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Tunes of Glory 1960 NR CC

(67) IMDb 7.7/10

In Ronald Neame's Tunes of Glory, the incomparable Alec Guinness inhabits the role of Jock Sinclair--a whiskey-drinking, up-by-the-bootstraps commanding officer of a peacetime Scottish battalion. Sinclair is a lifetime military man, who expects respect and loyalty from his men. But when Basil Barrow--an educated, by-the-book scion of a traditionally military family--enters the scene as Sinclair's replacement, the two men become locked in a fierce battle for control of the battalion and the hearts and minds of its men.

Alec Guinness, John Mills
1 hour, 48 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Ronald Neame
Starring Alec Guinness, John Mills
Supporting actors Dennis Price, Kay Walsh, John Fraser, Susannah York, Gordon Jackson, Duncan Macrae, Percy Herbert, Allan Cuthbertson, Paul Whitsun-Jones, Gerald Harper, Richard Leech, Peter McEnery, Keith Faulkner, Angus Lennie, John Harvey, Bryan Hulme, Andrew Keir, Eric Woodburn
Studio The Criterion Collection
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on July 27, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
A clash of wills and personalities between two men, one a psychologically scarred idealist, the other driven by ego and his own needs to the point of cruelty, is examined in the peacetime military drama, “Tunes of Glory,” directed by Ronald Neame and starring Alec Guinness and John Mills. Major Jock Sinclair (Guinness) is the acting Colonel of a Scottish regiment, but as the story begins he has been notified that he has been passed over for promotion and his replacement, Lieutenant Colonel Basil Barrow (Mills) is en route to take command. Sinclair is a soldier’s soldier, a man’s man loved and respected (with some qualifications) by his men. He has clawed his way up through the ranks, was once a piper (he would’ve been happy as a Pipe Major, in fact, but Hitler-- as he says at one point-- “Changed all that”), and feels strongly that he should have been made Colonel of the regiment. Barrow, on the other hand, is an aristocrat and a third generation officer of this particular regiment. He suffers, however, from his experience in a prisoner-of-war camp, and has never fully recovered, the impact of which is succinctly expressed when he tells his Captain that he never really came back. From the beginning, it’s an almost impossible situation, and from the moment Barrows arrives the atmosphere is thick with tension as he and Sinclair square off in a contest from which it is readily evident that neither will emerge unscathed in one way or another .Read more ›
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great movie. The time: immediately following the Second World War. The place: Scotland, specifically the Scotts Highland Regiment. The Regiment has returned from hard combat in North Africa and Europe, and once again is esconced in its barracks in the Scottish Highlands--the place in which it has been headquartered for over three hundred years. The Acting Commanding Officer is Col. Jock Sinclair (Alec Guiness), a rough, uneducated man from the lower classes who worked his way up to Colonel from the ranks. Sinclair got his promotion in the desert, fighting Rommel, and one senses that these experiences have created strong bonds of friendship between Sinclair and certain other officers in the battalion. Now higher headquarters has assigned a new Commanding Officer to the battalion--Col. Basil Barrow, a university-educated man from the upper classes who comes from a long line of officers who served with, and indeed commanded, the battalion. But Barrow, for all that, is viewed as an outsider and newcomer--while the other officers forged friendships in the war, fighting the Germans, Barrow was in the Pacific theater. Sinclair is relegated to second-in-command. Sinclair is deeply resentful of Barrow, and immediately gets off on the wrong foot with his new commander, unintentionally belittling Barrow's war service, most of which involved the horrors of being a POW tortured by the Japanese. In fact, Colonel Barrow is deeply scarred by his wartime experience, and has lost perspective in dealing with his officers. He is a martinet, and appears to forget that leadership involves earning the respect of one's subordinates--it is not simply bestowed from on-high. Although both men love the Regiment above all else, this film is about an implacable conflict between Sinclair and Barrow.Read more ›
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Tunes of Glory" is everything you might want from this type of movie. Full of rough-hewn Scots drinking life with the same enthusiasm as they drink their whisky, "Tunes of Glory" plays wistfully with the Scottish stereotypes of good natured, dancing and singing soldiers of a highland regiment. There are tunes a'plenty, and twirling kilts and bagpipes as well. A story of post-war peacetime soldiers, one cannot call it a war movie or but it is military in flavor,with pipes and drum corp assembled.

In addition to the Scottish pageantry is a surprisingly deep storyline and some of Sir Alec Guinness's and Sir John Mills's best acting, which is saying a lot about those two giants of film. Both play against type, with Guinness's surprising turn as red-haired Jock Sinclair, the course and gutter-born Major who seeks to be Battalion Commander, and Mill's emotionally unstable yet straight-laced Battalion Commander Basil Barrow, the very opposite of the spirited garrison who struggles to keep control. Both characters are likeable, yet deeply flawed, and it is a question as to which will overcome their defects and rise.

The looseness and fun-loving background of the regiment is a fine background for the tense struggle of Sinclair and Barrow. Supporting characters, such as the slippery Charlie Scott, and Sinclair's daughter Morag and her beau the handsome piper Ian Fraser, provide counter balance and some much-needed affection in this heroless film.

The Criterion Collection DVD is of course excellent, with a few insightful interviews with Sir Alec Guinness, Sir John Mills and director Ronald Neame. There is also a nice essay by Robert Murphy, which adds to the appreciation of the film.
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