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|This is without doubt Gary Cooper's best
movie. It is an oldie, but quite a goodie. This film is a
film of two parts. The first part of the film focuses on
one man's life on the farm. This is a man of the bible,
honorable, and hard working. As World War I rages on he
is drafted into service of the United States Army. During
target shooting he hits bullseye after bullseye. His
first shot on the range in fact is at first deemed a
miss. But he demands a recheck, and sure enough its a
bullseye, albeit a little off center. York proclaims
"I reckon this gun shoots a bit to the left."
His drill instructor has him shoot some more. Its
bullseye after bullseye. Its quite funny to see.
After this York talks with his commanding officer and says that killing is against the good book. The CO tries to use his limited knowledge of the bible to bring up additional passages to persuade York that sometimes fighting is the honorable thing, but can not. The CO then gives York a book about the history of the United States with information about Daniel Boone and others that fought for freedom so that people could be free to workship as they wish. York is told that he can go home take the book and think about things. If he decides that his beliefs will not allow him to fight then he won't have to.
He goes home for some thinking. He finds a quite spot and thinks and thinks. Eventually he returns understanding that sometimes people have to fight for freedoms that matter. Then its to the front where things really get entertaining. York would make a strange chicken like sound to get the enemy to pop up and see what the noise is. He then would shoot them one by one starting from the end. In one scene his entire unit is getting shot up pretty bad until York single handedly knocks out all enemy machine gun bunkers with nothing but his rifle and his will. Afterwords he claims he killed to save lives; the lives of his buddy and everyone who was dying right and left.
York and a handful of men capture more than a hundred German prisoners in one battle. At first York thought there were just a few enemy hidden in the trenches but well there were a few more than he expected. York marches by one Allied base and asks if he could leave his prisoners there. He is told to move on to another place. At this other Allied base he is asked how many are there. The figure astounds the bases commander and he and a few other men personally help York and his few men escort the captured enemy to a rather sizable holding location.
York leaves the war as a hero with parades and medals, but it didn't matter to him. Getting home to a land of freedom, to his town, is all that mattered. The film is based on the actual war hero Sergeant York and documents his amazing feats with some accuracy.
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