The Long Gray Line (1955) - full transcript

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.

Good to see you, Marty.

What's this all about?

Marty says his business
is pretty urgent, Mr. President.

Urgent, sir.
It couldn't be more urgent.

They've been counting
their fingers, sir...

and they find I'm over 7 0.

They want to retire me
after 50 years-- the ungrateful--

So I got Chuck--
I mean, General Dotson--

to fix it for me to see you, sir.

Fifty years in the army
is a long time, Marty.

It is, sir,
and then again it isn't, sir.

It took me 30 or 40 years
just to get the hang of it, you know.

Now that everything
is going smooth...

it would be
throwing away my training...

a waste of
the taxpayers' money, sir.

Go ahead and smoke your pipe, Marty.
I'd hardly know you without it.

Thank you, sir.

We Mahers take our own time
about getting old.

Over 7 0 I may be...

and I wear glasses
for fine print these days...

and maybe I have put on
a pound or two here or there...

but I tell you, sir,
I'm in better shape now...

than I was that morning
50 years ago...

when I rode the milk train
up the Hudson...

not knowing what
I was getting myself into.

I walked up that hill...

a young lad,
fresh off the boat.

Halt! Who's there?

Martin Maher from Ireland,
your honor.

Advance, Martin Maher,
to be recognized.

How would you be recognizing me?

I only set foot
in this country last night.

Corporal, another mick waiter.

All right, come along, Paddy.

Martin's the name.

Ross Craig, Tipperary.

What is this place?

Is it maybe a prison?
Or is it a loony house?

This is the United States
Military Academy.

What a fine ruin it'd make.

All right,
pick up your feet, Paddy.

Martin's the name.

Do they have to wear
iron braces to stand like that?

That's the way cadets stand.
That's part of the discipline.

You could shoot off
all their noses with one bullet.

These men are being trained
to be United States Army officers.

They come here for discipline,
and that's what they get.

Where did they all go?

You'll see them all at breakfast,
Paddy. Pick up your feet.

Martin's the name!

How's the cow, mister?

She walks. She talks.
She's full of chalk.

The lacteal fluid subtracted from
the female of the bovine species...

is highly prolific
to the eighth degree, sir.

That is the situation
with the cow.

- Where's my milk, mister?
- Milk for Mr. Bullock, sir.

- Get the wrinkles in that chin.
- Coffee for Mr. Van Ennes, sir.

- What's the definition of leather?
- The definition of leather.

The fresh skin of an animal
cleaned and divested of all hair, fat...

be immersed in a solution of tannic
acid, chemical combination ensues.

The gelatinous tissue is converted
into a non-putrescible substance...

impervious to
and insoluble in water.

This, sir, is leather.

Come on, Paddy. Please.
Let's get going.

Please, now, go on.

Come on! Come on, Paddy!
Pick 'em up! Pick 'em up!

That will come out of your pay!

Vegetable plates
are 1 1 cents each.

Cups are seven cents.
Saucers are four cents.

Pie plates are nine cents.

Soup tureens are 94 cents!

Five o'clock for you too.
Be back at five.

Five o'clock.

Back at five.

There's nothing there for you.

Do you know that you've
been here two months...

and you owe three months' pay
for breakage?

'Tis a slave I am.

'Tis a slave I am.

Working meself to a shadow and not
a brass farthing to drown my sorrows.

Come on back. Come on.

I know I'm a fool to do this,
but there's $3 of my own money.

It's something you can
jingle in your pockets...

but not to get you
in much trouble though.

Thank you, your honor.

'Tis not every man has three dollars'
worth of kindness in his heart.

- Thank you kindly, sir.
- You're welcome.

Go on. Go on with you.

Thank you kindly, sir.

Rudy Heinz! 'Tis a fine soldier
you look, all spit and polish.

- When do you go on furlough?
- Not before you pay me that five bucks.

Five bucks?

The five bucks I lent you to send
to your dear old father in Ireland.

Curious thing.
I don't remember it at all.

You were cold sober when you handed me
that story! Let's have it!

Rudy, I--

I've got terrible news for ya.

You must wait a few months till I can
balance me assets with me liabilities.

You'll work out every chip of that
if it takes the rest of your life!

- Me?
- Yes!

I'm going to attend to
Corporal Heinz over there.

He'll do some time
in the guardhouse for this.

Time? Time--

Is that all you'll do to him,
lock him in the guardhouse for a bit?

He's in the army!
That's all I can do!

Come on. Get a broom.
Get this up. Hurry up.

Get it up right now.
Hurry up. Go on.

I will obey the orders of
the president of the United States--

I will obey the orders of
the president of the United States--

and the officers appointed over me--

and the orders of the officers
appointed over me--

according to the rules
and articles of war--

according to the rules
and articles of war.

- Your second enlistment?
- No, sir, my third.

This last year I've had a little
tough luck. I've been tending bar--

- You?
- Farm, sir.

- You had previous military experience?
- Yes, sir.

I welcome you men
into the United States Army.

It's an army with a proud record
of devotion to peace, victory in war.

Here at West Point,
you're at its very heart.

You'll be in daily contact
with the cadets of the corps.

Your superiors expect you to conduct
yourselves accordingly. Questions?

Sir, I'd like to ask
a question about breakage.

If a man was to drop,
say, a cannon--

Corporal Heinz!

Right face.

Forward. Column, right.

Captain, darlin', we're going to be in
trouble if the British should suddenly--

Corporal Heinz!

All right, pick up your feet.

- Good evening, Mr. Larson.
- Are we back to mister again?

By the end of the last hop,
we were Nell and Whitey.

This is another evening,
but it's still young.

Good evening, Mr. O'Carberry.

- Where's Peggy?
- Isn't she here yet?

She left hours before the train. Her
father let her take the new automobile.

Eighty miles in one of those things
and driving at night!

She must be out of her mind!

You two go on. I'll wait here.
Go on. You'll miss the first dance.

O'Carberry is it?

There was a man by that name in
Tipperary once sold my father a horse.

My O'Carberrys have been away
from Ireland a long time.

Good thing too.

Yeah, the ones that
stayed are a bad lot.

The horse was a stolen horse.

Good evening.

Stolen from the police barracks,
all praise to him.

Good night, gentlemen

- Good night, Whitey.
- Good night, Nell.

Good night then. I'll write.

- You been here all this time?
- I'm still waiting for Peggy.

If she's half the girl you tell me
she is, you've no cause to worry.

- This is Marty Maher. Whitey Larson.
- How do you do, sir?

If you have any trouble with horses,
drop around and see Marty.

- He's in the infantry.
- Naturally! He knows horses.

You don't think they'd put him
in the cavalry, do you?

Well, come on,Jim.
Five minutes to taps.

- Good night, Marty.
- Good night, sir.

- Good night, Marty.
- Good night.

