Directed by Ronald Neame • 1960 • United Kingdom
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 (John Mills, winner of the Best Actor award at the 1960 Venice Film Festival), 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. Based on the novel by James Kennaway and featuring flawless performances by Guinness and Mills, Tunes of Glory uses the rigidly stratified hierarchy of military life as a jumping-off point to examine the institutional contradictions and class divisions of English society, resulting in an unexpectedly moving drama.