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.
Join Janus Films in 2018 as we celebrate the centennial of the Swedish director’s birth with a traveling retrospective of all of his theatrical films!
Commissioned to make a working-class family drama, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, upending expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical—yet far from cynical—perspective.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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