Peggy, darling, I was so worried about
you. I was afraid you had an accident.

I spent the evening in a blacksmith
shop getting this thing fixed.

Peggy, I love you!

- That cadet's off-limits.
- Cadet, sir?

I see no cadet, sir.
I don't think that you do either.

I never thought
I'd live to see the day.

The time we'll have tonight.

You can walk through that village
in 20 minutes. There's nothing to do.

Me friend Jim O'Carberry...

walkin' punishment.

Corporal Heinz,
permission to speak.

- Take it easy.
- Shoot.

I'm here to tell you to your face
you're a dirty informer!

All right, break it up!

Break it up!

That fellow with the right cross,
he's good.

He's good for ten days
in the guardhouse.

And him gettin' off scot-free.

I'll beat him to a pulp when
I get out of this, the dirty informer.

And you
trying to lie out of it...

telling me
you turned yourself in.

I'm sorry. I did report myself.

I don't believe it.

At the hop, we're on our honor
not to go off-limits.

I went. I had to report it.

You do something wrong
and get away with it...

and nobody the wiser...

and then you have to go and tell them
that you broke the rules?

That's it, only it's breaking
your word that's the honor offense.

Even the commandant
could see how it happened.

Before I knew what I was doing,
Peggy was in my arms...

and I was engaged to be married.

Engaged to be married.

The beauty of it.

It fills my heart with joy,
locked in a dungeon though I may be.

They're letting you out today.

What's the good?

They'll only think up some new
persecution to torment me poor soul.

You're to report
to the Master of the Sword.

Master of the Sword?

Captain Koehler.
He's a swell officer.

Master of the Sword?

All right, get in here.

I'm Captain Koehler,
Master of the Sword.

You're a rotten soldier.
No soldier at all.

Slovenly, undisciplined...

insubordinate, bad tempered...

and full of cute tricks.

While I'm Master of the Sword...

there will be no guardhouse rats
around my cadets.

You like to use your fists, huh?

- Yes, sir.
- Let's see you use them.

You mean I have permission
to hit the captain?

You have permission to try.
Go ahead.

I'm interested in boxing,
not dancing.

I need a man, Marty.
Would you like to work for me?

That I would, Captain, darlin'.

All right, let's get a shower.

Good morning, Marty.
Where's Captain Koehler?

Captain Koehler?

- He's in the boxing room, ma'am.
- Thank you.

- Hello, dear.
- She's a perfect jewel.

Take over the boxing class.

- Marty!
- Sir!

The boxing class.


At ease!


At ease!

Quiet now.

The purpose of your instruction
in boxing is threefold.

A cadet must learn to take punishment
as well as to give it.

We're training you
to be officers...

and preparing you
for positions of authority.

This being the case,
we don't pull our punches.

We'll now have a demonstration
of the value of footwork.

Mr. Lummox.

Mr. Lomax, sir.

Yes, well, Mr. Lomax,
would you get up into the ring, please?

Well, now, I will now give you
the benefit of me experience.

Watch the position of the hands...

and note the footwork.

Well, now, Mr. Lomax...

you now have permission
to try to hit me.

Permission to speak, sir.

Go ahead.
Is that uniform regulation?

It's me issue, sir. Of course,
the tailor took a tuck here and there.

I always say, sir, if a man's a soldier,
he should look like a soldier.


- Sir, that foreign girl?
- The what?

The greenhorn with Mrs. Koehler, the
one with the petticoats and shawleen.

It's Mary O'Donnell.
She's our cook. Good too.

Is she indeed?

Sir, you know the devil himself
finds work for idle hands to do--

You know I'm not a man
to go hanging around saloons.

- What?
- No, sir. I'm sober, industrious.

- Are you all right?
- Yes, sir.

Is there was something I could do
around the house to help Mrs. Koehler?

- I'll ask her. Thank you.
- Not at all. At any time.

- Carpentry. I'm handy with the drains.
- Fine.

Thank you, sir.

This is very homey,
Mary O'Donnell.

You icing the cake
and me cleaning the drains.

Like I was saying,
us kids never learned our ABC's.

We learned our ZYX's.

My father insisted we learn
the alphabet backwards...

like Z, Y, X, W, V, U,
T, S, R, Q, P, O--

I'll wager you can't do that.

My father was a man
of very strong opinions...

as many a bloody-nosed schoolmaster
has learned to his sorrow.

A cut of fresh-baked cake, a cup of
black tea and a pretty girl to talk to.

A girl with a pretty voice too...

supposin' for all I know.

You can turn on the water now.

Did anyone ever tell you you're
a pretty thing, Mary O'Donnell...

with your red hair
and your fine, big feet?

There's no girls in the world
like an Irish colleen.



When first I laid eyes on ya,
I found myself thinking...

there's a girl.

Look. Look how fine
it runs out.

You don't have to worry anymore
about anything slipping down the drain.

I'll be only too happy to come back
at any time and clean it out again.

Turn off the water!
Turn it off!.

Ya blasted idiot!
Who told you to--

Your nice uniform!

I'm sorry, ma'am.
My remarks were not meant for you.

They were meant for that
chowderheaded Mary O'Donnell.

I thought you two were having such
a nice visit talking about Ireland.

Talking, did you say? Talking!

To now I didn't think
she could talk at all!

She's shy. She's been telling me
what a fine workman you are.

Did she now? I wasn't sure
she even noticed I was here.

She told me there are
half a dozen things need fixing.

I was going to have a carpenter in, but
she insists you can do it much better.

Honest now?

Cross my heart.

In spite of the fact that your heart
seems to be on the right side...

I'll stop by
in the morning, ma'am.

Thank you.

Well, now,
this is a happy accident.

I'd no idea I'd find you here.

No idea at all.

Do you come to watch
the review every Saturday?

I said, ''Do you come to watch
the review every Saturday?''

That's my friend Jim O'Carberry.

First captain he is.

I'm like a father to him.

ComeJune week he'll be graduated.

They'll be married in the chapel,
him and his Peggy.

Jim and Whitey Larson have been
after me to stay for the wedding, but...

I'll not be here.

I said, ''I'll not be here.''

Me enlistment's up next week,
Mary O'Donnell, and I'll be leavin'.

There's some things
I'd like to talk over with ya.

After the parade, we could get a boat
and go for a row on the river.

Captain Koehler would be
glad to give me a pass...

seeing as it's the last one
I'll be asking for.

What do you say?

Would you look at that?

Sandwiches, apples and bananas--

peacen of cake.

- Sir! Have I permission to speak?
- Go ahead.

If you got down on your hands and knees,
I wouldn't take a pass from ya.

This is the last review you'll see.
Aren't you going to stay for the finish?

You are leaving next week,
aren't you?

Sir, the way certain matters stand now,
I wouldn't think of leaving.

I'm on my way
right now to reenlist.

