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Tunes of Glory (1960)

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  • Tunes of Glory (1960)

    I think it is one of the great British films and, in fact, one of the great films made anywhere. I know it did receive good reviews and attention when it was released, but it is nevertheless highly under-rated.

    John Mills' performance is still the finest work I have seen by an actor in any film from any country.



    I had always enjoyed John Mills' performances. In this, he goes far beyond anything I had seen him do before. He creates an intensely sympathetic character out of a man who might have been a martinet. I found myself understanding him from the inside.



    The sequence where Barrow realizes what he has done by allowing Sinclair off without punishment is something I won't forget.



    There is a great deal here, as there so often in outstanding British films: the specific details of class differences and the military world are a prism that allow for a larger understanding.



    It was fascinating for me to see the England-Scotland relationship from the Scots perspective. It's unusual for me, as an American, to find it any film or television show.



    Also, Dennis Price surprised me. He gave a fine performance, but there seemed to be something wrong with him inside. I don't mean that he simply looked older. Something had happened to him since A Canterbury Tale- a coarsening. I don't know how else to put it. It seemed very strange and sad.

  • #2
    Originally posted by TimR View Post
    Also, Dennis Price surprised me. He gave a fine performance, but there seemed to be something wrong with him inside. I don't mean that he simply looked older. Something had happened to him since A Canterbury Tale- a coarsening. I don't know how else to put it. It seemed very strange and sad.
    Very much down to alcohol, I'm afraid.

    Nick

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    • #3
      Tunes of Glory is a wonderful film - a great insight into character,personality and the aftermath of War.
      Until I bought the DVD some years ago I misremembered it as B/W (as I do with many old films) because I originally saw it on a B/W TV

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      • #4
        I know this has been cropping up quite a bit on Movies4Men, and I keep forgetting to record it !.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nick Dando View Post

          Very much down to alcohol, I'm afraid.

          Nick
          I love Price in anything he did but the Fifties was a difficult decade for him: he had a failed suicide attempt, his marriage ended and he went from being one of the top stars in Britain to relying on the generousity of friends. Alcohol played a huge part in his downfall, as did his lifestyle, but he was never less than elegant and engaging.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nick Dando View Post

            Very much down to alcohol, I'm afraid.

            Nick
            I did read about his life - very sad. In that film he seems to use that self-loathing in the part. Or maybe it came through anyway. It is difficult to know. His scenes with John Mills were superb

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            • #7
              Most of you will know that, a couple of weeks ago, the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) decided to abolish all of its message boards; a foolish decision, as, although there were too many trolls there, there were also many intelligent and invaluable discussions. Lost, all lost.

              One such discussion was about the most inappropriate tagline ever to have been used for a film, and it was agreed that, whereas:

              "Here's a helluva, swelluva, free-swinging movie!!"

              might have been a good advertising campaign for something with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in it, it was laughably inappropriate for Tunes of Glory. That, however, it was alleged, is how it was promoted in the States.

              Even though a nation which chooses to be led by Trump is, probably, capable of anything, I didn't really believe this, and I posted something to the effect that I would go on disbelieving it until somebody produced a picture of the poster with that phrase on it. No-one did.

              If anybody on this site has a access to such a picture, I'd love to be proven wrong!

              (The slogan on this side of the Atlantic, by the way, was:

              "Colonel Sinclair drank with his men,
              and sang and danced with them,
              until that day,
              when a shot rang out.....
              .....AND HE STOOD ALONE!"

              which, I trust you'll agree, is far more apposite.)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lord Binfield View Post
                Even though a nation which chooses to be led by Trump is, probably, capable of anything,
                Even though the IMDb is British, run from Bristol by a set of Brits

                Steve

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post
                  Even though the IMDb is British, run from Bristol by a set of Brits
                  Read my post again, if you please, and you may concur that I was saying that a nation who elected (after a fashion) Trump were quite capable of launching such an ill-conceived advertising campaign. There was nothing about whether they could, or could not, operate a website.

