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The film is also useful in a sociological context. For example, when Miss Bergman first comes to Bogart's casino she sees Sam at the piano and asks a waiter to give the Tx>y' a message for her. The term 'boy' has an offensive connotation to blacks and to some people reflects the insensitivity and/or disregard for feelings ofblacks that many whites express to one another. This viewer even suspects that the tragicomic scene ofthe French prefect ofpolice (Claude Raines) closing down Bogart's gambling casino and at the same time pocketing his own winnings at the tables could have usefulness in law enforcement and criminology classes. Course: Modern American History Patrick Armstrong, Jefferson State Junior College Sergeant York (Warner Bros., 1941) 134 min. b&w 35mm During the 1930's and 1940's Hollywood produced a highly acclaimed genre offilms that effectively portrayed various aspects ofAmericana. Films such as Tobacco Road. The Grapes ofWrath. Little Caesar and All the King's Men were not only well defined slices ofthe American life-style but were critical successes as well. The film, Sergeant York, fits into this category exceptionally well. Perhaps it is best remembered by some for the later scenes depicting United States infantry forces during the Argonne offensive on the Western Front during the first world war. In actuality however, this film was a very effective commentary on rural Tennessee mountain life in the mid-19 10's. 1 believe that classes in modem American history as well associology and American studies would benefit from exposure to this film. The life ofmountaineer farmer Alvin C. York, as played by Gary Cooper, covers the early part ofhis career in his Valley ofthe Three Forks. We follow York's conversion from a hell-raising, hard drinking, quick with his fists backwoodsman to a solid, shrewd, and devout, almost fanatic, fundamentalist - pacifist who dedicated himselfto an honest life in a simplistic, yet peculiarly winning manner. Indeed, York's acceptance offaith at the beckoning hands ofthe local storekeeper preacher (Walter Brennan) while the congregation claps and sings "Give Me That Old Time Religion" was a masterful study ofthe practice ofreligion in the rural South. The segment revolving around York's attempts to resolve his newfound religious beliefs against killing people with his being called into the army are trenchant statements about human predicaments that have long been with us. The keen and cunning countryboy is perhaps best revealed at the local turkey shoot where York quickly proves himself an expert rifleman. This serves to set the scene later when once at the front, he again proves his mettle and clearheadedness during an extended skirmish with an entrenched group of enemy soldiers. Course: Modem American History Patrick Armstrong, Jefferson State Junior College 13 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9922
Print ISSN
0360-3695
Pages
p. 13
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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