October winds

Lament around

The castle of Dromore

But peace is in

Her lofty halls

Though autumn leaves

May droop and die

A bud of spring

Is that you with the terrible
bronchitis, Mary O'Donnell?

You'll sit still and
listen to what I have to say.

You're too empty-headed to see it, but
I've had the afternoon to think it out.

You're the victim
of a devilish plot.

Captain Koehler,
that beady-eyed horse thief--

Him and his friends from Milwaukee
have got it all cooked up.

The end will be yourself in the arms
of that knuckleheaded Corporal Heinz.

I'll not have it.
I'm giving you your last chance.

I'll have just two words
out of you, my girl.

It'll be yes or no.
What do you say to that?

- I say yes--
- None of your beating around--

- What's that you say?
- I said yes.

You said yes?

The first word ever I hear
out of you, and it's yes.

Why didn't you talk to me while I worked
my hands to the bone just to be near ya?

Why would you never even give me
a hint before I reenlisted?

- Captain Koehler told me not to.
- Oh, he did, did he?

He said you were that full of arguments,
that we'd only fight if I talked to ya.

And that'd be the end of that.

Full of arguments.

A sweeter man than me
you'll never find.

When did you ever hear me utter a cross
word, ya addlepated flibbertigibbet?

There you go! And before
you've even as much as kissed me.

Before I've--

There's something
you've got to know.

What with one thing and another
I've not been able to lay by much money.

We'll make out fine.

That we will.

We'll save our money till we can go back
to Tipperary and buy McGinnerty's pub.

Back to the old country?

Where else? With me old father
and me young brother Dinny.

They'll be that proud
of me fine, healthy wife.

Things are cruel hard
in Ireland now.

Things are cruel hard
for the poor everywhere.

But not for them who owns a pub
in a hard-drinking locality.

I'm happy here.
This is a fine, proud place.

Just being here,
just being the littlest part of it...

my heart's lifted up.

I'll tell you what.
I'll help you save the money.

You can bring your father
and your brother out here.

Here? Himself? The old man?
Him that's lived free all his life?

Bring him here to West Point
among the regulations--

It hasn't done you any harm. Captain
Koehler says you're a better man for it.

He's bragging about it?

You know the new married quarters
over by the parade ground?

He's arranged for us
to have one of the houses.

The truth?

You mean, with the electric lights
and the hot and cold and the--

How is it that he's fixing quarters
for us before I even--

Why, that Koehler!
Of all the underhanded, conniving--

He and his wife put you up to this,
and there's the proof.

Is it sorry you are already,
Martin Maher?

It's sorry I'll never be,
Mary O'Donnell.

Good evening to you,
Mary O'Donnell, woman of the house.

I've gone over the account with that
thieving bank, and there's $300 missing.

I've matters of importance
to talk over with you, madam.

Forty-three dollars and twenty-six cents
is all they say we've got.

Butter wouldn't melt
in their mouths.

It was all your idea
putting the money in the bank.

If we'd left it behind
that loose brick--

I drew out the $300 myself.

- Did you now?
- I did.

The money I was putting by
for our passage to Ireland?

I did.

Did you buy some diamonds maybe
or a grand piano?

That money--


Sure 'tis out of my dreams to look upon
the face of my beloved father again.

Since the day I turned my back
on the green hills of Ireland...

and crossed the wide wild sea,
I've prayed for this thing.

And now to see you here
in me own house.

Blessed is the day
that brings you here.

Blessed is the good woman
I married...

with her scrimping and scrubbing
and putting away the money--

Will you have the decency to stop eating
while I'm offering you the welcome?

Go ahead, boy. Go ahead.

Dinny! 'Tis a grown man you are.

Proud I am to have you for a brother
with yourself that grand looking.

Corporal stripes they are.
He's just after being promoted.

Corporal, huh?

I was just thinking meself,
maybe I ought to join up too, huh?

- That with your permission, sir.
- That you will not.

Do you know what this means?

Four years of my life
in the ashcan for each one of these.

It's off to New York in the morning
for you, bucko, to learn a trade.

A good bricklayer,
a bad bricklayer--

Any bricklayer at all
makes more than they pay my boss...

and him a great leader of men...

a grand officer
like Major Koehler, USA.

I had a talk with him today.

You did, did you?

And what did you have to talk about
with that beady-eyed horse thief?

You might as well face up to it.

There's not a cadet in the corps
that can't kick the stuffing out of you.

That blackhearted major tipped them
off to a few of my weak points.

- He's taking you off the boxing.
- What?

He wants you to have more time
for the football and baseball.

- That's my pipe.
- And a fine pipe it is too.

He thinks you'd make
a grand instructor for the swimming.

Instructor for the swimming?

Me that can't swim a kick.

Swim? Why, that blackhearted--

Be quiet.

Shut up.

Do you have the Irish,
woman of the house?

I have.

Then 'tis for you
to say the words.

And may God bless this house
that shelters us...

and may He bless this grand country
that offers us hope.


You be careful, Major.
Be careful, Major, darlin'.

Now repeat your instructions.

In swimming, there are
four things to master:

confidence, timing,
relaxation and breathing.

The breaststroke is the best--

Repeat your instructions!

In swimming, there are
four things to master:

confidence, timing, relax--

Repeat your instructions!

How can I swim in all
this water, Major, darlin'?

Repeat your instructions!

In swimming, there are
four things to master--

Now, then, in swimming,
there are four things to master:

timing, relaxation...

and breathing.

The breaststroke is best for swimming
with a pack and rifle on your back.

We execute the breaststroke
by the numbers.

- You tired, mister?
- No, sir.

All right, then, you're first.

Come back here!

Come up out of there!

Just a minute, mister.
What kind of swimming was that?

- The Australian crawl.
- Was it now? Are you an Australian?

- It's the fastest stroke there is.
- So I've been told.

Shall I get you a pack and a rifle
and see how fast you'll swim with them?

You'll swim the breaststroke here.

I was showing you I don't need
swimming lessons, so I can be excused.

Excused is it?
You'll not be excused.

We'll need you
for the swimming team.

With your permission,
I'll talk to Major Koehler.

You've not my permission.
You'll not be wasting the major's time.

- I'm tellin' ya.
- Sorry, sir.

Go easy.
Sundstrom's had enough trouble.

And asking for more, flaunting
the authority I hold over him.

He's way behind in his studies.

Take it easy.
He plays football.

- How many of you are left?
- Five.

Half of you get in the water.

Keep rubbing it, my boyo.
Keep rubbing it.

Corporal, I told you
I'd talk to Major Koehler.

I'll save you time
and tell you what he'll say.

Sports here are
a part of your training.

If you can make a team,
you'll make it.

You'll swim, Mr. Sundstrom.

With those shoulders you've got,
you'll be out for football in the fall.

If I'm here next fall.

