Smiley's People

Smiley's People

3.4 5
Director: Simon Langton

Cast: Alec Guinness, Vass Anderson, Eileen Atkins

     
 

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A sequel to 1980's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, this BBC miniseries once again focuses on British spy George Smiley (Sir Alec Guinness), once again called out of retirement, this time by the fussy Oliver Lacon Anthony Bate, to deal with a scandal in the British spy establishment. An ex-Russian general and British spy (Curt Jurgens) is found brutally murdered

Overview

A sequel to 1980's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, this BBC miniseries once again focuses on British spy George Smiley (Sir Alec Guinness), once again called out of retirement, this time by the fussy Oliver Lacon Anthony Bate, to deal with a scandal in the British spy establishment. An ex-Russian general and British spy (Curt Jurgens) is found brutally murdered in a London park after frantically contacting the British Secret Service. His cryptic message: "Tell Max it concerns the Sandman." It seems that the general and his crony Otto Leipzig (Vladek Sheybal) were cooking up a scheme to blackmail the head of the Russian secret service, Karla (Patrick Stewart), when they were murdered. Smiley gathers his old associates (almost all the actors reprising roles from the first miniseries) and picks up the general's harrowing trail. He finds that Karla has been secretly supporting a daughter in the West through almost comically inept intermediaries such as Grigoriov (Michael Lonsdale). This information allows him to face off against his old adversary and avenge the humiliation he and his agency suffered with the double agent Karla had in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Made in 1982, the sequel has one major casting substitution: Michael Byrne instead of Michael Jayston as Peter Guillam, Smiley's faithful lieutenant. ~ Nick Sambides, Jr.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Smiley's People almost pulls off the rarest of tricks: It is almost, but not quite, as good as its predecessor, 1980's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Its failure to be as good probably rests in its not quite having the crackling suspense of the original and a storyline not quite as good as Tinker Tailor's. Although director John Irvin adds some "action" sequences, this miniseries seems more stage-bound than its predecessor. Still, the miniseries offers rich compensations, including uniformly fine performances. First is the late Sir Alec Guinness reprising his role as George Smiley. Guinness and screenwriter John LeCarre, who wrote the screenplay based on his best-selling novel, infuse Smiley with a real disgust at the ineptitude and timidity of his supervisors (primarily Barry Foster, having a great time as the foppish, eccentric spy boss Saul Enderby). Smiley's People also has more humor than its predecessor, particularly with Michael Lonsdale. Playing a sad sack but thoughtful Russian blackmailed into betraying his boss, Lonsdale falls apart with hysterical self-centeredness. It's a funny, crafty performance that adds life to what could have been a dragging homestretch.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/06/2013
UPC:
0054961893799
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
NR
Source:
Acorn Media
Time:
5:24:00
Sales rank:
6,591

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alec Guinness George Smiley
Vass Anderson Carson
Eileen Atkins Madame Ostrakova
Anthony Bate Oliver Lacon
Andrew Bradford Ferguson
Jonathan Burn Edmonds
Patrick Stewart Karla
Michael Byrne Peter Guillam
Jan Carey Hospital Sister
Jean Champion Monsieur La Pierre
Francois Clavier Man in warehouse
Peter Guinness Hare Krishna Monk

Technical Credits
Simon Langton Director
John LeCarre Screenwriter
Patrick Gowers Score Composer
John Hopkins Screenwriter
Kenneth MacMillan Cinematographer
Jonathan Powell Producer
John le Carre Original Story

Scene Index

Deleted scenes (62 min.); Interview with John Le Carré (20min.); Production notes; Glossary of main characters and terms; Le Carré biography and booklist

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Smiley's People 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Stemline More than 1 year ago
This version deviates considerably from the book to deal with the limitations of movie making, but it is still a splendid story. And wonderfully subtle (watch for and think about the significance of the cigarette lighter). It is such a joy to see a movie that assumes viewers are smart and are paying attention, not lame-brained targets for the filmmaker's propaganda. As always, Alec Guinness's interpretations are deep and satisfying, and you have to keep a close watch so as not to miss anything.
billq More than 1 year ago
How can I get subtitles for Smiley's People? I have a Sony Blu Ray.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, first Alec Guiness I've found is overrated. His subtle nuances were so subtle as to be non-existent! I was curious enough about the story to re-watch, take notes even to keep up with all the name changing. The ending still was confusing. When Alec delivered the reply to Peter’s question, “why did we get here two hours early?” and as George, Alec Guiness says, “We owe it to him. No one else is on his side.” What??? Did one need to read the book first?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The item contains three (3) DVDs and one is slightly defective. However, I did not keep the receipt and it didn't seem worth the trouble to contact you which is not very easy to do without a receipt without the paperwork.