The Long Gray Line (1955)

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    Information from IMDb

    Plot Summary
    Based on a real life story, and ordinary down-to-earth
    Irish immigrant, who joins the Army, as a non-commissioned officer.
    He goes on to spend 50 years, at Westpoint,
    and film evolves around his interaction, with the people around him.
    Written by ethanedwards

    Full Cast
    Tyrone Power .... Martin 'Marty' Maher
    Maureen O'Hara .... Mary O'Donnell
    Robert Francis .... James 'Red' 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 .... 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 D. Ehlers .... Mike Shannon
    Willis Bouchey .... Maj. Thomas
    Don Barclay .... McDonald (uncredited)
    Mary Benoit .... Bit (uncredited)
    Richard Bishop .... (uncredited)
    Dona Cole .... Peggy (uncredited)
    Chuck Courtney .... Whitey Larson (uncredited)
    Ken Curtis .... Specialty (uncredited)
    Lisa Davis .... Nell (uncredited)
    Diane DeLaire .... Nurse (uncredited)
    Harry Denny .... Priest (uncredited)
    Mimi Doyle .... Nun (uncredited)
    Jack Ellis .... Bit (uncredited)
    Robert Ellis .... Cadet Short (uncredited)
    Bess Flowers .... Football Fan, Army/Notre Dame Game (uncredited)
    Fritz Ford .... Bit (uncredited)
    Raoul Freeman .... (uncredited)
    Tom Hennesy .... Cadet Dotson (uncredited)
    John Herrin .... Cadet Ramsey (uncredited)
    Robert F. Hoy .... Cadet Kennedy (uncredited)
    Philip Kieffer .... Superintendent (uncredited)
    Robert Knapp .... Lieutenant (uncredited)
    Leon Mc Laughlin .... Bit (uncredited)
    Martin Milner .... Jim O'Carberry (uncredited)
    Jean Moorhead .... Girl (uncredited)
    Jack Mower .... Bit (uncredited)
    Donald Murphy .... Army Captain (uncredited)
    James O'Hara .... Cadet Thorne (uncredited)
    Pat O'Malley .... Priest (uncredited)
    Jack Pennick .... Recruiting sergeant (uncredited)
    Russell P. Reeder .... Commandant of Cadets (uncredited)
    Robert Roark .... Cadet Pirelli (uncredited)
    Mickey Roth .... Cadet Stern (uncredited)
    Keith Schultz .... Kitty's Infant Son (uncredited)
    Kevin Schultz .... Kitty's Infant Son (uncredited)
    Jim Sears .... Knute Rockne (uncredited)
    Mickey Simpson .... New York policeman (uncredited)
    Elbert Steele .... The President (uncredited)
    Harry Tenbrook .... Waiter (uncredited)
    Norm Van Brocklin .... Notre Dame quarterback (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    Nardi Reeder Campion book Bringing Up the Brass
    Edward Hope
    Marty Maher book Bringing Up the Brass

    Original Music
    W. Franke Harling (song "The Corps")

    Charles Lawton Jr.
    Charles Lang (uncredited)

    John Ford originally wanted to cast John Wayne as Marty Maher.
    Share this
    Average Shot Length (ASL) = 13 seconds

    Location filming at West Point was done during the summer when most cadets were gone with the exception of new "Plebes" so as not to disrupt normal activities.

    Walter Ehlers (Mike Shannon) received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism on July 9/10, 1944 at Normandy France. He was a Staff Sergeant in the 18th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division.

    Factual errors: 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.

    Anachronisms: Red's Medal of Honor that Kitty shows to Marty and Mary is the current design that goes around the neck. In the story, Red earned it during World War I and at that time the Medal of Honor was on a suspension ribbon like most other US medals. It wouldn't be redesigned for around the neck wear until 1944.

    Factual errors: In the film, Mary O'Donnell Maher dies sometime before Christmas 1944 while World War II is still raging. In real life, according to her headstone at the West Point cemetery, she died in 1948.

    Continuity: In the scene where Martin meets Mary outside the gymnasium, he is carrying an armful of boxing gloves, and drops one or two. The dropped gloves change in number and position on the floor as the scene progresses, even Mary gets in the act, changing her position on the floor and relative to the gloves on the floor, and the hat on her head changing its tilt and position from scene to scene.

    Revealing mistakes: On Armistice Day, when the cadets are celebrating the end of the war, all of the surrounding trees are full of green leaves. On November 11 in West Point's location, there would have been some combination of fall colors and already-bare trees.

    Continuity: When the Cadets are building the bonfire and celebrating the Armistice ending World War I, the background landscape is lush and green - not likely for November 11th.

    Factual errors: 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.