So you've decided
you don't like West Point, huh?

Look, I've wanted to come here
ever since I was that big.

Joined the regular army to get in.
Beat my brains out cramming for exams.

I didn't figure
on the classwork.

I can't keep up,
not even if I work 2 4 hours a day.

But I won't wait to be busted out.
I'll resign, go back to the ranks.

Well, now,
from the ranks, are ya?

Look, now, there's such a thing
as overtraining, you know?

What you need, my boy,
is a change from the books.

My wife serves a stew and hot biscuits
fit for the saints in heaven.

A few ladles of Mary O'Donnell's stew
will do your classwork a power of good.

You'll be welcome for supper
come Saturday night.

And no beans.

All right.

Look. I think it's working.
New fuzz.

Like peaches. That's it. Keep
rubbing it, morning, noon and night.

In no time at all,
you'll have hair like an elephant.


He can't swim!

Well, now, in swimming
there are three things--

I don't understand it, Mr. Sundstrom.
It isn't like Martin to be late.

- Where the devil is Martin?
- I don't know.

Perhaps I could
run down to the saloon--

You will not.

Keep away from me stew!

- If ya ask me--
- I am not asking ya.

Half the onions are missing. The gravy's
so thick a mouse could trot on it.

Oh, me buns.
They'll be destroyed.

Take them out then. I'll not
be kept waiting in me own house.

Come to the table, Mister--

God bless you.

- What's your name?
- Sundstrom, sir.

Oh, well, come on.

Do you smell
Mary O'Donnell's Donegal stew?

- Look who I brought you.
- Kitty, me love!

Just happened to meet her
on my way home.

She kept me waiting with her
primping and powdering.

Miss Katherine Carter.
We call her Kitty.

May I have the honor
to present Mr. Sundstrom.

What's your front name, Red?

James on the roster, but
it's been Red ever since I can remember.

Well, good evening, Red.

Come on, the two of ya.
Sit down there. Come on, dear.

- All right, sir.
- There you are.

- Sit right down.
- Thank you.

Come on!
Do we eat, or don't we eat?

You're coming out to help me.
Come on out to the kitchen.

I made the mistake of
telling her once I was a waiter.

Never dropped a dish.

Me idiot son.

Oh, dear.

It's working.

Go on. Down with ya.

You wouldn't believe it,
but Kitty's a college graduate.

She's teaching the youngsters
at the post school.

She's that bright.

When I was a lad, a girl that cluttered
up her head with education...

was sure to turn out flat-chested
and with a squint.


What was that thing you were going to
stay in your room and study tonight?

Orthographic projection.

Whatever it is. What will you bet
Kitty's got it all at her fingertips?

The worst thing about higher math
is getting over the panic.

It's not so hard once
you get confidence and relax.

How about cylindrical coordinates or
conic sections or parametric equations?

They're not too difficult.

Sure, it's like swimming,
for instance.

It's a matter of
confidence, timing...

relaxation and breathing.

- Indeed now.
- If I can help you, Red--

Thanks, but I don't see
how you could.

You and Kitty can both
work here in the house.

Did you know I can spell

You can start tomorrow. It's Sunday,
and you've the day to yourself.

- I'm free tomorrow, if you are, Red.
- Well--

Of course he's free. Get your books
and meet her in the morning.

I'm not a case you're going
to cure in one treatment.

I'm down in all of my subjects.
Once we start, it'll--

And once we start, we'll have
to keep right on. I'm not afraid.

You're sure you don't mind?

Of course she doesn't mind.
She's only too happy to do it.

- Isn't that right?
- Right.

That's settled. It'll be a grave
disappointment to me, me girl...

if this young fellow isn't up in his
marks and playing football next fall.

Save me a piece of the cake.
Me young friend's about due.

Where do you
go off to every evening?

I go walking with this young friend
of mine. A nice young fellow he is.

Happy for a word of advice
from me long experience.

- Who is it?
- I don't know.

- Would you excuse us, please, a minute?
- Certainly.

It's a woman!

Great Gogarty.
It's the superintendent.

Thanks be to Gogarty.
It's not a woman.

I'll never forget
that rainy day in 1 9 1 3...

when for the first time we played
the little school from the far west.

- Good day to you, General.
- Good day. Sit right here.

Thank you, sir.

Looks like a bad day for the Irish.

- Are you a betting man, General?
- I might make a little wager with you.

- A dollar.
- A dollar.

Notre Dame. It's the name of
a French church, not a football team.

- Did you get a bet down?
- I finally managed.

- Twenty-five dollars. Even money.
- Even money?

What did you do, find a lunatic?

My father.


Army, time out.

Play ball.

- Touchdown.
- Does that hurt?

It's Chuck.

Get in there, mister.

- You all right?
- Put him down there.

Doctor. Get in there, Buck.
That left hand is weak.

There goes my chance
for all-American this year.

In the second half, the sun come out,
and with it went my fortune.

- Time!
- Dorais for O'Rourke.

- Rockne for Glennon.
- Play ball.

Something happened
never before seen in football.

Did you see that, sir? It's illegal.
It's a foul. It's baseball.

It's legal, all right.

Is there something wrong?

A forward pass?

Red, get in there
and break it up.


The fightin' Irish.

Robbers! Thieves! Football? You dirty
scoundrely bunch of north of Ireland--

- Good evening, Father.
- Good evening, my son.

Let this be
a lesson to you, my boy.

Betting against Holy Mother,
the church.

At ease, men.

Well, gentlemen, we came up against
a new kind of football today.

I'll say only this...

that I'd rather have you learn
a lesson than win a ball game.

When you become officers
and you're in combat...

the only thing that
you can expect is the unexpected.

Learn to deal with it.

If this game today
taught you that lesson...

then I don't care
what the final score was.

That's all, boys.
Get your showers.

Half the sportswriters in New York
were in those stands today.

I don't want to read
tomorrow's papers.

How is it with your studies?

Don't worry. I can squeak through
the rest of the season.

And after this season?

After Mr. Walter Camp has maybe
picked you for an all-American?

Then what?

Major Koehler said to me
the other day-- ''Marty,'' he says--

''That Chuck Dotson's
more than a good athlete.

He's a good man.
He'll make a fine officer.''

- Did I hurt you?
- What you did, or what you said?


That Colonel What's-his-name-- the one
that teaches military engineering--

He tells me you'll not
get by your midyears.

I hear you're as far down
in your other work.

You seem to talk a lot about me.

What a man's got on his mind,
he can't keep out of his mouth.

Did you come to West Point to be
a football player or an officer?

It'd be fine if you could manage both,
but it's plain you can't.

You've worked me over
enough Marty.

I've made a bit of money betting on Army
with you running touchdowns.

It'll not be the same
without you.

Without me?

Major Koehler will think
none the worse of ya.

