Tunes of glory - film (1960)

#4
Watched Tunes of Glory again over the weekend on Spike.

Always find it a good watch and enjoy the film.

Never having been in the forces I wouldn't have experienced 'mess life' but would the scenario of officers forming cliques the way they did in the film ever occur in real life?

I know the story has been written for dramatic effect but the screenwriter apparently used to serve in a Scottish regiment, so either he either saw some of this for real or just used it as a backdrop and device for setting up an intrigue and backbiting narrative.
 
#5
Watched Tunes of Glory again over the weekend on Spike.

Always find it a good watch and enjoy the film.

Never having been in the forces I wouldn't have experienced 'mess life' but would the scenario of officers forming cliques the way they did in the film ever occur in real life?

I know the story has been written for dramatic effect but the screenwriter apparently used to serve in a Scottish regiment, so either he either saw some of this for real or just used it as a backdrop and device for setting up an intrigue and backbiting narrative.
I suppose that it fluctuated from regiment to regiment, but as I understand it, National Service officers (by their very nature, junior subalterns, in any case) were considered as 'birds of passage' and not, therefore, accorded much consideration.

In the case of Tunes of Glory it was a battle of conflicting snobberies. Jock had made it up through the ranks in a way that would have been rare in peacetime. He was popular with most of his officers, who appreciated his latitude with regard to form and stuffiness. Lt Col Barrow was far more old school and appointed as CO, no doubt, to knock the battalion into shape during more relaxed peacetime conditions. Both Colonels, in their own way, were ridden with snobbery and a tendency to bullying. It was just a matter of who blinked first.
 
#6
Watched Tunes of Glory again over the weekend on Spike.

Always find it a good watch and enjoy the film.

Never having been in the forces I wouldn't have experienced 'mess life' but would the scenario of officers forming cliques the way they did in the film ever occur in real life?

I know the story has been written for dramatic effect but the screenwriter apparently used to serve in a Scottish regiment, so either he either saw some of this for real or just used it as a backdrop and device for setting up an intrigue and backbiting narrative.
I suppose that it fluctuated from regiment to regiment, but as I understand it, National Service officers (by their very nature, junior subalterns, in any case) were considered as 'birds of passage' and not, therefore, accorded much consideration.

In the case of Tunes of Glory it was a battle of conflicting snobberies. Jock had made it up through the ranks in a way that would have been rare in peacetime. He was popular with most of his officers, who appreciated his latitude with regard to form and stuffiness. Lt Col Barrow was far more old school and appointed as CO, no doubt, to knock the battalion into shape during more relaxed peacetime conditions. Both Colonels, in their own way, were ridden with snobbery and a tendency to bullying. It was just a matter of who blinked first.
Much more relaxed now.As long as one doesn't make a faux pas with the biscuits for coffee....:)
 
#7
Looks like in the intervening 9 years since that original post, You Tube has taken down the movie - at least in it's original incarnation. It may have been re-posted since by someone else. I agree though; it is a good movie with John Mills and Alec Guiness at loggerheads as to who is going to set the tone of a fine old Scottish regiment.

I have no personal experience of Scottish officers messes, but the Sergeants & WO messes have dramas and cliques galore so I can't think why officers would be any different. :? A lad has to be very careful how he treads in certain areas. :-D

Scottish dancing.jpg
 
#9
I suppose that it fluctuated from regiment to regiment, but as I understand it, National Service officers (by their very nature, junior subalterns, in any case) were considered as 'birds of passage' and not, therefore, accorded much consideration.

In the case of Tunes of Glory it was a battle of conflicting snobberies. Jock had made it up through the ranks in a way that would have been rare in peacetime. He was popular with most of his officers, who appreciated his latitude with regard to form and stuffiness. Lt Col Barrow was far more old school and appointed as CO, no doubt, to knock the battalion into shape during more relaxed peacetime conditions. Both Colonels, in their own way, were ridden with snobbery and a tendency to bullying. It was just a matter of who blinked first.
Barrow also suffered massively from PTSD - he was on 'special ops' and was captured by the Japanese, subsequently derided by Jock Sinclair as "officers' privileges and amateur theatricals".

Barrow described it as "Then 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, like my grandfather and his father before him. Only I was going to be the best of the lot.".

Probably my favourite war film - even though there is no 'war' in it.
 
#10
Looks like in the intervening 9 years since that original post, You Tube has taken down the movie - at least in it's original incarnation. It may have been re-posted since by someone else. I agree though; it is a good movie with John Mills and Alec Guiness at loggerheads as to who is going to set the tone of a fine old Scottish regiment.

I have no personal experience of Scottish officers messes, but the Sergeants & WO messes have dramas and cliques galore so I can't think why officers would be any different. :? A lad has to be very careful how he treads in certain areas. :-D

View attachment 272335
Duncan Macrae in the middle there - a good friend of my Dad.
 
