Cinematography by Sol Polito "Desire" list. Gary Cooper, the most crystalline of the faces, direct in his discursive purposes, without makeup tricks while, at the same time, the most suitable of the actors for what in him is of an immediate persona. And also a very handsome man, who rightly obsessed Charles Laughton and, by the way, me.
A pure propaganda piece, but it manages to treat York's dilemma of choosing between God and country with some nuance. More importantly, SY is entertaining in an old-fashioned sort of way. I thought Hawks handled York's backwoods conversion, which was specific and sympathetic, better than his military career, which felt a tad Hollywood-y.
I'd say Sergeant York is a 3 1/2 star movie but if it comes down to making me choose between 3 and 4 stars I'm going to give it 3. Thanks, Mubi..! I liked it, but didn't love it, exactly the same way I feel about Gary Cooper. The first half was fun but the second half was better despite the lack of WWI battles I'd expected.