All you'll have to do is say to him,
''Major, I've been thinking it over.

If I keep on with the football,
I'll be busted out.

So I've decided to quit the team...

and get on with
what's more important.''

You'd better get dressed.
It's getting late.

- Chuck, how's that ankle?
- It'll hold up fine, sir.

Considering he won't be
straining it from now on.

Major, why do they have
to be so hard with the studies?

This is West Point.

Yes, sir.

That's what Chuck was sayin'.

That's why he's
quitting the team.

- Sir, I--
- I know, Chuck.

Go on. Get your shower.
We'll have a cup of coffee.

Come have a look!

How are you?

- It's not all yours?
- Indeed, it is.

I was out seeing what it would do
on the road and landed up here.

- It's gorgeous.
- Have a run around with us.

Himself's waiting for his tea.

- Is there enough for me?
- We always have plenty.

There's no telling when Martin
will bring home a platoon of cadets.


Look who's here and wait till you see
his new motorcar. I'll get the tea.

I was out for a spin in me new car,
so I thought I'd come by--

- I saw it!
- It's a fine car-- power of 3 5 horses.

True. It cost me
a great deal of money.

- Your head cold?
- No, sir.

Stuck it under the bed.

Is it your habit to go around
looking like a rum seller?

A rum-- I'm a businessman now.
My firm is doing general contracting--

Contracting what?
Get out of me way.

- The tea's ready.
- And about time.

He's doing wonderful, Dinny is.

That's true.
My firm is expanding--

Who gave you
permission to sit down?

I'm sorry, sir.
But it is true.

There's a place there for Marty too.
It's the chance of a lifetime.

- Sit down.
- Yes, sir.

I've been too long in the army.
What have I got to show for the years?

There's things a man
wants his wife to have.

There's things
I want my wife to have.

Even this furniture
is government issue.

Did you ever hear me
complain, Martin?

We know that, but, look, Mary.

Marty here can make three to four times
his sergeant's pay the first year.

If we stay here, there's nothing
to look forward to. Year after year--

There's no end to the money
a man can make.

Will you step
into the other room, girl?

So you've nothing
to look forward to, huh?

I'll tell you what
you've got to look forward to.

Sometime next spring your wife
is going to bear you a child.

A child?

A child.

And why is it for you to tell me?
Has she no tongue in her head?

God bless you.

A child!

Are you sure?
In the spring, do you say?

- Will it be a boy or girl?
- How the devil would I know?

- Get on with ya. Come on.
- Yes, sir.

Ever since I first set eyes
on West Point--

ever since I first saw
the young men of the corps--

Sure you told me I was a silly woman
for talking about it, but...

if our son should be born here...

where you've worked so hard--

After the time we've waited,
after what the doctor told you...

it's enough for me that
we're having a child at all.

I'm praying it will be a boy.

Who's to say one of these days...

his name might be
in the yearbook too?

I'll pray with you.

You're a wonderful woman,
Mary O'Donnell.

Go on with ya.

Stop it, Red.
You're not the expectant father.

Will you sit down?

Mr. Sundstrom, will you
take charge of Marty, please?

- Sit on his head, if you have to.
- Me, the father of it all.

Come on. Confidence, timing,
relaxation and breathing. Nothing to it.

This is no time for being funny.

- You all right?
- Fine.

I'm the grandfather of a boy
born about two minutes ago...

6 pounds, 1 1 ounces--

Trust you to be
the first to find out.

They make me stay here
while you--

A boy!

- I'll just be--
- I gave her a sedative.

She had a hard time, but she's
all right and the baby's fine.

You'll see them in the morning.

A boy.

You're the father of a son.
It's a great day.

Sure I'm on me way to becoming an
ancestor. It's been a strain on me.

Red and I have
to meet some people.

Bye-bye, Papa.

Good night.

Well, then...

we'll be needing our rest...

after the great thing
we've done this day.

Have you thought
of a name for the boy?

You've all the saints
to choose from.

Well, I had it in mind
we'd name him after you.

With your permission, sir.

You have my permission, son.

Martin Maher, the Third.

You'd better get yourself
a little rest.

I think I'll sit up a while, Da.

I think I'll go upstairs
and say me beads.

God bless you, my boy.

Good night, Da.

Come fill your glasses, fellows

And stand up in a row

To singing sentimentally

We're going for to go

In the army there's sobriety

Promotions, very slow

So we'll sing our reminiscences

Of Marty Maher, oh

The father of a proud cadet

Is Marty Maher, oh

We all got together and picked out
a present for Martin Maher,Junior.

The Third.

Correction, Martin Maher, the Third,
the class of--

- '36.
- The class of 1 936.

Since he's detained
elsewhere this evening...

we hope you'll accept
this cadet saber for him.

May he wear it with pride
and with credit...

to his parents and to the corps.


Well, now--

- Congratulations.
- That's great.

Martin Maher, the First!

Wouldn't you have felt silly
if it had been a girl?

I gave 'em me solemn promise
it'd be a boy.

You'll find boodle in the kitchen,
and there's ice cream in the box.

Of men we can offer
a charming variety

Far renowned for learning and piety

Still I'll advance you
without impropriety

Father O'Flynn
is the flower of them all

Here's a health to you
Father O'Flynn

Slainte and slainte
and slainte again

Proudest of creatures
and tenderest teacher

And kindliest creature
in old Donegal

- Now a jig.
- Come on!

The police.

It's the doctor. I was just
saying to myself a minute ago...

what would the celebration be
without the doctor?

- You'll come in and join us, sir?
- No, not right now.

Can I see you a minute?

Let's go, fellows.

Come, I venture
to give you me word

Never the likes
of his logic was heard

Down from thayology
into mythology

Mother of God.

The poor little tiny thing.

But you said he was all right.

How could he die so quick?

A baby,just a few hours old--

I've got to get
over to the hospital.

We're not going to tell her tonight.

She'll sleep through till morning.

I'm sorry, Marty.

Hey, you're off-limits!

Come on.
Let's get out of this.

Let's go.

Leave me be.

Let me alone.

You're off-limits,
all of you.

And we're gonna stay off-limits
until you come back with us.

Come on.

I'll take the flowers
and put them in water for you.

- Ten minutes.
- Thank you, sir.

Forgive me, Martin.

Forgive you? For what?

The doctor says...

that I can never have another.

Try to find it in your heart
to accept the will of God.

Would you be moving my bed
up to the window?

So that I can look out.

It was a cruel, hard thing.

But we're so much better off
than most.

We have so many fine boys here...

and it's almost as if--

Or would they only
be putting in mind...

of the son we had
for such little while?

Is that the way it is with you,
Martin Maher?

So that you wish you could go
away from here...

and never have to look at them again?

This is no time to talk about it.

Me just starting a new enlistment.

What I wish or what I don't wish.

