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The Long Gray Line (1955)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  9 February 1955 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,696 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 8 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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Writers:

(screenplay), (based upon "Bringing Up the Brass" by), 1 more credit »
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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
...
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:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Ford's The Long Gray Line  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,748,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

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

The lyrics cadets "spontaneously" sing in chapel is the rarely-heard fourth verse of "America" ("My country 'tis of thee."). These lyrics are not included in any Christian hymnals. Instead different lyrics are included for use in church services: "God bless our native land." See more »

Quotes

Martin 'Marty' Maher: What is this place? Is it maybe a prison, or is it a looney house?
Cpl. Rudolph Heinz: This is the United States Military Academy.
Martin 'Marty' Maher: [glances around] What a fine ruin it would make!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Thunderer
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

All Ford and all heart
6 February 2000 | by (Cherry Hill, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

You could call "The Long Grey Line" an affectionate tribute by one American institution to another: John Ford to West Point. All the Fordian elements, unashamed sentimentality, boisterious comedy, stark tragedy, are all here, and Ford and his actors convey them all beautifully.

And what actors! Tyrone Power finally proved that he could act in his moving portrayal of Martin Maher, a real-life West Point legend who started out as a fresh-off-the-boat waiter and wound up as the Academy's much-venerated Master of the Sword. Maher died in 1961 at age eighty-four, just as an era he represented was dying, too. Maureen O'Hara gives her usual strong portrayal as his devoted wife, likewise Donald Crisp as his father. Two of the most beloved members of the Ford stock company are here, too. Ward Bond playes Captain Koehler, the previous Master of the Sword who takes young Martin under his wing. And Harry Carey, Jr. has a good spot as the young Dwight Eisenhower, who was going bald even then and trying to stop it with hair-restorer.

A military "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" this may be, but as a heartfelt, human tribute to the Point and the men who made it, as well as good, overlooked Ford, this film is a hidden treasure.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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