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The Long Gray Line (1955)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,550 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 7 critic

The life story of a salt-of-the-earth Irish immigrant, who becomes an Army Noncommissioned Officer and spends his 50 year career at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (book), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Long Gray Line (1955)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Martin 'Marty' Maher
...
Mary O'Donnell
...
...
Old Martin
...
Capt. Herman J. Kohler
...
Kitty Carter
...
Charles 'Chuck' Dotson (as Phil Carey)
William Leslie ...
James Nilsson 'Red' Sundstrom
...
...
Abner 'Cherub' Overton
Sean McClory ...
Dinny Maher
...
Cpl. Rudolph Heinz
...
Capt. John Pershing
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
Mrs. Koehler (as Erin O'Brien Moore)
Walter Ehlers ...
Mike Shannon (as Walter D. Ehlers)
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Storyline

The life story of a salt-of-the-earth Irish immigrant, who becomes an Army Noncommissioned Officer and spends his 50 year career at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This includes his job-related experiences as well as his family life and the relationships he develops with young cadets with whom he befriends. Based on the life of a real person. Written by Dennis Huffman<dhuffman11@kc.rr.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Warms Your Heart! STIRS YOUR BLOOD! and fires your imagination!


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ce n'est qu'un au revoir  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,748,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Ford originally wanted to cast John Wayne as Marty Maher. See more »

Goofs

According to the plot line of the movie Martin "Marty" Maher retired from the Army in the 50's (Eisenhower was President), in real life Maher retired from the Army in 1928 and stayed at West Point as a civilian employee in the athletic department and retired from that in 1946. He died on Jan. 17, 1961, at the age of 84 and is buried in the West Point cemetery. See more »

Quotes

Jim O'Carberry: This is Marty Maher. Whitey Larson.
Martin 'Marty' Maher: How do you do, sir?
Jim O'Carberry: If you have any trouble with horses, drop around and see Marty.
Whitey Larson: But he's in the infantry!
Jim O'Carberry: Well naturally! He knows horses. You don't think they'd put him in the cavalry, do ya?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to John Ford (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosen aus dem Süden
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Irish heartbeats
26 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

Although the film has a running time of two hours+ ,for it tells the story of a man's entire life ,from his enlistment (and even before) to his old age,there is never a dull moment .

John Ford was one of the most wonderful storytellers that ever was.The first part of the film is made of trivia,but everything is endearing ,moving .Take the dad's and the brother's arrival:no syrupy violins and choirs needed: the Irish are doing Mary's cooking justice and they are not in a hurry to hug Marty.The same goes for Marty/Mary when they fall in love:what could be more down to earth than this kitchen ?And however something vibrates ,as the love they all feel for the country they left behind.

The second part deals with wars and if the tone has changed ,the spirit remains intact:what could be more prosaic than burning Mary's toilet to celebrate the end of WW?Although the hero experiments tragedy ,Ford always avoids pathos and melodrama: the child's death during the celebration is given a sober treatment.Mary's passing is perhaps the most beautiful scene in the whole movie,being Fordesque to the core (remember the death of the mother in "three godfathers") and her fleeting reappearance at the very end of the movie is not irrelevant.

A life is made of small joys and big griefs.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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