That was the spring the Lusitania
was sunk...

and all of a sudden a lot of people
wanted to know...

how good the training
was at West Point...

what kind of officers
we were turning out.

They came and took a sharp look
at the class of 1 9 1 5.

Charles Edward Dotson.

Chuck Dotson.

Never did make all-American...

but he was well up in his class
for graduation.

Timothy Aloysius Shannon.

Mike Shannon.

A fine river he was named after.

Vicente P. Lim.

Vicente P. Lim. First cadet
from the Philippine Islands.

Omar Nelson Bradley.

- Congratulations.
- Thank you.

George Edward Stratemeyer.


James Alward VanFleet.


Joseph Taggart McNearny.


Dwight David Eisenhower.


1 9 1 5.

Ah, that was the class
the stars fell on.

The long gray line marched on.

The class of 1 9 1 7 didn't wait
forJune week.

The country was at war,
and they were needed in a hurry.

Two days!

That's no honeymoon
at all.

We'll have our honeymoon
when the war is over.

Excuse me Mrs. Sundstrom.
Excuse me, ma'am.

May I have my first salute
from you?

Second Lieutenant Overton. Sir.

- Bye, Marty.
- Bye.

Bye. Let's get rolling, Red.

Cherub wants to be the first
second lieutenant into Berlin.

I'll be back by Wednesday, dear.

May I have a salute too?

So long.

Good luck.

Come on, Red.

Will you stop your blabbering
at all the boys?

Will you shut your mouth?

All aboard! Next stop, Berlin.



There you are. I found you at last.

I've been all over the post.

Whatever happened to my application
for transfer, Colonel, sir?

I've been meaning to talk to you
about this.

Instead of my disapproving it,
why don't you just tear it up?

Does the colonel think I'm not soldier
enough for the fighting?

You're needed here.

One of us has got to stay.
Lieutenant, my orders, please.

Yes, sir.

That does it, sir.

Thank you.

Orders. I am to set up the training
program in all the new camps.

I can't even wait for my replacement.

You mean there's to be
a new Master of the Sword?

That's right.

And he'll need you to keep things
running for him...

while you break him in.

Your place is here.

I know I can trust you
with our cadets.

It was on my conscience, sir...

watching the young ones go off...

and me, a soldier trained.

Nobody'll ever question the courage
of the Mahers.

Come here.

- Age: 42.
- And a bit more.

Height: six feet four and a half.

- That's correct.
- Weight: 200 pounds.

That's true.

Da. Come along, Da.

Colonel Koehler wants you to stay here
and help me.

Well, Tommy, you know where to find me
when you want me.

Sorry, Mr. Maher.

God bless you, young gentlemen.

God bless you, every one.


It's a shooting war.


I saw it.

Such a nice little fellow.

Too small to make
the football squad...

so he carried the water bucket.

Rudy Heinz too.
Sergeant Major Heinz.

- Kitty, darling!
- Mary, dear.

Will you look who's here!

Oh, you look fine!
Do you have any news from Red?

- It's good to be home.
- Take Kitty's bag up to the spare room.

Would you put a cushion
behind Kitty's back?

- I'm just fine.
- Go on now.

Tell me about New York.
Did you have a nice place to stay?

Would you set the table
for tea, please?

An apartment. I want you to come
and see it one of these days.

- There's a terrible draft on Kitty.
- I like fresh air.

The shawleen. Put it around her knees
and make her comfortable.

- Really, I'm very fine.
- I'd like to ask just one question.

- What do you hear from Red?
- Will you put the water on for tea?

I only have two hands, woman.
What would you like me to do first?

Get rid of that stinking pipe.
You ought to know better.

- I love the smell of his pipe.
- About Red.

Tell me. What do you hear from him?

I had a letter a week ago. He and Cherub
Overton spent a weekend in Paris.

Can you imagine Cherub in Paris?

That baby.

Tell me, did you walk all the way
from the station?

- Should you be doing that now?
- Of course!

Walking is good for me,
quoth the doctors.

Doctors! New York. Is that a place
to be raising a baby?

I'm not looking that far ahead.

Who knows where Red will be ordered
when the war is over?

He was in Honolulu
while he was an enlisted man...

and he's hoping we'll be sent there.

Just think of it.
The sun and all those palm trees.

Now, tell me, where's himself,
Old Martin?

Oh, he's working overtime, he is!

- Working?
- Yes. A new batch of horses came in.

With Major Gillis away, it's up to him
to see that nobody cheats the academy.

Don't forget to get the cookies
out of the icebox.

I bet Old Martin was never happier.

You know himself does the work
of two young men.

You'd think if he stopped for a minute
the kaiser would have us surrounded.

Well, I'm glad I'm not the kaiser
about now.

I've had that Blackjack Pershing
after me...

and it's a very uncomfortable feeling.

Don't forget the cakes and the cookies,
and put on the tea.

Tea, cakes, cookies.

And me boys over there, fighting.

What are you doing
with me convenience?

Mary, the armistice has been signed!

The war's over!

Thanks be to God.
Take it away.

You can burn the whole house.
Get it on with you.

Oh!Just a minute.

What the devil you doing down there?

Take it away.

Oh, Mother of God.

The finest young men in the world.

We bring them here...

train them, teach them.

Duty, honor, country.

Then send them out to be killed.

I'll have no more to do with it.

Kitty and the baby.
We must go to them.

Can you get a pass, Martin?

I've got furlough time coming up.

After that, my enlistment
will be over.

We'll go see Kitty,
and we won't come back.

That's enough of your wild talk.

I never talked saner
in my life, sir.

Dinny'll have a job for me.

I'll call him to come up and get us
in the morning.

We'll find a little place
in the city for the three of us.

I'll not go with you.

I slept me first night in America
on this post...

and I'll sleep me last night here.

And if they've got a bit of ground
in the cemetery...

I'll rest happy
sleeping at West Point forever.

I ask for your blessing, Dadyo.

You'll always have that, my boy.


Ah, sure, he's grown so big.

God bless you.

He's got a grip on him too.

Why, he's the spitting image--

Payment in full for Red's life.

This came special delivery
from Senator Hale.

Everyone's been so kind.

It was in all the papers.

I got letters from people
I don't even know. Flowers, even.

Do you know what this is?

It's an appointment to the academy...

for ''the son
of Captain James N. Sundstrom...

effective at such time
as he may be ready...

to follow
in his father's glorious footsteps.''

He must be a kind
and understanding man that--

What right has he to decide
my son's life for him?

They took his father.
That's enough.

They didn't take his father.

Red worked hard to get to the Point,
and harder to stay there.

He became what he always wanted to be,
a professional soldier.

And professional soldiers are trained
to die. Is that it?

No, they're trained to do a job.

Some die young and some don't...

but they all give their lives
for their country.

They're ready when they're needed.

They set the example--
and their wives.

