luger as depicted in the film, but rather a 1911 .45 ACP automatic. The Luger was preferred for the filmmaking, however, purely on the basis that they couldn't get the .45 to fire blanks.
* Alvin C. York allowed the making of a movie based on his life only under the condition that Gary Cooper should play him.
* Alvin C. York had been approached by producer Jesse Lasky several times, beginning in 1919, to allow a movie to be made of his life, but had refused, believing that "This uniform ain't for sale." Lasky convinced York that, with war threatening in Europe, it was his patriotic duty to allow the film to proceed. York finally agreed - but only on three conditions. First, York's share of the profits would be contributed to a Bible School York wanted constructed. Second, no cigarette smoking actress could be chosen to play his wife. Third, that only Gary Cooper, could recreate his life on screen. Cooper at first turned down the role, but when York himself contacted the star with a personal plea, Cooper agreed to do the picture.
* Joan Leslie was sixteen when she filmed "Sergeant York," the same age as the real Gracie. York had made it clear he didn't want any actress with any sort of notoriety connected with her portraying his wife. He specifically said, "No Ooomph Girls!" a clear reference to Warner contract player Ann Sheridan. Incredibly Jane Russell was considered before the wholesome Leslie was ultimately chosen.
* Warner Brothers sought and obtained releases from other surviving members of York's platoon.
* Alvin York thought he should be portrayed on the screen by Gary Cooper. When Samuel Goldwyn resisted releasing him, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, and even Ronald Reagen were considered. Goldwyn finally gave in when Warners agreed to lend Bette Davis to the independent producer for "The Little Foxes."
* Principle photography occurred between February and late April 1941, and the film was criticized by pacifists for its pro-war stance.
* The scene where Alvin's becomes converted with the bolt of lightning was an invention of the screenwriters. In reality his conversion by his future wife from a hard-drinking roustabout to Sunday school teacher was slower and less dramatic.
* The film's working title was The Amazing Life of Sergeant York.
* William Keighley was scheduled to direct, but when the starting date was postponed, he went on to another film.
* The producer, Jesse Lasky suggested Jane Russell for the part of "Gracie" and Helen Wood, Linda Hayes and Susan Peters tested for the role; Mary Nash tested for "Mother York," and Pat O'Brien and Ronald Reagan were tested for the role of "Sergeant York." Charles Root was also considered for a role in the film.
* According to the daily production reports included in the film's file at USC, Vincent Sherman directed some scenes while Howard Hawks went to a racetrack.
* Because of the 1941 draft, the filmmakers had difficulty finding enough young male actors to play the soldiers and were forced to hire students from local universities.
* A press release dated July 2, 1941 states that Sergeant York (1941) was the first motion picture to be made into a stage play. The film was transcribed by Robert Porterfield, who made his debut in this film.
* Gary Cooper, unable to participate in WWII due to his age and an old injury to his hip, felt strongly that Sergeant York (1941) was his way of contributing to the cause. Cooper later said "Sergeant York and I had quite a few things in common, even before I played him in screen. We both were raised in the mountains -- Tennessee for him, Montana for me -- and learned to ride and shoot as a natural part of growing up. Sergeant York (1941) won me an Academy Award, but that's not why it's my favorite film. I liked the role because of the background of the picture, and because I was portraying a good, sound American character."
* Gary Cooper's acceptance speech typified so many of the actor's performances when he said "It was Sergeant Alvin York who won this award; Shucks, I've been in this business sixteen years and sometimes dreamed I might get one of these things. That's all I can say! Funny, when I was dreaming, I always made a good speech." As he left the stage, he forgot the Oscar on the podium.
* Factual errors: When Seargent York looks at the calendar at the end of September to write down his most recent earnings, it is obvious from the calendar close-up that the addition from Sept. 22nd to Sept. 23rd is incorrect. The addition of $41.35 plus $2.55 should yield $43.90, however, the incorrect total of $43.80 is recorded on the calendar as the total for Sept. 23rd.
* Crew or equipment visible: A guide wire is visible that is connected to a tree stump in the scene where the stump is being removed by a horse. The guide wire is visible behind the stump as the stump pulls free from the ground.
* Factual errors: In the movie Sergeant York is presented the French 'Medaille militaire' by Marechal Foch and is shown already wearing the 'Croix de Guerre', however York was not awarded the 'Medaille militaire' by France. He did receive, though, the 'Legion d'honneur' and the 'Croix de Guerre'.
* Revealing mistakes: At 6.10am York and company leave the trenches to attack the German positions. Their shadows however indicate the sun is directly overhead.
* Factual errors: Alvin York actually carried the British Enfield rifle into battle instead of the US 1903 Springfield as shown.
* Factual errors: Sgt. York is shown with his pistol shooting a line of German soldiers coming at him from front to back. In reality he shot them in a line from back to front as he quoted himself, "just like a flock of turkeys".
Burro Flats, Simi Hills, California, USA
Warner Bros. Studios, Warner Brothers Burbank Studios - 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California, USA
Warner Ranch, Calabasas, California, USA
The post was edited 8 times, last by ethanedwards ().