The Long Gray Line


Time Out says

A beautifully crafted film, every image composed with graceful simplicity, but all that emerges is a lame 'Goodbye Mr Chips of West Point'. As a clumsy young man fresh off the boat from Ireland, hired by West Point Military Academy as a waiter, Marty Maher (Power) enlists to escape the mounting bill for breakages set against his wages, and becomes an instructor despite his ineptitude. Fifty years later, he is still there, a living monument to West Point, revered (he and his wife O'Hara having lost their only child at birth) as a beloved surrogate father to generations of cadets. The placid endorsement of military tradition (a straw dummy doubt about raising boys up to be cannon-fodder is easily disposed of) would be easier to take were it not for the rampant Irishry (jigs and pseudo-poetic blarney at every opportunity) that makes the sentimentality flow in buckets. Good performances, nevertheless.

By: TM


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