Yes, their wives must set
the example too.

I wanted little Martin
to go to the Point.

There was no time, Mary.

Not even in letters.

If I only would have known
what Red would want--

Ah, sure, you don't have to make up
your mind now, love.

Not today or tomorrow
or even next year.

No. Look. I'll tell you what.

Mary and me will stay over the night
in New York...

and tomorrow morning you come back
to the Point with us.

You pay us a nice, long visit.
You and the little fella, huh?

You'll have to call Dinny.

Of course. He'll drive us up.

And I'll have to ring up
that blackhearted--

Major Whitney,
filling in as Master of the Sword...

and see what inducement he'll offer me
to reenlist.

With the oath I will now administer...

you will become members of the
United States Corps of Cadets.

Raise your right hand.

Repeat after me.


- Say your name.
-James N. Sundstrom,Junior.

Do solemnly swear that I will support
the Constitution of the United States...

and bear true allegiance
to the national government.

That I will maintain and defend
the sovereignty of the United States.

And that I will at all times--

obey the legal orders
of my superior officers--

and the rules and articles governing
the armies of the United States.

Say, ''I do.''

Ah, Red, me boyo.

Mr. Dumbjohn. Halt.

- Sloppy posture.
- How is the cow, Mr. Dumbjohn?

Sir, she walks, she talks,
she's full of chalk.

The lacteal fluid extracted
from the female--

Let's have the definition of''leather,''

If the fresh skin of an animal, cleaned
and divested of all hair, fat...

and other extraneous material
be immersed--

Mr. Dumbjohn, forward, march.


You're wasting your time
with that plebe.

I taught him all the tricks meself.

Just like I taught you, Mr. O'Carberry,
and your father before you...

and his father before him.

And you too, Mr. Shannon...

and your father and his grandpappy--
God rest his soul.

- So long.
- Bye-bye. See you later.

Four proud and happy years,
those were...

watching young Red grow
from a plebe...

into a first class man
to make your heart beat high.

Why did you have to go
and sit down again?

Take your pants off, love,
and I'll press them for you again.

Trousers, and I haven't got time.
I'm in charge of the hop committee.

Will you please hold still!

Good night, Mom.
Good night, Mary. Good night, Marty.

Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death...

I will fear no evil...

for Thou art with me.

Thy rod and Thy staff,
they comfort me.

I have been asked to make
an announcement.

At dawn today...

Japanese aircraft
attacked Pearl Harbor.

While there's been no official word...

it is assumed the United States...

is now at war with Japan.

Our fathers'God

To Thee


Of liberty

To thee

We sing

Long may our land

Be bright

With freedom's

Holy light

Protect us

By Thy might

Great God

Our king


I've gotta talk to you.

Get on with it, boyo.

It can't be as bad as all that.

On my Thanksgiving leave...

Carol and I were married.

I must have been crazy.
The whole thing was crazy.

Listen, we were only married
four days.

Then her parents had it annulled.
I'm not married now.

You broke your oath.

But an annulment. The law says
the marriage never existed.

It makes no difference.

You've the honor code to face up to.

How could you take your fine career
and throw it in the gutter?

You, of all the cadets
that ever lived.

Maybe because it was all
handed to me.

I didn't come to West Point
like the rest of them.

They dream about it when they're kids...

and they work and sweat out
the appointment.

Like your own father did.

If they haven't got what it takes,
they're washed out.

The ones that get through
know what the Point means.

I guess I didn't.

Until now, huh?

This is my last year.

With the war, they're sure to speed up
graduation. Once we're in combat---

It's between you and your conscience.

You'll have to decide
what's the best to do.

Better be getting back.

You'll be late
for your formation.

Yes, love. You're coming right over?

Martin and I'll be waiting for you.
Fine. Bye.

What is it?
What's the matter?

It's Kitty. She's coming right over.

She sounds like she's worried, maybe.

You've not been telling her
about Red?

I have not, indeed.

But you've had me half distracted
this whole week...

with the worry that you'd go
blathering it out yourself.

It's over and done with, Martin Maher.

The marriage has been annulled...

and there's no need for anybody
to be knowing anything about it!

Do you hear me?
It's over and done with.

I know about it...

and my heart's like a lump of lead.

I can't even look the other cadets
in the eye.

I'll not stay here...

and see him walk up
and take his commission.

Him that's dishonored himself.

I'll not do it, do you hear?

I'll not have it
on my conscience.

I'll put in for retirement...

and I'll tell Red why.

That boy has been like me own son.

Everything that I wanted my son
to be.

And if you do him any harm, if you harm
one hair on his head, I'll--

I'll never forgive you.

- Hello.
- Mother of God.

It took me quite a while to decide.

Then I had a long talk with Mother
and a short talk with the commandant...

and a few words
with the recruiting sergeant.

I'm very proud of him.

- You're proud of him.
- I'm a prize recruit.

A letter goes with me that says
I don't need basic training.

I'm ready to ship out.

Yes, well, this calls for a celebration.
A cup of tea or--

If I miss my train, I'll be AWOL.

Wait. I'll put on me clothes.
I'll go to the station.

There's no time.

But subsist, man!

Good-bye, Mary.

Wait a minute.

The recruiting sergeant gave me a tip.

He said the main thing in the army
is not to start off in trouble.

Yes. It was on the tip of me tongue...

to give him the same advice
myself-- I remember--


- Good afternoon.
- VI Ps.

VI Ps, is it?

Sir, the brigade is formed.

Thank you, gentlemen.
The review is about to begin.

But first I'd like you to see
this plaque to Colonel Koehler.

- The first Master of the Sword.
- A what?

Master of the Sword.

Established a fine tradition here.

And there is Sergeant Marty Maher...

who has done a great deal
to carry it on.

- Hello.
- Good afternoon, sir.

Now, gentlemen, I think the review
is about to begin.

You work here, Pops?

- Aye, I do, sir.
- Did it ever occur to you...

as an American citizen with a vote...

that a place can be so overgrown
with tradition...

that it loses touch with reality?

- How was that again, sir?
- I'm talking about tradition.

Why those same silly uniforms
have been worn for over a hundred years.

It's time for more realism here
and less tradition.

Why, man, we're at war!

Our boys are dying in battle.

Pardon me, sir, but how old are you?

Why, 42. I'm the youngest governor
in the United States.

- You don't say so, sir.
- I do.


Who do you think is leading our men
in battle?

I mean leading them?

Standing out there under fire,
saying, ''Follow me.''

Where else would the West Pointers be,
when there's dying to be done?

And who's making the plans,
directing the war?

Eisenhower, let us say.

Douglas MacArthur,Joe Stilwell...

Omar Bradley and Georgie Patton.

Do you think generals like that
just happen?

They do not. They're made.

They're made, Mr. Alderman
or Tax Collector.

- They're made right here at West Point.
- What's your name?