                  Mind you, I am surprised that a nation which voted for Brexit and which chooses to be led by St. Theresa and a piece of excrement like A.B.D. Johnson can do anything at all, but I fear we may be in danger of going off-topic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lord Binfield View Post
                    Most of you will know that, a couple of weeks ago, the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) decided to abolish all of its message boards; a foolish decision, as, although there were too many trolls there, there were also many intelligent and invaluable discussions. Lost, all lost.

                    One such discussion was about the most inappropriate tagline ever to have been used for a film, and it was agreed that, whereas:

                    "Here's a helluva, swelluva, free-swinging movie!!"

                    might have been a good advertising campaign for something with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in it, it was laughably inappropriate for Tunes of Glory. That, however, it was alleged, is how it was promoted in the States.

                    Even though a nation which chooses to be led by Trump is, probably, capable of anything, I didn't really believe this, and I posted something to the effect that I would go on disbelieving it until somebody produced a picture of the poster with that phrase on it. No-one did.

                    If anybody on this site has a access to such a picture, I'd love to be proven wrong!

                    (The slogan on this side of the Atlantic, by the way, was:

                    "Colonel Sinclair drank with his men,
                    and sang and danced with them,
                    until that day,
                    when a shot rang out.....
                    .....AND HE STOOD ALONE!"

                    which, I trust you'll agree, is far more apposite.)
                    Originally posted by Lord Binfield View Post

                    Read my post again, if you please, and you may concur that I was saying that a nation who elected (after a fashion) Trump were quite capable of launching such an ill-conceived advertising campaign. There was nothing about whether they could, or could not, operate a website.

                    Mind you, I am surprised that a nation which voted for Brexit and which chooses to be led by St. Theresa and a piece of excrement like A.B.D. Johnson can do anything at all, but I fear we may be in danger of going off-topic.
                    I am sorry I started this thread.
                    Last edited by TimR; 9th March 2017, 06:29 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I'm sure ( well sort of) that I read somewhere that John Mills & Alec Guinness tossed a coin or cut cards to decide which role they would play!

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                      • #12
                        What all the digs about right wing politics (both UK and USA) is about in this thread is beyond me..........

                        But back to the film, it is indeed excellent. I have always felt that Alec Guinness is one of the greatest actors this country ever produced (if not the best), and proves it with an amazing performance in this film.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Professor Marcus View Post
                          What all the digs about right wing politics (both UK and USA) is about in this thread is beyond me..........
                          You are not alone in that thought Prof !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One of the reasons this movie is so superb is Ronald Neame's direction. He is my top favourite director, and I love his philosophy that the director should not "star" in his own film.
                            Quote - "I think that too many directors today want to be clever with the camera. There's too much frenetic cutting, and I think it's partly to cover up the fact that the material isn't very good."

                            Hear hear! Man after my own heart!

                            Another quote - "I was brought up in a school in which it was an unwritten law that there was no camera." he recalled. "You gave the actors everything you could to let them develop their characters. Now directors draw attention to themselves, which I find reprehensible; I want to draw attention to the actor."


                            Originally posted by wadsy View Post
                            I'm sure ( well sort of) that I read somewhere that John Mills & Alec Guinness tossed a coin or cut cards to decide which role they would play!
                            This is how it came about wadsy:

                            https://vimeo.com/90789816

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lord Binfield View Post

                              Read my post again, if you please, and you may concur that I was saying that a nation who elected (after a fashion) Trump were quite capable of launching such an ill-conceived advertising campaign. There was nothing about whether they could, or could not, operate a website.

                              Mind you, I am surprised that a nation which voted for Brexit and which chooses to be led by St. Theresa and a piece of excrement like A.B.D. Johnson can do anything at all, but I fear we may be in danger of going off-topic.
                              Not interested in your opinion, or your comments regarding politics. This is a film site. Let us keep it so.

                              Comment

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