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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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
...
...
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

Herman Koehler was head coach at West Point from 1897 through 1900. This film shows him as coach during the 1913 Notre Dame game. Koehler was "master of the sword" (athletic director) at this time. Charles Daly was head football coach. 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 What's My Line?: Episode dated 27 March 1955 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Color Guard
(uncredited)
Music by Francis Resta
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.


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