Martin Maher, sir.

And you'll find the name in the book.

There's no use glaring at me like that,
Colonel, darling.

You'd have said the same thing

Mary O'Donnell.

What are you doing out of bed?

What are you doing all dressed?

I'm going to the parade.

Are you out of your head

That walk and the climb back up
the hill after.

- The doctors--
- Doctors!

I want to go.

It'd be half over
before we got there.

You'd not enjoy it.

The place is crawling
with governors and aldermen...

and dogcatchers and--

All right.

Tell me now. What is it
that you've been up to?


Nothing that I'm ashamed of.

That youngest governor,

Sneering at the academy, he was.

And nobody but me to tell him
what he's too blind in his eyes to see.

So I told him.

I remind you what himself
used to say, Old Martin.

There's a time and a place
for assault and battery.

Well, I'll not take back a word.

Let him go and report me
to the superintendent.

And he will too. As fast as his hands
and knees will carry him.

There. That's right.

Take off the hat, now.

What is it, Mary, darling?

Help me out to the porch.

But shouldn't you go back
to bed?

Help me, Martin Maher.

Come along now.

Let me put this here.

Now sit down.

Lean back, comfortable like.

I'll go get your medicine
and the shawleen.

I'll be right back.

Hey, merry Christmas!

- Well, come in. Pirelli, Kennedy.
- Hope you don't mind our barging in.

That's quite all right.
I wasn't expecting visitors.

It's a business call.
We're the press.

A special football number
of''The Pointer.''

A review of last season,
prospects for next year.

Fine. You'll have to pardon the poor
house. It isn't as spick-and-span--

- What's burning?
- The eggs!

- Oh, my gosh.
- Wait, boys. I can do that very well.

- Sit down. We'll handle the K.P.
- I don't need any help.

You're gonna pick us
an all-time army football team.

- Right.
- You mean from the beginning till now?

- That'll start a Donnybrook.
- The front-page box.

''Marty Maher's All-time Team.''

Well, it's a fine way to make 1 1 friends
and 1 0,000 enemies.

Keep out of that, Mr. Pirelli.
I can do that very well.

I grew up doing this
in my old man's delicatessen.

- Where's the bread?
- Right over here.

Thank you. If he were only here
to argue with, Colonel Koehler would--

Who's he?

Colonel Koehler!

- Merry Christmas!
- In the kitchen. And wipe your feet.

For quarterback, now.
Charley Daly's my man.

- D-A-L-Y.
- Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Dotson.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Stern.

- What is all this?
- Present for you from Dad in Belgium.

For me?

It's a Dotson family custom to give
presents Christmas Eve.

Well, now.

This wouldn't be one of those
booby traps, would it?

Let's see.

Look at that.

- Boy, it's a beauty.
- Sure is.

Think of him taking time to send me
a present from Belgium...

and him with a division to command.

Well, now, where was I
with me selections?

Charley Daly. Me all-time quarterback.

Forty years, and never a man
touched him since.

How about my old man?

That's just what I mean.
I'm treed like a toad.

Your father, Chuck Dotson, would have
made all-American but for me.

But then, who'd be commanding
that division?

Halfbacks, now.

Paul Bunker, and I'll have
no arguments...

and Elmer Olliphant.

Take it down. O-L-L again-I-P-H-A-N-T.

Come in, whoever you are.

And wipe your--
Hey, Pete.

And Red Cagle. We can't leave him out.

- You got visitors.
- Big brass.

Big brass, you say?

Who could that be?
The superintendent?

Who could it be?
Georgie Patton?

Casey Widemyer, perhaps.

Merry Christmas.

We've come home.

What can I say, and the tears
in my throat?

You look fine, buckalo.

- Take your coat, Sergeant?
- Mrs. Sundstrom?

Thank you.

There's my bag.

Thank you, son.

Tell me-- Are you home for long, boy?

It's just a convalescent leave.

As soon as my leg's fixed up
I ship out again.

The Pacific, maybe.

Professional soldier.

I've been saving these.

I wanted you to pin them on me.

Captain's bars?


Battlefield commission.

- Well, I--
- Sit down in your favorite chair.

- No, I don't--
- Oh, sit down. Red'll sit down too.

- Lean back. You comfy now?
- Fine, thank you.


- Come on. Hurry. Oops!
- I don't want the pillow.

Martin Maher, when was the last time
you ate?

- Well, I had a little--
- You.

- Pirelli, ma'am.
- Hit that chow line. You, K.P.

- Holy Moses.
- On the double, quick. Everyone.

Oops. Come on.

- No, Kitty, I don't want the shawl.
- Yes, you will do it.

- Come on in with the tree now.
- Merry Christmas.

Put it right there.

- Wait a minute. I don't want a tree!
- I wanted it.

I haven't had one in a long time.

The ornaments are underneath
the cellar stairs...

in a box called Bushmill's
Irish Whiskey.

- Bring it up, will you?
- Coming through.

Get that food now, 'cause he needs it
real badly.

Oops, be careful of the coffee.

Come on! Will you bring
those ornaments, please! Hurry up.

- Marty, now put the bars down.
- Here are the ornaments.

- Let's go.
- Here we are.

Jingle bells,jingle bells

Jingle all the way

Oh, what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh

- Jingle bells,jingle bells
- Wait a minute!

Come, fill your glasses, fellows

And stand up in a row

To singing sentimentally

We're going for to go

In the army there's sobriety

Promotions, very slow

We'll sing a merry Christmas

To Marty Maher, oh

Oh, Marty Maher, oh

We'll sing a merry Christmas

To Marty Maher, oh

So, you see, sir...

it's been my whole life.

Everything that I treasure
in my heart...

living or dead...

is at West Point.

I wouldn't know where else to go.

I have West Point on the phone
for you, sir.

You talk to them, Chuck.
Find out what the snafu is up there.

- Yes, sir.
- I--

I've taken up a great deal
of your time, sir.

I hope I'll always have time
for old friends.

- Thank you, sir.
- Come and see me again.

Okay, Buck. Fast as we can.
See you.

Here. I almost forgot.

Tell him to rub this in well,
morning, noon and night.

- Did you have permission to leave?
- No, sir.

- Even sign out?
- Well, I was that excited--

What are you, a recruit?
You're AWOL!

I'll have to fly you back to save
that fool neck. Let's go.

It's that blackhearted
Master of the Sword.

- Director of Physical Education.
- Airfield.

Wait a minute--

You should know enough by this time
not to absent yourself without leave.

- Sir, I don't understand--
- Come with me.

Listen, sir.

The tune they're playing.

- It's the tune--
- This is for you, Marty.

The cadets asked for it.

You're at attention.

For me, sir.

It's been a great day for Marty.

It's been a great life for Marty.

If only Old Martin and Mary
were here.

They are here...

and the others.