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Tunes of Glory [DVD] [1960]


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Product details

  • Actors: Alec Guinness, John Mills, Dennis Price, Susannah York, Gordon Jackson
  • Directors: Ronald Neame
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Metrodome
  • DVD Release Date: 23 July 2007
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000RF9CI4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,671 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Major Jock Sinclair has been in this Highland regiment since he joined as a boy piper. During the Second World War, as Second-in-Command, he was made acting Commanding Officer. Now the regiment has returned to Scotland, and a new commanding officer is to be appointed. Jock's own cleverness is pitted against his new CO, his daughter, his girlfriend, and the other officers in the Mess

Review

..Two excellent actors shine in powerful roles in this drama by Ronald Neame.. - Rotten Tomatoes --Rotten Tomatoes --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By F. S. L'hoir TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Feb 2010
Format: DVD
"Tunes of Glory" tells the story of what happens when the proverbial irresistible force meets the immovable object. Alec Guinness in the persona of Major Jock Sinclair represents the former, and John Mills represents the latter in the role of Lt. Colonel Basil Barrow, who is sent to replace Sinclair as permanent Colonel of a Scottish battalion. Sinclair is a popular former Pipe Major who has risen up through the ranks because of his heroism in the desert campaign of El Alamein in World War II. Barrow, whom Jock belittles, calling him "Barrow Boy", is the antithesis: a graduate of Eton and Oxford, he is descended from a long line of colonels who have themselves commanded the same battalion. Barrow has therefore inherited the "Idea" of the regiment, while Sinclair has grown up at its heart and has grafted himself onto what he considers its spirit.

I cannot recall two other actors who are so well matched in equality of strength. One gets the feeling that if anyone else had been cast in only one of the respective leading roles, either Guinness or Mills would have dominated that unfortunate actor. But these two giants are equipollent in ability. Furthermore, they have a history of acting together. Guinness was outstanding as Herbert Pocket (his first role) in Dickens' "Great Expectations" where he played alongside of John Mills, who portrayed Pip. In "Kind Hearts and Coronets," Guinness also worked with Dennis Price who, in "Tunes", plays Major Charles Scott, whose motives are as enigmatic as he is aristocratic. Jock never tires of addressing him mockingly as "Old Boy!" And although Charlie seems to tolerate Jock's japes good-naturedly to a point, when the tension between Jock Sinclair and Basil Barrow explodes, Charlie's motives become ambiguously opaque.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Chris Mac on 12 Aug 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Trouble at Stirling Castle when new Regiment commander (John Mills) arrives to take command and clashes with Jock Sinclair (Alec Guiness) All superbly filmed and directed by Ronald Neame, incidentally no location filming at either Stirling or Edinburgh apart from an exterior shot of Stirling Castle briefly at the beginning and end of the film, otherwise all filmed at the backlot at Sheperton and very convincing it is too. The acting is nothing short of brilliant and the story gripping, modern filmakers please take note of how good script and performances are everything! The transfer to DVD is pretty good from existing material. There is a thin faint dark bar that appears for 8 minutes as has been mentioned in other reviews, I have heard this is damage to the original neg and difficult to put right, the film is nearly 50 years old so I am not going to let that small glitch detract from my enjoyment of the film.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Remus on 23 Sep 2006
Format: DVD
This film explores the relationship between acting commanding officer Major Jock Sinclair (Alec Guinness) and his replacement Colonel Barrow (John Mills) in a Scottish regiment battalion; not just in their personalities but also their background and the ideas they stand for. Jock Sinclair is the former pipe boy who has worked his way up from both the back streets and the ranks through distinguished service in Africa in the Second World War. He stands for tradition, looking people in the eye and speaking his mind. Colonel Barrow also stands for tradition, but in another sense. His grandfather and great grandfather had both been commanding officers of the battalion and Barrow desperately wants to succeed and surpass them. After a spell as a subaltern (lieutenant) straight from university, he left the battalion for war service apparently not at the front line, although he ended up in a prisoner of war camp nonetheless. He sees his role as being to improve the battalion's professionalism and to introduce conduct and custom more befitting an army in peacetime, often coming into conflict with Jock's 'tradition' in the process.

Both characters are flawed, and obviously so - Jock with his drinking and bullying and Barrow with his insecurity. But as the film goes on the flaws and virtues of the two become blurred, Barrow controls his insecurity well, but then appears as much a bully as Jock, and Jock shows weaknesses which he is less able to control. Whilst much of the film is more sympathetic to Jock, by the end it is less clear who has the better qualities as both sink towards breakdown.

The film is gripping because the two main characters are so richly developed and so extraordinarily well acted.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Pismotality on 24 Aug 2004
Format: DVD
With unforgettable performances by Alec Guinness (who reckoned it one of his best) and John Mills, both playing against type, this film ought to be more widely known and revered today.
Superbly constructed, with an unforgettably painful and poignant climax as Guinness's character faces up to the enormity of what he has done, Tunes of Glory - as its director says in an accompanying interview - transcends its time.
What gives it its power is that the specifics of a particular culture (in a Scottish regiment) are made clear - so you are made to recognise what's at stake with each new development in the growing personality clash and power struggle between Guinness and Mills.
James Kennaway, who wrote the screenplay based on his own novel, knew that world, and Ronald Neame had him on hand to advise. Neame does his job in an unshowy but effective way, so you can focus, as he wished, on the acting, and there's a wonderful accompanying cast, too, with Dennis Price and Gordon Jackson especially notable. The final scene is beyond words.
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