“Sergeant York”

by richibi

to my dismay when I turned to Sergeant York
thinking it’d be a short and hopefully sweet 
movie, clocking in at only one hour fourteen,
I’d read, according to the bottom time bar, I’d
only got the first part of the movie I found out, 
where he grows up in the Ozarks, or somewhere
like it, or is it like them, a stretch of film I found
essentially corny, but for Gary Cooper, who is 
consistently impeccable as a principled hillbilly,
and entirely worth watching 
but I only turned to the second part cause
change of setting, I thought, might hold more
promise, and indeed it did
it is however a lesson in how America developed 
its devotion to guns, it seems an early actual
textbook declaration of it, shot through with the
sounds of celestial strings, you’ll note, when the
commander expounds on its philosophical basis,
with instead of a Bible in hand a book called “The
History of the United States”, for maximum moral
Sergeant York needs to accommodate his pacifist
stance, as delivered by the Bible and his Lord,
to the new paradigm of patriotism, national
defence, which calls of course for killing, in a
rousing call to arms his superior speaks of the
new ideal of freedom, which is worth, in his
impassioned dialectical exposition, dying for, 
in contrast to the traditional, more fraternal,
less annihilating, Word of God 
he is given 10 days leave to sort out his objections,
which may as well have been forty days and forty
nights, with next to no food and water on even a
very mountain, much like Moses on Mount Sinai,
to receive his spiritual enlightenment, trumpets
blow, lightning crashes, Biblical parallels rebound 
like echoing thunder
the movie came out in ’41, I suspect it was made
in view of marching America into the Second World
War, they didn’t commit to Europe until ’42
the battle scenes are worthy of Saving Private Ryan” 
Sergeant York bumps up against New York, like
the Beverly Hillbillies later hit Los Angeles 
Gary Cooper doesn’t miss a single beat on his
way to his fully earned Oscar
Alvin C. York, the actual war hero, had insisted,
incidentally, that no one but Gary Cooper should
play his part, had had it written specifically and 
incontrovertibly in his contract, Alvin must’ve
known something
since Gary Cooper is no longer around to play
my part I’d now let no one other than Joseph  
         “Sergeant York”, part 1