7.5/10
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Tunes of Glory (1960)

Not Rated | | Drama | 17 September 1960 (Italy)
After World War II, a Highland Regiment's acting Commanding Officer, who rose from the ranks, is replaced by a peace-time Oxford-educated Commanding Officer, leading to a dramatic conflict between the two.

Director:

Ronald Neame

Writers:

James Kennaway (screenplay), James Kennaway (based on his novel)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alec Guinness ... Major Jock Sinclair, D.S.O., M.M.
John Mills ... Lt. Col. Basil Barrow
Dennis Price ... Major Charles Scott, M.C.
Kay Walsh ... Mary Titterington
John Fraser ... Cpl. Piper Ian Fraser
Susannah York ... Morag Sinclair
Gordon Jackson ... Capt. Jimmy Cairns, M.C.
Duncan Macrae ... Pipe Major Maclean
Percy Herbert ... R.S.M. Riddick
Allan Cuthbertson ... Capt. Eric Simpson
Paul Whitsun-Jones Paul Whitsun-Jones ... Major 'Dusty' Miller
Gerald Harper Gerald Harper ... Major Hugo Macmillan
Richard Leech ... Captain Alec Rattray
Peter McEnery ... 2nd Lt. David Mackinnon
Keith Faulkner Keith Faulkner ... Piper Adam
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Storyline

Major Jock Sinclair has been in this Highland regiment since he joined as a boy piper. During World War II, 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 C.O., his daughter, his girlfriend, and the other officers in the Mess. Written by Aryk Nusbacher <nusbacher-a@rmc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Here's a Helluva Swelluva Free-Swinging Movie! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1960 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Ecos de gloria See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Knightsbridge Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of Susannah York (Morag Sinclair). See more »

Goofs

When Jock is driven from the barracks in a Landrover at the movie's conclusion, the rear seats are green. When the Landrover is seen externally a few seconds later, the seats are white. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col. Basil Barrow: When you're dying, when you really believe you're dying, you think of the most absurd things.
Capt. Jimmy Cairns, M.C.: In my war I never had time to think.
Lt. Col. Basil Barrow: Oh they gave me time, all right. Again and again. When I was in the prison camp, they nearly drowned me, then they brought me round. Then they put a wet cloth over my mouth and kept it wet until I nearly drowned again. And the only thing that pulled me through was the thought that one day I'd come back and sit in the middle of that table as colonel of this battalion...
See more »

Connections

References Muffin the Mule (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

The Flowers of the Forest
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Double Oscar Winners
1 March 2000 | by shell-26See all my reviews

Alec Guinness is superb as acting colonel Jock Sinclair. Drunken and boorish, a terrible administrator but a wartime hero. Rough and wild for once, he is cast against type, yet emerges triumphant in an acting master class.

The book is a slim volume, but is fast moving and full of character. Set in provincial Scotland, the flavour of the film is as strong as the novel (by James Kennaway who also wrote the screenplay) but the characterisation by the actors builds on and then surpasses the script. I note that neither of the actors is Scottish and this amazes me. Maybe I should seek advice from a Scot on this matter.

We never leave the barracks or the quiet army town and so learn only by rumour how Jock Sinclair, on some blasted field at the centre of El Alamein saved his regiment and turned the battle. Half the officers and men were dead, the cause lost, yet his spirit and the force of his will brought him a battlefield promotion to acting colonel. The Regiment is what he lives for.

Several years later, in peacetime, the army catches up with its paperwork and sends a proper officer to take back the reins. Basil Barrow arrives unexpectedly from a desk job and Sandhurst. His assignment is to organise and civilise the men, long gone wild under Jock's supervision. John Mills plays the rather impotent lonely Barrow as an accentless and educated man. There are "dark rumours" amongst the men that he may be English.

The clash between the two men commences immediately on their meeting and ends in scenes of mourning and redemption.

This is an actors film. There are few effects and much of the action is centred on one or the other of Guinness or Mills. Sinclair is a piper, this gives him an almost spiritual air and his feel for music (the Tunes of Glory) is the first area of contention between the two Colonels. When Jock leads his men in a wild and unruly reel with arms flailing and much shouting and yipping at a society ball the ensuing fit from the uptight and conservative Mills is wonderful. He trembles and shakes and we do likewise.

The film builds and builds to a finale full of Tunes of Glory and we come to an understanding about both men, as they come to understand each other.


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