Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT CONTESTS
FREE EVENTS
WATCH MOVIES
NEW MOVIES
FESTIVAL VIDEOS
PICTURES
READ POETRY
MOVIE SCENES
SUBMIT your FILM
POETRY CONTEST
DAILY PODCASTS
WATCH FREE FILMS
THE LAST RITE
2010 MOVIES
ACTORS
ACTRESSES
DIRECTORS
MOVIES by YEAR
FILM FRANCHISES
MOVIE GENRES
NOTES and IDEAS
WATCH VIRAL
GET OUR E-ZINE!
CONTACT US
TOP 100 Sex
FAQ
2011 MOVIES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

THE LONG GRAY LINE, 1955
Movie Review

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
ACTorTOP 100 ACTORS of all-time
SEE THE LIST. Reviews!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!

WATCH today's TOP SHORT FILMS
EXPLORE and WATCH the TOP PAGES on THE NET!!
wildcardWATCH the best of WILDCARD PICTURES!
wildcardWATCH - BEAUTIFUL short film!
wildcardWATCH - NOSTALGIA short film!
wildcardWATCH - EMBEDDED short film!
wildcardWATCH - YARDSALE short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE AUDITION short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE ADDICT short film!
wildcardWATCH - 48 short film!
wildcardWATCH - DIM SUM OF ITS PARTS short film!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIE PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of film!
TOP 100 SEXTOP 100 SEX PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of sex pages online!
NAKED SCENESWATCH the TOP 100 SEX VIDEOS on the NET!
SEE the best of sex online!!
WATCH MOVIESWATCH Today's MOVIES
Best of NEW films on the NET!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIES of ALL-TIME
See the best of film!
DIRECTORTOP 100 DIRECTORS of ALL-TIME
SEE THE LIST. Reviews, Photos and Scenes!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCRIPTS
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!

THE LONG GRAY LINE MOVIE POSTER
THE LONG GRAY LINE, 1955
Movie Reviews

Directed by John Ford
Starring: Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, Robert Francis, Donald Crisp
Review by John Corcoran



SYNOPSIS:

The life story of a salt-of-the-earth Irish immigrant, who becomes an Army Noncommissioned Officer and spends his 50 year career at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This includes his job-related experiences as well as his family life and the relationships he develops with young cadets with whom he befriends. Based on the life of a real person.

CLICK HERE and watch 2009 MOVIES FOR FREE!

REVIEW:

The essential theme of all John Ford films is goodness. That goodness usually comes in the form of bringing civilization to the frontier in his many classic Westerns, but at times goodness was explored on a much more intimate scale, such as here in The Long Gray Line. His characters illustrate our own clumsy efforts to be better people, not by performing heroic acts but by leading lives with honesty and integrity hoping to be an example to those we love.

The Long Gray Line is the story of Martin “Marty” Maher (Tyrone Power) who served at West Point, the United States Military Academy, for fifty years. Marty is an Irish immigrant who right off the boat from Tipperary is assigned a job as a waiter and dishwasher at West Point. Quickly realizing that he is an inept waiter, Marty enlists as a noncommissioned officer and is assigned to the sports department. Under the tutelage of Captain Kohler (Ward Bond), Marty begins to find a home at West Point, including a wife, Mary O’Donnell (Maureen O’Hara). Eventually Mary brings his father (Donald Crisp) and brother (Sean McClory) from the old country as well.

Ford avoids the trap of turning to this film into another “dedicated teacher” movie, like Goodbye, Mr. Chips. In fact, most of the scenes while Marty is teaching athletics are played for comic effect. This light tone gently leads us into the more dramatic material. We see Marty’s failures as a waiter and as a swim instructor who cannot swim. Tyrone Power does a masterful job at Marty’s Irish temper running hot but masking deep love. His performance deftly combines comic timing and genuine pathos. Donald Crisp is also a delight as the elder Marty who becomes both advisor to West Point superintendents and bookie for that fateful 1913 Notre Dame-Army game, where a young Knute Rockne unleashed the forward pass.

Marty learns from and reflects far more the ethical traditions of West Point than any classroom subject. West Point is governed by a strict honor code that demands honesty at all times. Marty is, at first, resistant to the idea that one would admit to minor infractions without being caught. Over time this code of honor seeps into Marty and he defends it as his own. Ford uses it dramatically as well to set up the dilemma which provides the film’s moral climax.

Marty’s goodness, though, does not come from blind obedience to the army’s code. In fact, he honestly struggles with the object of West Point’s education. When students he has taught (and we have grown to know) die in World War I, he places a black ribbon across their yearbook page. His position requires him to know all too well the human cost of warfare. Ford juxtaposes the death of a favored cadet with the armistice celebration, causing Marty to quit West Point. He only decides to return after reading the letters sent to the soldier’s widow. Marty realizes that these young men train to have other soldiers put their lives in their hands. For those who reach West Point it is not only the achievement of their young lives’ ambition but also the beginning of a lifetime of leadership.

As Marty ages and loses his wife, his dedication to West Point is returned by the institution, which is predictable, but maintains an element of surprise in the hands of Ford. The film begins with a flashback as Marty explains to President Eisenhower that he should not be relieved of his duties because he is turning seventy. It is only at the end of the film, that we realize Marty was told that story so he could have a presidential audience and a military parade could be planned in his absence. Note too a moment at the parade, as a General standing near Marty wipes a tear from his eye with his gloves. It’s the perfect touch from a master director.

Hollywood tends not to make films like The Long Gray Line any more. Marketers will tell you that there is no “audience” for movies about ordinary people leading good lives, and they may be right. But I think we’ve lost something. There are likely countless Marty Mahers out there, and if we want more of them, we need other John Fords to tell their stories.

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
MOVIE KILLSEE 1000s of PICTURES
Best of photos, images and pics
MOVIE YEARMOVIES YEAR BY YEAR
Pages from 1900 to present


The Long Gray Line


footer for The Long Gray Line page