Sergeant York

In watching "Sergeant York" I was reminded that the ugly reaction of the isolationists in the early 1940s forced the studio to pull it after only a week or two in theatres because it was "jingoistic and war-mongering." After Pearl Harbor, it was released again when patriotism and the rationale for taking up arms had become acceptable. Make no mistake, it is an excellent film, nominated for 11 Academy Awards!

If you rent it, please, please watch the extras. Gary Cooper and Alvin York were BOTH isolationists, York, before WWI, and Cooper, when approached to play him in a movie, before WWII. The studio courted York long and hard, writing and rewriting the script, over and over to suit York's religious and political views. Of course, after struggling with the contradiction between those views, York had gone on to become the most acclaimed soldier in WWI, capturing 132 German soldiers!

Cooper was hesitant to play a living person and was isolationistic to the bone. He visited York, that in itself not an easy task, as York lived far off the beaten path. York and Cooper developed a friendship which endured.

York never changed his religious views, refused to capitalize on his fame, remained in his modest home all of his life and loved the hometown girl he married all those years before. His is a story worth telling and you will appreciate it.