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Reviews of Sergeant York all address and rave positively about the ability of Gary Cooper to portray young, restless, and hell-raisin’ Alvin C. York. The United States was on the brink of WWII, and the heroic endeavor of America’s number one hero of WWI was needed to inspire those who had any conflict with reporting to serve their country if needed. Crowther's July 3 New York Times article addressing the timing of the film's release sums up all the reviews in one simple sentence: “it is an honest saga of a plain American who believed in fundamentals and acted with clean simplicity.” Although negative comments were few, the major focus on York’s life compared to the short focus on the battle scene that made him a hero was criticized. To the reviewers, audiences would have rather seen an extended battle scene or more scenes of York at boot camp.

"23 Years After Argonne: Jesse Lasky Brings Life Story of Sergeant York to Screen." Newsweek 14 July 1941: 61-62.
Warner Brothers spent the majority of the film humoring and engrossing Alvin York's life conversions rather than portraying him as a war hero. Lasky was driven to produce the film, even going as far as pleading with York to make the film because "the filming of his [York's] life could now be called a patriotic duty."
Crowther, Bosley. "The Screen in Review: ‘Sergeant York,' a Sincere Biography of the World War Hero, Makes Its Appearance at the Astor." New York Times 3 July 1941.
Addressing the desire of Warner Brothers to do a movie about the number one hero of WW1 at a time when another great war was possible, Crowther raises the propaganda issue of the film. The idea that York comes home to the girl of his dreams and a clean homestead with land would make any young man feel he can become a war hero. Crowther finds the strapping Gary Cooper portraying York perfectly as the hell-raisin' man before he "found religion." Crowther attended the premiere of the film, and the real Alvin C. York was present and gave a speech addressing those conflicted about serving in the impending WWII. Crowther raves about the character portrayals and how the film has been produced at the right time for a country heading into WWII.
Ferguson, Otis. "In the Army, Aren't We All." New Republic 29 September 1941: 404-5.
"It is about the army and arming in a time when people damn well have to think about the army." A less formal review of Sergeant York, Otis explores how the film has little focus on the war itself but more on York's life. The keynote of the film is to enhance patriotism, but, instead, it only leaves audiences with as much patriotism as that of seeing a parade. It can be concluded that Otis only sees the film as an over-hyping of an American war hero's life.
"New Picture: Sergeant York." Time 4 August 1941.
Primarily focusing on summarizing York's life, the Time review immortalizes Gary Cooper's portrayal of Sergeant York while also focusing on the background of how the film came to be. Time recognizes that the "painstaking" build-up of York's character makes his heroic feat "merely an extension of the everyday heroism of a dignified, impoverished mountain people."
"The Screen: American House of York." Commonweal 18 July 1941: 306.
York's refusal to film a biographical epoch of his life until 1941 actually saved the film from being a short, silent film. Rather, the film was left to be "the year's best to reestablish Hollywood's reputation as the cinema capital of the world." Commonweal focuses on the realistic portrayal of all characters and a sense of honesty rather than stereotyping them into "Tennessee hillbillies," leaving its readers with the wish that all war-hero-related films should be like Sergeant York, "inspiring, sincere, unpretentious and without maudlinism."
"Sergeant York." Variety 7 July 1941: 12.
Variety's review raves that Sergeant York is a "clarions film that reaches the public at a moment when its stirring and patriotic message is probably most needed." Claiming the film to be a biography of York's life at its best, Variety praises Cooper for fulfilling the role of York's life as an unruly backwoodsman transformed into a religious man. The review focuses on characters and a small York bio but is clearly a positive and seemingly biased review of the film, concluding with "in Sergeant York the screen has spoken for national defense. Not in propaganda, but in theatre!"
Wyatt, Euphemia Van Rensselaer. "When Pacifists Fight." Catholic World October 1941: 87-89.
Believing that York is a revamped American Robin Hood, Wyatt explores how the factual scenes in Sergeant York seem to be the less realistic portrayal of York's life to audiences. She also addresses York's conscientious objections by recognizing that audiences that see Sergeant York are left with the feeling that the army even with its conscious objectors is "virtually invincible." But, in reality, conscious objectors in the Army are driven towards the spiritual armament to fight rather than to fight for peace like York did in the film.