44 user 16 critic

The Long Gray Line (1955)

Approved | | Biography, Comedy, Drama | 4 January 1955 (Japan)
4:28 | Trailer
In 1898, Irish immigrant Martin Maher is hired as a civilian employee at West Point where, during a 50-year career, he rises to the rank of NCO and instructor.


John Ford


Edward Hope (screenplay), Marty Maher (based upon "Bringing Up the Brass" by) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrone Power ... Martin 'Marty' Maher
Maureen O'Hara ... Mary O'Donnell
Robert Francis ... James N. Sundstrom Jr.
Donald Crisp ... Old Martin
Ward Bond ... Capt. Herman J. Kohler
Betsy Palmer ... Kitty Carter
Philip Carey ... Charles 'Chuck' Dotson (as Phil Carey)
William Leslie ... James Nilsson 'Red' Sundstrom
Harry Carey Jr. ... Dwight D. Eisenhower
Patrick Wayne ... Abner 'Cherub' Overton
Sean McClory ... Dinny Maher
Peter Graves ... Cpl. Rudolph Heinz
Milburn Stone ... Capt. John Pershing
Erin O'Brien-Moore ... Mrs. Koehler (as Erin O'Brien Moore)
Walter Ehlers Walter Ehlers ... Mike Shannon (as Walter D. Ehlers)


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 whom he befriends. Based on the life of a real person. Written by Dennis Huffman<dhuffman11@kc.rr.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Great Place! A Great Guy! A Great Picture! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Keith and Kevin Shultz played Betsy Palmers baby boy in the movie. About eight years later they appeared on her game show I've Got a Secret and she had no clue who they were for several minutes. See more »


Cadets and officers are shown at chapel on December 7, 1941, a Sunday. An announcement is made that Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was attacked at 7:55 AM, Hawaii time, which is 12:55 PM New York time, with chapel services already having concluded. See more »


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 »


Referenced in AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jack Lemmon (1988) See more »


Color Guard
Music by Francis Resta
See more »

User Reviews

Surprisingly touching biopic
17 May 2018 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

If you start out watching The Long Gray Line and think it's a silly comedy, keep watching. This touching biopic of Martin Maher, a man who spent fifty years at West Point, gets better, I promise.

Tyrone Power stars as the Irish immigrant who, upon his coming to America, immediately goes to West Point for a job as a dishwasher. He keeps breaking plates, which come out of his paycheck, so he joins the army to avoid paying damages. I know, it sounds silly. And when he first sees Maureen O'Hara, they both give each other cow eyes and forget how to speak-which is equally silly. Once Tyrone and Maureen get married, the movie turns into a serious drama. I've seen a lot of Tyrone Power movies, and while he's pretty inoffensive, I've never thought of him as an especially strong actor. In The Long Gray Line, he shows his hidden talents. He gives an excellent performance, developing his character and keeping his memories on the surface as he ages. Without giving the story away, I'll just say the film gets more touching as it continues. You might need a Kleenex.

Maureen O'Hara, Donald Crisp, Robert Francis, Philip Carey, Patrick Wayne, Betsy Palmer, Ward Bond, Peter Graves, William Leslie, and Harry Carey Jr. support Tyrone in smaller roles, each of them memorable and vital to the story. Some are family, some are fellow soldiers, but all show the impact one man had on the many different generations that came to West Point. If you like military biopics or Tyrone Power, you're not going to want to miss this one.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Irish

Release Date:

4 January 1955 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

John Ford's The Long Gray Line See more »


Box Office


$1,748,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

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