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The Long Gray Line

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The Long Gray Line + West Point: The Complete Series (1956) + West Point - The First 200 Years
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Based on the true story of Marty Maher, a humble Irish immigrant who rose through the ranks to become one of West Point's most beloved instructors, THE LONG GRAY LINE is a rousing tribute to a remarkable man and his way of life. Director John Ford and star Tyrone Power, themselves the sons of Irishimmigrants, bring an extra dimension of fidelity and fervor to this inspiring biography. Newly arrived in America, Maher's first job was as a waiter at West Point. Clumsy and boisterous, he quickly broke so much of the military academy's china that he was forced to join the army to repay his debts.But once enlisted, the rough-and-ready Dubliner served his adopted nation with rare dedication, establishing himself as an inspirational coach at West Point. Spanning 50 years and two world wars, thefilm shows Maher at his best, molding and motivating the young men who would become America's heroes and presidents. Filmed on location with a stellar supporting cast (including Ford favorites Maureen O'

John Ford pours on the sentiment like syrup in The Long Gray Line, a tribute to the traditions of West Point. Tyrone Power ages 50 years to play real-life West Point legend Martin Maher, the scrappy Irish immigrant who rises from "another Mick waiter" to hot-tempered cadet to one of the best-loved instructors of the institution. Power is at his best as the charming rogue with a thick brogue, who ages into a feisty, gray-haired foster father to the cadets he and his fiery Irish wife (Maureen O'Hara) adopt over the years, among them Harry Carey Jr. (as young Dwight D. Eisenhower). Ford claims he didn't care for CinemaScope, but you wouldn't know it from the handsome, lush images that fill the frame. It lolls along at a lazy 140 minutes, balancing the respectful tributes with boisterous humor and boyish pranks but always centered by the generous heart of Maher. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, Robert Francis, Donald Crisp, Ward Bond
  • Directors: John Ford
  • Writers: Edward Hope, Marty Maher, Nardi Reeder Campion
  • Producers: Robert Arthur
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005RYKW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,045 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Long Gray Line" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By J JARVIS on May 25, 2002
Format: DVD
I first saw this movie at our local in the late 50`s here in the U.K. The Memory of Marty Maher never left.. Looking through Amazon one evening i noticed it was available. Well done it arrived in 6 days. Some things you order locally take longer than that.After all these years since i last saw it it`s still a great movie and still brings a tear to the eye. Tyrone Power was perfect, sadly nearing the end of his life as Marty Maher. Nothing against John Wayne who i understand was the first choice but this was`nt his part. Maureen o Hara is wonderful. Ward Bond as "That blackhearted master of the sword" as Marty calls him and Donald Crisp as Marty snr. Its a long movie covering 50 years but never you loose interest. Its perfect. John Ford wanted to be remembered as the man who made westerns. Well he made other great movie`s as well. In my opinion this is an equal to The Quiet Man....The Long Gray Line. The best Ford without John Wayne.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Terry on January 2, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
My wife and I stumbled across this rare gem a few days ago on AMC. It began late in the evening, but we were unable to stop watching. It is a truly wonderful story, based on what I've come to learn is a book entitled BRINGING UP THE BRASS that was based on Technical Sargeant Martin Maher's life. The movie has all of the classical elements of John Ford including humor and poignancy, and I shall heartily recommend this film to my family and friends. It's nice to see patriotism and honor on film, even though it was 45 years ago!
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By S. Jones on October 1, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
One of the finest of John Ford's films, yet surprisingly overlooked, this movie gives us both an honest glimpse into West Point and sincere characters to cry for and laugh with.
Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara make a charming match once more (see The Black Swan, quite a different movie), and it's a wonder to me that Ty's sensitive and utterly believable performance in this film wasn't given more notice than it was. He was perfect all the way down to his accent, which I thought would surely slip, and it never did. Maureen's portrait of her character was poignant and gentle, with that spark that is purely Maureen. The death scene blows me away each time with it's simplicity and honest grace. They were quite a team, both of times they were together.
All the performances were top-notch, making you forget you were watching a movie. I felt, instead, as if I were being allowed into sacred ground, welcomed with open arms by the memories of that proud place.
This is truly a masterpiece. Ford at his finest. If you get a chance to see it, do. I can't recommend it strongly enough.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Vannoy on March 22, 2006
Format: DVD
Very rarely in my life have I come across a movie that makes me cry. All you would have to do is watch the last 10 minutes of this movie to understand what I'm saying. However, you should see the entire movie - what perfection. It has comedy, drama, and great acting on all parts.

Tyrone Power (my favorite actor) gives a grade A performance. Never will you find him as loveable, or as dignified than as Martin Maher, Jr. I find it hard to believe that John Ford (the director) originally wanted John Wayne for this movie. Not to nock Wayne, but Power can convey sensitivity better. As a side note, John Wayne's son Patrick appears in the movie.

Maureen O'Hara, lovely as ever, gets back to her Irish roots in this film, and it makes for a point-perfect characterisation from the Queen of Technicolor. It isn't any wonder John Ford loved her as an actress. She's one of the best.

The movie spans 50 years at West Point Military Academy, and the life of Martin Maher and the people's lives he touched. It is a great American story. Definitely, worth every bit of the two hours and seventeen minute running time. I love this movie, and if you read this you really should be watching the movie.

Seriously, it made me cry!!!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rowana on April 23, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Highly enjoyable tale of the life of Marty Maher, the Irish immigrant who rose from humble waiter to become West Point's beloved athletic trainer and football coach for more than 50 years. Despite personal tragedies, and through two World Wars, Maher inspired generations of young men who came through the distinguished Army officers' academy, including future legends like Omar Bradley and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Tyrone Power is excellent and compelling as he portrays Maher from young idealist to elderly sage, Irish accent intact all the way. The scenery and West Point pageantry is fun to watch (although some of it looks like it was filmed inside a studio -- but much else looks like it may have been filmed at the Military Academy). Interestingly, there's not really all that much football in this film -- there's a little, but it's mainly the story of Maher and his family, and the young men he came to love like his own sons. With the flame-haired Maureen O'Hara as Maher's Irish wife Mary, giving a radiant performance. Sentimental in that '50s way, of course, but the legendary director John Ford (working with a cast made up of many of his favorites) always puts a bite behind the sweetness.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By West Point daughter on May 5, 2009
Format: DVD
I just finished watching The Long Grey Line again and was moved anew by the tradition of "The Long Grey Line" of West Point cadets and proud to know that my father was one of them.

The Long Grey Line is one of John Ford's most sentimental movies and rarely given the credit it is due. It has always been left in the dust by reviewers when it is compared with most of Ford's other movies. It may not be Academy Award caliber, but it makes up with a high degree of authenticity, only changing a small amount of facts to make the flow of the whole movie easier. Most people don't realize that a good portion of the movie was filmed on site at West Point in the early 1950's. My father, West Point class of D-Day 1944, was one of the two technical advisors for the movie to ensure the accuracy of the movie and as a child I watched them film many of the major scenes for the movie at West Point and as a special treat was allowed to meet members of the cast at a party. I am glad to see that so many people have reviewed the movie with such glowing reviews!
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Topic From this Discussion
Gaelic in "The Long Gray Line"
I haven't seen this movie for quite a while, but as far as I remember, Father Maher said to Mary O'Donnel, "Do you have the Irish, woman of the house?" And she answered "I do", and then she said the prayers. Was it not so?
Aug 10, 2007 by Queiroz |  See all 2 posts
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