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Tunes of Glory

In his 1986 interview for BBC Televison, Guinness says that this was one of his favorite parts
-- playing a character where he could let loose, and not hold back.

Duncan Macrae, Alec Guinness and Susannah York

Picture from the Showbill of the Little Carnegie Theatre 1960
Murphy memorabilia collection

Now available on DVD from Amazon

A powerful and highly effective tale of military life during peacetime, TUNES OF GLORY follows two very different officers in a Scottish Highland regiment. Director Ronald Neame and the producers cast against type in giving the suave Alec Guinness the role of crude, up-from-the-ranks Lt. Col. Jock Sinclair, who had bravely led his troops to victory at El Alamein, while John Mills must convince the audience that he is Lt. Col. Basil Barrow, an Oxbridge type who is all spit, polish, and protocol. Sinclair is the interim commander of the 200-year-old unit, a man of war with little interest in commanding a peacetime unit, which suffers from a lack of discipline in the ranks. Rules are easily bent; dress rehearsals are not taken seriously. Enter military man Barrow, sent to replace Sinclair. Devoted to restoring the faded glory of the regiment, he demands respect from everyone and ruffles many feathers. However, some who served under Sinclair, appreciating his personal bravery and abilities but hating his boorish ways, flock to Barrow in the hope that he will bring back their former days of glory. Mills and Guinness are the center of the movie and it's a tossup as to which is better, though Mills won the Best Actor Award at the 1960 Venice Film Festival. The film is all acting and character, nicely accented by the Scottish bagpipe music of Malcolm Arnold.

From TV Guide Movie Base

The new disciplinarian CO of a highland regiment (Mills) crosses swords with his lax, hard drinking predecessor (Guinness).

Wintry barracks melodrama, finely acted and well made with memorable confrontation scenes compensating for a somewhat underdeveloped script.

"The picture is persuasive. But I daresay one does it wrong by looking too hard for social reflection. Lucky enough to find a film which has life in it." -- Dilys Powell

Leading Players:

Alec Guinness, John Mills, Susannah York, Dennis Price, Kay Walsh, Duncan Macrae, Gordon Jackson, John Fraser, Allan Cuthbertson

Information from Halliwell's Film Guide