SERGEANT YORK (1941) B/W 135m dir: Howard Hawks
w/Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, Margaret Wycherly, George Tobias, Stanley Ridges, Ward Bond, Noah Beery Jr., June Lockhart, Dickie Moore, Robert Porterfield
Story of WWI's greatest hero is told with simplicity and understanding and emerges as a poignant film. Cooper, who won a Best Actor Oscar, is perfectly cast as the Tennessee hillbilly who captured over a hundred Germans single-handedly.
From The Movie Guide: "Jesse Lasky, who saw York in the 1919 Armistice Day Parade, spent years trying to convince the modest Tennessean to allow his story to be filmed, finally winning York's approval provided that the proceeds go to charity and that Gary Cooper play him. At first Cooper refused, but he changed his mind after visiting York. Warner Bros. had hoped to have Michael Curtiz direct SERGEANT YORK, but Cooper wouldn't work with him, and when several others couldn't take the job, Hawks was hired, to the lasting pleasure of all who see this magnificent film. That's Robert Porterfield as Zeb Andrews; he established Barter Theater, Virginia's state theater, the oldest repertory still running in the United States."
Besides Cooper's Best Actor Oscar, SERGEANT YORK also won for Best Editing (William Holmes). It was also nominated for nine additional Oscars: Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Brennan), Supporting Actress (Wycherly), Original Screenplay (Harry Chandlee, Abem Finkel, John Huston, Howard Koch), Cinematography (Sol Polito), Score (Max Steiner), Art Direction (John Hughes, Fred MacLean), and Sound (Nathan Levinson).