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The Long Gray Line (1955)

Approved | | Biography, Comedy, Drama | 4 January 1955 (Japan)
Trailer
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.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

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

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Cast

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 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)
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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 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:

USA

Language:

English | Irish

Release Date:

4 January 1955 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

John Ford's The Long Gray Line See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to his younger brother Dinny who is featured in the film, Marty Maher had an older brother Joseph and a third brother William, younger than Dinny, all of whom came over from Ireland and enlisted in the US Army like Marty. All four brothers are buried with their own spouses and some of their children at West Point Cemetery. While, as noted in the Goofs section, Marty and Mary's son Martin III was fictitious and never existed, Marty did have a nephew also named Martin, Joseph's son, who was born in 1897 and died in 1910 and is also buried at West Point. According to his headstone, in real life, Dinny also married an Irish immigrant named Mary O'Donnell, although she was 24 years younger than Dinny and it is unknown whether she was a blood relative of Marty's wife of the same name. See more »

Goofs

Interrupting the sermon, an announcement is made in the chapel regarding the Pearl Harbor attacks. On hearing the announcement, everyone spontaneously stands and sings a hymn, despite never being instructed to sing and never being told which hymn to sing. 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

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Traditional Scottish ballad with words by Robert Burns
Played at the final parade
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of Ford's Finest!!!
7 February 2003 | by tuffy-joSee all my reviews

If you like Irish character studies you'll love this movie. This movie follows in flash back 50 years in the true-life story of Irish immigrant Martin Maher. Tyrone Power plays Martin wonderfully. When Martin arrives in America he takes a civilian waiter job at the US Military Academy at West Point. Docked for "breakage", he joins the Army and works at several different jobs at the Point. The last job being assistant to the "Master of the Sword" played by the very versatile Ford stock company player (Ward Bond). At West Point, Martin meets and marries the love of his life Mary O'Donnell marvelously brought to life by Maureen O'Hara. Martin and Mary setup housekeeping and are able to bring Martin's father Old Martin (Donald Crisp) and brother Dinny to America. When Old Martin first meets Mary he is impressed when he asks if she still `Has the Irish' and she is able to speak in Gaelic.

As the movie unfolds you will really care about Martin, Mary, old Martin and the cadets Martin helps through the Academy. Due to talent of the director John Ford and cast, the characters appear to be real people--not just a bunch of actors who made a movie. You'll be fascinated by the class "The Stars Fell On " (graduating class of Generals Eisenhower, Bradley, etc.) This movie will stir up patriotic feelings, but also shows the high cost of war. You will smile and just might shed a tear before this one is over. You will not regret the time spent with Martin Maher--and may find yourself thinking about this movie for a long time after you see it. This is indeed, one of Pappy Ford's finest.


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