4 Stars

Take a look at the credits for Ronald Neame’s Tunes of Glory, an extraordinary character study of officers in a Scottish Battalion, released in 1960.

In the leads, Alec Guinness and John Mills, two of England’s finest. A young Susannah York in her first role.

Malcolm Arnold created the score, while Arthur Ibbetson was behind the camera.

Anne Coates cut this little masterpiece, and John Cox handled sound.

Criterion has done a beautiful job with color and densities, in handling the scan from the Eastman Color negative, the final result of which looks akin to a 35mm print.

For those who have never experienced Tunes of Glory, you’re in for a treat.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

Post Disclaimer

Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. We work with several providers (currently Skimlinks and Amazon) to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

Robin9

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
5,831
Real Name
Robin
Oh, I am pleased. I was hoping this disc would be something special because the film certainly is, so I'm delighted that it meets RAH's very high standards.

Two points seldom mentioned regarding this film: Dennis Price is in it and the novelist Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange) thought it one of the best films ever made.
 
Last edited:

Billy Batson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
3,712
Location
London
Real Name
Alan
Ages ago, I'm sure I read that Alec Guinness & John Mills flipped a coin as to which part to play. I don't know how true that is, but it would have been just as effective if they'd swapped, I can really see John Milles giving it large as the Major & Alec Guinness as the uptight Lt Col. Two great film actors.
 

Angelo Colombus

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
2,466
Location
Chicago Area
Real Name
Angelo Colombus
I've never seen this movie. I pre-ordered it back in late September as part of a "Buy 2, Get 1 Free" sale.
I never saw the film until a month ago when I checked out the old Criterion release from the library. One of the nice extras on the disc is a 15 minute interview with Alec Guinness.
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
13,744
Real Name
Robert Harris
As an aside, aeons ago, I received a call from Mr. Neame, as I my company had rights and printing elements to a film entitled The Charm of Dynamite.

He was requesting a print, which I gifted him. His mother was Ivy Close, who was in a little silent film, La Roue.

Wonderful discussion, with a brilliant filmmaker.
 

Billy Batson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
3,712
Location
London
Real Name
Alan
As an aside, aeons ago, I received a call from Mr. Neame, as I my company had rights and printing elements to a film entitled The Charm of Dynamite.

Is that the film made my Kevin Brownlow about the director Abel Gance? I can still remember seeing it on TV way back in the sixties (I think). It's funny the little bits of the past that you remember.
 

Douglas R

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2000
Messages
2,483
Location
London, United Kingdom
Real Name
Doug
Ages ago, I'm sure I read that Alec Guinness & John Mills flipped a coin as to which part to play. I don't know how true that is, but it would have been just as effective if they'd swapped, I can really see John Milles giving it large as the Major & Alec Guinness as the uptight Lt Col. Two great film actors.

I rather doubt that story. According to IMDb Alec Guinness was first offered the part of Lt Col Barrow but asked to play Major Sinclair instead. Guinness then suggested John Mills for the part of Barrow.

I'm sure that Guinness could have played either role but I don't think John Mills would have been as effective as Jock Sinclair. Of course, playing an officer must have been second nature to Mills who appeared in so many military films. He plays Barrow very much as he played the stern, uptight ex-officer in the little known but favorite film of mine, "Tiara Tahiti" as antagonist against laid-back, ignore the rules, James Mason.

I'm never sure which character one is meant to empathise with in "Tunes of Glory" but my sympathies always go to John Mills' character.
 

Billy Batson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
3,712
Location
London
Real Name
Alan
I'm sure you're correct, I did read that about the leads of some film or other & thought it was this one, I wonder which film it was. It's been ages since I've seen the film, but I remember that Denis Price had a good little roll in it as someone who could see just what was going on. I don't think I empathised with any of the two lead characters, I wouldn't like either of them if I met them in real life.