The Long Gray Line - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Long Gray Line Reviews

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February 20, 2015
An epic of one man's life, loves and passion for the US military. It's also an immigrants story so taps in well to the history of the country he represents. It's too long for what it is, but John Ford's direction is solid enough to make it work.
November 1, 2013
A true masterpiece that every movie-buff needs to watch....Enjoy!!!
½ October 7, 2013
Atmospheric, unusual Tyrone Power vehicle--no less different for director John Ford.
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2012
solidly recommended by my dad
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2011
Harry Carey, Jr. portrays US Pres Dwight D Eisenhower....Tyrone Power...and the late Robert Francis.
August 24, 2011
A very well done film with a unique story. Not the best of Ford's work, but a truly fascinating narrative with believable and compelling characters. Kudos to Tyrone Power for taking a character 50 years from the beginning to the end of the film with great precision.
August 24, 2011
A very well done film with a unique story. Not the best of Ford's work, but a truly fascinating narrative with believable and compelling characters. Kudos to Tyrone Power for taking a character 50 years from the beginning to the end of the film with great precision.
July 8, 2011
one of the best movie ever... Maureen O'Hara and Tyrone Powers were fantastic in this movie...very nice movie, very touching.
April 3, 2011
A lesser-known John Ford gem. Great true-life drama, the story of an NCO, Marty Maher, who spent 50 years - his entire Army career - at Westpoint. Starts off quite lamely, in a juvenile fashion, but gets better and better the longer it goes on. Admittedly, the sentimentality is laid on rather thick, but you don't mind the manipulation.

Ford's direction is spot-on. The colours are lush, the camera angles perfect, the pacing precise and consistent.

Tyrone Power is excellent in the lead role. The supporting cast - Maureen O'Hara especially - are superb too.

For a history buff like me, one of the great aspects of the movie is the references to great historical military figures. If you consider that Marty Maher spent 50 years at Westpoint, from about 1900-1950, he would have met every officer produced by Westpoint in that period. Some of those officers are mentioned or represented - Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, Pershing, Patton, MacArthur. Westpoint's influence on US military history is huge, and successful.
½ December 16, 2010
The Long Gray Line is an endearing film. Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. John Ford is at his best while directing this movie. I enjoyed the history and drama in this motion picture. The Long Gray Line is a must see.
February 21, 2010
John Ford + Maureen O'Hara + Tyrone Power = In my "Top 5"
December 5, 2009
Au moins le meilleur John Ford... si ce n'est pas le meilleur film jamais fait!!!
½ November 22, 2009
John Ford's patriotic film, THE LONG GRAY LINE is based on the autobiography of one Martin Maher - who served 55 years as an instructor at the US Military Academy at West Point. Immigrating from Ireland, the film follows Maher (Tyrone Power) as he rises from a lowly worker as a food server at West Point's massive dining hall to a much beloved instructor in physical training - mostly as a swimming instructor.

Ford plays Maher's early career at the Academy mostly as comedy - Tyrone even does a few pratfalls and soon broken dishes (and how he is to supposed to pay for them on his meager salary) become a running joke. Maher is involved in a fight with a Corporal (a very young Peter Graves) which lands him in the brig but fortunately catches the eye of Capt. Kohler (Ward Bond) who is impressed with Maher's boxing style and offers him a job as a coach.

Maher soon meets and falls in love with Capt. Kohler's cook, Mary O'Donnell (Maureen O'Hara). The early part of their relationship is treated too mostly as comedy and if you enjoyed Ford's distinctly irish THE QUIET MAN - then you will have no problem with the first part of THE LONG GRAY LINE - especially when Maher's father, Martin Sr. (Donald Crisp) and brother Dinny (Sean McClory) arrive on the scene.

The film though takes a decidedly serious turn half way through when the United States becomes involved in the first World War... and Maher soon is morally conflicted about staying at an academy where he helps instructs young men in the art of war...only to hear about them dying later in combat.

THE LONG GRAY LINE refers to the formation of cadets who come to West Point year after year. Maher is particularly proud of some of his students - the like of Omar Bradley, George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower - who were pivotal figures during WWII.

The film was shot in color in widescreen Cinemascope which really brings out the beauty of the West Point countryside. The film also serves as a companion piece to Ford's other similarly themed patriotic film THE WINGS OF EAGLE.

7.5 / 10
April 27, 2009
Ez da Ford-en pelikularik hoberenetarikoa, luzetxoa egiten da gainera.
½ March 9, 2009
My favorite Tyrome Movie
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2009
Earnest but somewhat schmaltzy drama of career West Point teacher, good cast even if the accents are laid on a little thick.
January 12, 2009
After the sentimental-to-a-fault opening act of this movie, the alternate meaning of the title took awhile to seep in. The story ends with loss after loss, and missed connection, everyone in their own force fields. In the closing hallucinations and senility, the grace experienced by the doltish Martin Maher character has been buffed to a cold, reflective glare. This film belongs with latter Ford, questioning the merits and longevity of purpose-centered living and the fallacies one builds around them. Redemption is in the details of the story, however. A Christmas night scene near the end of the film, where Maher is visited by cadets who throw him an impromptu party, almost vindicates his life lived along "the long gray line".
½ January 7, 2009
Another fantastic mid-50's film from John Ford. While it has more than its fair share of sentiment, it's done so beautifully, with such structural precision that I can't help but admire the film. Here is the story of a man who, over a lifetime, willingly gives up his freedom to serve others through the military, and Ford reveals the beauty and the stability of that institution, one that bids men and women to give their lives for something greater than themselves.
July 3, 2008
A really beautiful biopic that is respectful of America's military and immigrant heritage. Worth the two-hour sit, no question. It's definitely not and action film but the characters and story are compelling enough to make you forget the sometimes corny accents.
June 30, 2008
I must have had a whole gallon of tears saved up and nearly overflowing!

We come into this movie as a young Irish immigrant "Martin Maher" is sworn in by a young Capt John Pershing. Marty's life at the Military Academy spans not only several decades. More importantly, it spans the lives of scores, HUNDREDS of young Army officers, trained to uphold the highest of standards for the defense of our country, our Constitution, and our way of life!

Marty's wife bears him a child that dies virtually immediately. This is typical of the setbacks that befall the life of a man completely sold out on the honor and tradition-filled life at a unique, peculiar setting like West Point. Marty not only overcomes all the punches "life" can dish out, his character and perseverance makes him an inspiration to students whose names include Pershing, Patton, Bradley, Bolivar and even one Dwight D. Eisenhower. These young men share at least one thing in common - their respect, love, and debt of gratitude to one Marty Maher. His fatherly advise, council and example go far in an effort to make these young men into soldiers and men.

His success is evidenced by the loyalty and love displayed by the legion of men who desired their first salute to come from no other than Marty, who enveloped him at the death of his son, rallied around him at the death of his beloved wife. He was a man to whom leadership was far more than orders barked, commands summarily dispensed. His was a leadership born of character, quality of relationships, and respect. None who knew him forgot him.

Would that I could be spoken of in such a manner
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