The Long Gray Line
|The Long Gray Line|
1955 Theatrical Poster
|Directed by||John Ford|
|Produced by||Robert Arthur|
|Written by||Nardi Reeder Campion|
|Screenplay by||Edward Hope|
|Based on||Martin Maher's Bringing Up The Brass: My 55 Years at West Point (1951)|
|Narrated by||Tyrone Power|
|Music by||George Duning|
|Cinematography||Charles Lawton Jr.
|Editing by||William A. Lyon|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release dates||January 22, 1955|
|Running time||138 min.|
|Box office||$4.1 million (US)1|
The Long Gray Line is a 1955 American drama film directed by John Ford23 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 a dishwasher to a 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 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, including 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.
|This section requires expansion. (August 2012)|
West Point staffer Marty Maher (b. 1876), who came there from Tipperary as a waiter, enlisted in 1898, instructed several generations of plebes in boxing, swimming and tradition, stayed at West Point all his life, his romance and marriage to Mary O'Donnell, and his declining years after her death (1948). He was buried there in 1961.4
- Tyrone Power as Martin Maher
- Maureen O'Hara as Mary O'Donnell
- Robert Francis as James N. Sundstrom, Jr.
- Donald Crisp as Old Martin
- Ward Bond as Captain Herman Koehler
- Betsy Palmer as Kitty Carter
- Philip Carey as Charles "Chuck" Dotson (as Phil Carey)
- William Leslie as James Nilsson "Red" Sundstrom
- Harry Carey, Jr. as Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Patrick Wayne as Abner "Cherub" Overton
- Sean McClory as Dinny Maher
- Peter Graves as Corporal Rudolph Heinz
- Milburn Stone as Captain John J. Pershing
- Erin O'Brien-Moore as Mrs. Koehler (as Erin O'Brien Moore)
- Walter D. Ehlers as Mike Shannon
- Willis Bouchey as Major Thomas
- Russell Reeder as Commandant
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
- Variety film review; February 9, 1955, page 10.
- Harrison's Reports film review; February 12, 1955, page 26
- The Long Gray Line at the Internet Movie Database
- The Long Gray Line at allmovie
- The Long Gray Line at the TCM Movie Database
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