Lawrence O'Toole
June 05, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Long Gray Line

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
138 minutes
performer
Maureen O'Hara, Tyrone Power, Donald Crisp
director
John Ford
distributor
Columbia Tri-Star Home Video
author
Edward Hope
genre
Drama

We gave it a F

John Ford’s The Long Gray Line, a biography of Irish immigrant Marty Maher, a sort of den father at West Point for 50 years, is loosely anecdotal, cornball, and entertaining, and has enough testosterone in it to float a battleship. It was shot in CinemaScope, and the visual possibilities — shown most completely in the wide-screen letterboxed credits — were probably one of the movie’s attractions for Ford. But on video, the movie’s images have been cropped, with faces partially lopped off or disembodied voices emanating from off screen. This is a fine work from one of our finest directors, electronically mutilated. F

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