Directed by Howard Hawks
USA 1941

 

  Based on the true story of a deeply religious pacifist who became a much-decorated WWI hero, this is simultaneously Hawks' most 'respectable' and most artistically conventional major film. Oscar-winning Cooper is in engagingly relaxed form as the country boy who goes to war, in a fit of pique, after feeling cheated out of some farmland he wanted to buy, and Hawks manages to chart his transformation from pacifist to soldier with disarming ease. But, with serious issues and moral pieties at its heart, it lacks the subversive wit and depth of feeling for individuals that typifies his best work; too often it is picturesque (although the battle scenes, with the exception of the famous 'turkey-shoot' in which Germans are bumped off like birds, are shot with a strong feel for the pain and squalor of war)...

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 2nd, 1941

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (2-disc) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Also available in The Gary Cooper - The Signature Collection (Sergeant York / The Fountainhead / Dallas / Springfield Rifle / The Wreck of the Mary Deare)

           

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 2:13:52 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.94 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Jeannine Basinger
• Classic Cartoon Porky's Preview
• Vintage short Lions for Sale
• Cooper Trailer Gallery
• New making-of-featurette Sergeant York: Of God and Country (38:52)
• Vintage biographical profile Gary Cooper: American Life, American Legend (42:08)

DVD Release Date: November 7th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 33

 

 

Comments:

This film, made in 1941, looks quite good on DVD. Greytones and contrast are super - black levels possibly boosted to pitch depth and sharpness better than acceptable. A few light scratches were visible. This film looks and sounds even better than I was anticipating.

Jeannine Basinger's commentary is as prepared and thorough as two previous that I recall (Wyler's Jezebel and Cukor's The Philadelphia Story). Her voice has a measured pace that covers many areas of the film, Cooper, Hawks , Sergeant York's production as well as the life Alvin York. She presents the conflict of the character's dichotomy (pacifist war hero) in a easy-to-listen to fashion.

I love the inclusion of the cartoon and vintage short but the second disc with the two featurettes only adds to the fascinating curiosity of the story and a fair, if short, homage to Gary Cooper.

I'm actually surprised it took so long to bring this masterpiece film to DVD, but I suppose the wait was well worth it for this is an impressive package. The story is so incredible, even more so that it is true - the single greatest individual feat in military history but York's complexity is the real story - a plain-spoken, backwoods, Abe-Lincoln style hero. You could not imagine anyone but Cooper playing the role. This is a must-own DVD!

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Disc 2


 


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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available in The Gary Cooper - The Signature Collection (Sergeant York / The Fountainhead / Dallas / Springfield Rifle / The Wreck of the Mary Deare)

           

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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