    Anachronisms: In the scene where Marty Maher (Tyrone Power) is giving swimming instructions to the West Point cadets, cadet James Nilsson 'Red' Sundstrom (William Leslie) dives into to the pool, swims the length of the pool and does a flip turn to swim a return lap. The flip turn in swimming was not in use in the era represented in this part of the film - pre-World War 1. The flip turn was developed by Tex Robertson of the University of Texas while training Adolph Kiefer for the 1936 Olympics.

    Continuity: Marty's farewell parade is held under overcast skies, but when Kitty and James are conversing at the same parade it is sunny and the sky is cloudless.

    Factual errors: According to the storyline, Maher arrived at West Point no earlier than 1902, but George Koehler was football coach from 1897-1900.

    Memorable Quotes

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Long Gray Line is a 1955 American drama film directed by John Ford
    based on the life of Marty Maher.
    Tyrone Power stars as the scrappy Irish immigrant whose
    50-year career at West Point took him from dishwasher to non-commissioned officer
    and athletic instructor.

    Maureen O'Hara, one of Ford's favorite leading ladies,
    plays Maher's wife and fellow immigrant, Mary O'Donnell.
    The film costars Ward Bond as Herman Koehler,
    the Master of the Sword (athletic director) and Army's head football coach (1897-1900),
    who first befriends Maher.
    Milburn Stone appears as John J. Pershing who in 1898 swears Maher into the Army.
    Harry Carey, Jr. makes a brief appearance as the young cadet Dwight D. Eisenhower.
    Philip Carey plays (fictional) Army football player and future general Chuck Dotson.
    The story follows Maher's arrival at West Point and his progress from servant to beloved leader and teacher.
    The film also covers Maher's personal life, his romance and marriage to Mary O'Donnell, and his declining years after her death.
    The phrase "The Long Gray Line" is used to describe, as a continuum,
    all graduates and cadets of the USMA at West Point, New York.
    Many of the scenes in the film were shot on location at West Point, i
    ncluding the "million dollar view" of the Hudson River near the parade grounds.
    The film was the last one in which actor Robert Francis appeared before his death at age 25.

    Many people like this film.
    However,I've tried watching it twice now,
    and I just can't get into it!
    I find it tedious!
    Maybe if Ford had cast Duke as Marty,
    (which he wanted to) I would have then, enjoyed it.
    Tyrone Power was once again teamed with Maureen,
    and as usual, Mo, gave an impeccable performance.
    Lots of John Ford folks around on this one,
    Patrick Wayne, Ward Bond, Harry Carey Jr.,Ken Curtis,

    User Review

    Excellent movie, but I'm biased,
    Author: rhubby from United States


    First of all, I must admit I am biased. My mom went to college with Marty Maher's niece, Maggie. However, as another reviewer pointed out, this is John Ford at his best, with Tyrone Power playing the part of John Wayne.
    Although I do like Wayne, this part called for a better actor, and Ford cast Power brilliantly.
    I also can usually smell bad Irish accents from miles off (don't get me started on all of those awful 'irish spring' commercials), but Power sounds like Frank McCourt was coaching him.
    The main points of the story are fact based, but some of the events at the end were rearranged to flow better in the movie.
    Overall, for John Ford fans, this one is a 'don't miss'!

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Maureen has suffered during the shooting, John Ford often becoming unpleasant with it, apparently for no reason except to stimulate the strong character of the heroine ...

    In any case, the result is there. I loved this film.

    Happy reading

    A short video

    and Original trailer

    Tell me if you have problems to read


    Unconditional's Maureen O'Hara !
    French-English translation: poor !!!

  • I remember watching it the last time it appeared on television. It was hard going to watch all the way through and generally I found it dull and boring. Whether John Wayne could have revived this turkey is highly unlikely.

  • .
    Sorry, but I really liked this film. The actors play their roles perfectly ...

    .................... some pictures from the film .............



    Unconditional's Maureen O'Hara !
    French-English translation: poor !!!

  • Just to bump John Ford's more well known movies to Page 1 of the reviews

    Thank Keith,

    This is another film I have which I have yet to watch!
    I love Tyrone Power, it's always quite poignant for me too as he reminds me of my grandfather.

    "Pour yourself some backbone and shut up!"

  • This was the movie where Jack Pennick correctly recognized that two swords were upside down. They had been that way at the Point forever, LOL. Pennick was a self taught expert on all things military, and that held him high in Pappy's regard. It is easy to see in his portrayals of soldiers in movies. KPKEITH By the way, I just LOVED this movie and cannot imagine Duke playing Marty Maher.....just doesn't compute!
    By the way, Dooley, when my Dad was young like Tyrone, everyone said Dad looked just like him.

    God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

    Edited once, last by Hawkswill: Just saw Dooley's post ().