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The Long Gray Line Details


The life story of West Point athletic director Marty Maher was the inspiration for [[Performer~P90133~John Ford's~johnford]] The Long Gray Line. Told in flashback, the film recalls the first days at the Point for Irish immigrant Maher ([[Performer~P57548~Tyrone Power~tyronepower]]), a pugnacious boy who can't seem to fit in with the institution's regimen of unquestioning discipline. Athletic director [[Performer~P7236~Ward Bond~wardbond]] takes a liking to Maher and arranges for the young man to become his assistant; Bond also plays Cupid between Maher and Irish maidservant Mary O'Donnell ([[Performer~P53476~Maureen O'Hara~maureenohara]]). When Mary's baby is stillborn, the Mahers begin to regard the West Point cadets as their surrogate children: this eventually leads to the film's most touching scene, in which Mary bids farewell to her son-substitute as he marches off to World War II. Following Mary's death, Marty stays on at the Point, until the place seems somehow incomplete without his presence. On the occasion of his forced retirement, Maher gently pleads with one of his former students--President Dwight D. Eisenhower--to permit him to remain at his post (Ike is played by Harry Carey Jr. in his early scenes, and by the voice of [[Performer~P90522~Paul Frees~paulhfrees]] in the wraparound White House scenes). Based on Marty Maher's autobiography, The Long Gray Line seems at first glance too leisurely for its own good, but this appealing film gradually grows on its audience--just like Marty Maher himself. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:February 9, 1955


Awarded by
Directors Guild of America John Ford Best Director 1955 Nominee


Tyrone Power
as Martin Maher
Maureen O'Hara
as Mary O'Donnell
Ward Bond
as Capt. Herman J. Koehler
Donald Crisp
as Old Martin
Betsy Palmer
as Kitty Carter
Philip Carey
as Chuck Dotson
William Leslie
as Red Sundstrom
Harry Carey, Jr.
as Dwight D. Eisenhower
Patrick Wayne
as Cherub Overton
Sean McClory
as Dinny Maher
Peter Graves
as Capt. Rudolph Heinz
Milburn Stone
as Capt. John Pershing
Erin O'Brien-Moore
as Mrs. Koehler
Don Barclay
as Maj. Thomas
Mickey Roth
as Cadet Curly Stern
Martin Milner
as Jim O'Carberry
Jack Pennick
as Recruiting Sergeant
Jean Moorhead
as Girl
Fritz Apking
Mickey Simpson
as New York Policeman
Diane DeLaire
as Nurse
Pat O'Malley
as Priest
Chuck Courtney
as Whitney Larson
Robert Roark
as Cadet Pirelli
Ken Curtis
as Specialty Bit
Harry Denny
as Priest
Willis B. Bouchey
as Maj. Thomas
Mimi Doyle
as Nun


John Ford
Robert Arthur
Marty Maher
Book Author
Edward Hope
Charles B. Lang
Charles Lawton
Morris W. Stoloff
Composer (Music Score)
George Duning
Composer (Music Score)
William Lyon
Frank A. Tuttle
Set Designer
Jean Louis
Costume Designer