Sergeant York (1941)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Based on a true WWI story, this film follows a religious Tennessee boy, who is initially opposed to war. York is drafted into the Army, where he realizes that there is indeed justification for fighting. In the course of service, he becomes one of the most decorated heros of WWI.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros. Pictures

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Gary Cooper
as Alvin C. York
Joan Leslie
as Gracie
Walter Brennan
as Pastor Rosier Pile
George Tobias
as Pusher
Noah Beery Jr.
as Lipscomb
Dickie Moore
as George York
Charles Trowbridge
as Cordell Hull
Harvey Stephens
as Danforth
Charles Esmond
as German Major
David Bruce
as Bert Thomas
Joe Sawyer
as Sgt. Early
as German Major
Joseph Sawyer
as Sgt. Early
Pat Flaherty
as Sgt. Parsons
Margaret Wycherly
as Mother York
Robert Porterfield
as Zeb Andrews
Erville Alderson
as Nate Tompkins
Frank Wilcox
as Sergeant
Don Douglas
as Capt. Tillman
Lane Chandler
as Cpl. Savage
Frank Marlowe
as Beardsley
Jack Pennick
as Cpl. Cutting
Guy Wilkerson
as Tom Carver
Tully Marshall
as Uncle Lige
Lee "Lasses" White
as Luke, the Target Keeper
Jane Isbell
as Gracie's Sister
Frank Orth
as Drummer
Arthur Ayleswofth
as Marty, Bartender
Rita La Roy
as Saloon Girl
Lucia Carroll
as Saloon Girl
Kay Sutton
as Saloon Girl
Jo Gilbert
as Fat Woman
Joseph W. Girard
as Gen. John Pershing
Elisha Cook Jr.
as Piano Player
William Haade
as Card Player
Jody Gilbert
as Fat Woman
Victor Kilian
as Andrews
Frank Faylen
as Gunnery Spotter
Murray Alper
as Gunnery Spotter
Selmar Jackson
as Gen. Duncan
Charles Drake
as Scorer
Theodore von Eltz
as Prison Camp Commander
Roland Drew
as Officer
Russell Hicks
as General
Jean Del Val
as Marshal Foch
Selmer Jackson
as Gen. Duncan
George Irving
as Harrison
Edward Keane
as Oscar of the Waldorf
Gig Young
as Soldier
Walter Sande
as Sergeant
Clyde Cook
as British Soldier
Douglas Wood
as New York Spokesman
Si Jenks
as Man at Church
Ray Teal
as Marching Soldier
Kit Guard
as Soldier on Rifle Range
Carl Esmond
as German Major
Charles B. Middleton
as Mountaineer
Frank McGlynn Sr.
as Mountaineer
Donald Douglas
as Capt. Tillman
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Critic Reviews for Sergeant York

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (2)

The performance of Gary Cooper in the title role holds the picture together magnificently, and even the most unfavorable touches are made palatable because of him.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

The first half is quite good, documenting York's rural upbringing with great simplicity and charm. But the second part -- the war -- degenerates quickly and grotesquely.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Even given a nest of flaws, the basic arc works beautifully: Cooper's abashed, aw-shucks demeanor is a perfect fit for the part.

Full Review… | June 7, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

Moving, memorable, great Warner Bros. biography of WWI hero York, with fine Cooper performance--an Oscar winner.

February 22, 2008

Sergeant York brought him Hawks one and only Oscar nomination for Best Director, and it's arguably his least interesting film.

Full Review… | November 12, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

This is one of those movies where the star appears to have been born to play the role.

Full Review… | November 9, 2006
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Sergeant York

A "simple" Appalachian converts to Christianity and then goes to WWI. There is a scene in which York is struck by lightning, which propels him to "find God." While it purports to be based on a true story, shit like that makes me doubt its veracity. What's worse is the film's treatment of York, who is portrayed without even enough sense to tie his shoes, yet by the end of the film, we're supposed to revere his bravery and conversion from conscientious objector to violence. This characterization - I balk at calling anyone in this film a "character" - not only paints Americans and Appalachians as decidedly anti-intellectual, but it also suggests that Christianity is mutable enough to be jettisoned at the first call of violent duty. Overall, this film is both insulting and ridiculous.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Gary Cooper is back as his old plodding self as an unlikely war hero who learns how to fire a gun all over again and eventually takes out a bunch of Germans. Nothing terribly imaginative.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


I liked Sergeant York but wasn't absolutely floored by it. The first half of the movie where York is a hell-raising yokel was entertaining, even if it did feel kind of forced. The second religious half was good even if there weren't enough of the WWI battles I'd expected and storywise it was more interesting, too. I'm not the world's biggest Gary Cooper fan but he was pretty good here. The hickishness of Sergeant York got kind of annoying after awhile but consider the source. Overall, it wasn't what I expected but it was still good.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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