#11
I suppose that it fluctuated from regiment to regiment, but as I understand it, National Service officers (by their very nature, junior subalterns, in any case) were considered as 'birds of passage' and not, therefore, accorded much consideration.

In the case of Tunes of Glory it was a battle of conflicting snobberies. Jock had made it up through the ranks in a way that would have been rare in peacetime. He was popular with most of his officers, who appreciated his latitude with regard to form and stuffiness. Lt Col Barrow was far more old school and appointed as CO, no doubt, to knock the battalion into shape during more relaxed peacetime conditions. Both Colonels, in their own way, were ridden with snobbery and a tendency to bullying. It was just a matter of who blinked first.
Barrow may have been "old school" and seen as a more suitable CO for peacetime conditions, but in the story his background was in "special duties" and he had been tortured as a prisoner of the Japanese; Sinclair assumed that as an officer Barrow would have received easy treatment from the Japs. Perhaps one way in which Barrow was "old school" was because he had not served in the regiment since the 1930s, and understood it in those terms.
 
#12
I suppose that it fluctuated from regiment to regiment, but as I understand it, National Service officers (by their very nature, junior subalterns, in any case) were considered as 'birds of passage' and not, therefore, accorded much consideration.

In the case of Tunes of Glory it was a battle of conflicting snobberies. Jock had made it up through the ranks in a way that would have been rare in peacetime. He was popular with most of his officers, who appreciated his latitude with regard to form and stuffiness. Lt Col Barrow was far more old school and appointed as CO, no doubt, to knock the battalion into shape during more relaxed peacetime conditions. Both Colonels, in their own way, were ridden with snobbery and a tendency to bullying. It was just a matter of who blinked first.
Yes I can imagine that it could fluctuate between regiments and it would depend upon the personalities (I guess).

I got the reasons for the tensions within the film but the undermining of the colonel's authority became quite open to my mind and I wondered how prevalent that would be. I suppose there's no reason why it couldn't happen and it would be down to leadership and man management.
 
#14
The radio play is also excellent.
 
#15
One of my all time favorite films. Have been right up to the attic of the Castle to visit an old RHQ on occasion way back when- stunning views.
 
#16
I got the reasons for the tensions within the film but the undermining of the colonel's authority became quite open to my mind and I wondered how prevalent that would be. I suppose there's no reason why it couldn't happen and it would be down to leadership and man management.
... and a half-decent adjutant to maintain the party line. In this case, the adjutant (Maj Charlie Scott) can see perfectly well what is happening, but maintains a rather aloof attitude to the whole thing, rather than getting a grip of it.
 
#17
Barrow may have been "old school" and seen as a more suitable CO for peacetime conditions, but in the story his background was in "special duties" and he had been tortured as a prisoner of the Japanese; Sinclair assumed that as an officer Barrow would have received easy treatment from the Japs. Perhaps one way in which Barrow was "old school" was because he had not served in the regiment since the 1930s, and understood it in those terms.

Would Sinclair and the rest of the officers know what went on with regard to the Japanese POW's
Most returning FEPOW's were encouraged not to discuss what had gone on and many would have been unable physically or mentally to remain in the Army.
Therefore they would have based the FEPOW experience on returning POW;'s from Europe where officers did retain privallages.
The film is set early post war (ne exact date) so they wouldn't have met may returnees.

Remember FEPOW's picketed cinema's when Bridge over the River Kwai was shown and it almost ruined the reputation of the C.O. who was there as people thought he had actually collaborated like in the film
 
#18
... and a half-decent adjutant to maintain the party line. In this case, the adjutant (Maj Charlie Scott) can see perfectly well what is happening, but maintains a rather aloof attitude to the whole thing, rather than getting a grip of it.
Yer right. The colonel didn't get the support he required but he did alienate many of his staff not helped by the PTSD, which I'm not sure within the premise of the film whether 'brigade' knew about it and of so shouldn't have appointed him.

E2A: Just beaten by and seen post 17 which probably answers my question.
 
#19
... and a half-decent adjutant to maintain the party line. In this case, the adjutant (Maj Charlie Scott) can see perfectly well what is happening, but maintains a rather aloof attitude to the whole thing, rather than getting a grip of it.

Perhaps it suits the Adjutant to have the two officers on a collision course?
It is after all Major Scott who delivers the decisive blow to the Barrow boy by calmly and brutally informing him that he's finished in the eyes of the officers and Jocks been playing him along all along and is still running the battalion as he sees fit. .
 
#20
Duncan Macrae in the middle there - a good friend of my Dad.
Remember being in a small shop in Battlefield,Glasgow. He came in and if I remember correctly he bought pipe tobacco-----------I was star struck,aged about 9.

He used to do a skit about a "Wee sparra."
 

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