Sergeant York (film)

Sergeant York is a 1941 American biographical film about the life of Alvin C. York, one of the most decorated American soldiers of World War I. Directed by Howard Hawks and starring Gary Cooper in the title role, the film was a critical and commercial success, and became the highest-grossing film of 1941.

Sergeant York
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHoward Hawks
Screenplay by
Based onSergeant York: His Own Life Story and War Diary
by Tom Skeyhill
Alvin York
Produced by
CinematographySol Polito
Edited byWilliam Holmes
Music byMax Steiner
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
Running time
134 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.7 million[1]
Box office$8.3 million[1]

The film was based on York's diary, as edited by Tom Skeyhill,[2] and adapted by Harry Chandlee, Abem Finkel, John Huston, Howard E. Koch, and Sam Cowan (uncredited). York refused, several times, to authorize a film version of his life story, but finally yielded to persistent efforts to finance the creation of an interdenominational Bible school. The story that York insisted on Cooper for the title role comes from a telegram producer Jesse L. Lasky wrote to Cooper pleading with him to accept the part, to which he signed York's name.[3]

Cooper went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, while the film also won Best Film Editing and was nominated in nine other categories, including Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Walter Brennan), and Supporting Actress (Margaret Wycherly). The American Film Institute ranked the film 57th in the its 100 most inspirational American movies. It also rated Alvin York 35th in its list of the top 50 heroes in American cinema.

In 2008, Sergeant York was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[4][5]

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