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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

( 11 )

Overview

Living a premature and somewhat humbling retirement, elderly British spy George Smiley (Alec Guinness) is abruptly resurrected by his former boss Lacon (Anthony Bate) with an ultra-secret mission: find the double agent in the ranks of the British Secret Service. Is it the pompous head of service, Percy Alleline (Michael Aldridge)? The blowsy Bland (Terence Rigby)? The shifty Toby Esterhase (Bernard Hepdon)? Or perhaps the urbane Bill Haydon (Ian Richardson)? Pushed into retirement by a scandal caused by the ...
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Overview

Living a premature and somewhat humbling retirement, elderly British spy George Smiley (Alec Guinness) is abruptly resurrected by his former boss Lacon (Anthony Bate) with an ultra-secret mission: find the double agent in the ranks of the British Secret Service. Is it the pompous head of service, Percy Alleline (Michael Aldridge)? The blowsy Bland (Terence Rigby)? The shifty Toby Esterhase (Bernard Hepdon)? Or perhaps the urbane Bill Haydon (Ian Richardson)? Pushed into retirement by a scandal caused by the now-deceased head of service, Control (Alexander Knox), and because he suspected that there was a spy, Smiley journeys through the labyrinthine world of the British spy service layer by layer as he hunts the mole controlled by the mysterious Russian spymaster Karla (Patrick Stewart). Taken from a best-selling novel by internationally famed novelist John Le Carré, this nearly five-hour miniseries was first broadcast by the BBC. The story is loosely based on the infamous Kim Philby spy scandal of the early '60s. ~ Nick Sambides, Jr.
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Special Features

Exclusive Interview with John Le Carré (28 min.); Production Notes; Glossary of main characters and terms; Cast Filmographies; le Carré Biography and Booklist; ; Closed Caption
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
British spy George Smiley remains the most compelling character to spring from author John le Carré's fertile imagination. Yet the author himself once said that Sir Alec Guinness made Smiley his own. Produced for British television in 1979, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy ranks high on the shortlist of adaptations that rise fully to the source material's challenges, thanks in no small part to Guinness. Part spy thriller, part procedural, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and its splendid sequel, Smiley's People, afford deeply intelligent and satisfying escapes into the golden age of Cold War espionage. While low on bonus materials, the DVDs remain high -- very high -- on acting, intrigue, and morality.
All Movie Guide
Complex but compelling, this miniseries is based upon one of John Le Carré's greatest works and serves as a grand summing-up for the late Sir Alec Guinness, one of Britain's greatest actors. Guinness literally is Smiley: Le Carré said that Guinness served as a template for the character's cunning and mournful rectitude. In anyone else's hands, Smiley might have seemed a blank and lifeless character, but Guinness' matchless ability to play within a scene while seeming to think well beyond it is magnetic. Guinness was the great everyman and underplayer of the generation that gave us such great British Shakespearean actors as Olivier, Richardson, and Gielgud. He's helped, too, by sharp dialogue lifted almost word-for-word from the book and terrific supporting performances (particularly an entirely silent but amazingly communicative Patrick Stewart, who has a cameo as Karla), which almost entirely obscure the fact that the miniseries largely consists of people sitting in rooms talking. It's a literate treat that brings to life the gray morality and conflicting loyalties of the Cold War. Be advised: viewers can get lost in the intricate plot if they don't pay close attention.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/4/2011
  • UPC: 054961869190
  • Original Release: 1979
  • Source: Acorn Media
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 5:24:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 2,451

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alec Guinness George Smiley
Michael Aldridge Percy Alleline,
Bernard Hepton Toby Esterhase,
Ian Richardson Bill Haydon
Michael Jayston Peter Guillam
Terence Rigby Roy Bland
Alexander Knox Control,
Hywel Bennett Ricki Tarr
Joss Ackland Jerry Westerby
Ian Bannen Jim Prideaux
Anthony Bate Lacon,
Hilary Minster Boris
Sian Phillips Ann Smiley,
George Pravda Polyakov
John Standing Sam Collins
Patrick Stewart , Karla
Technical Credits
John Irvin Director
Tony Pierce-Roberts Cinematographer
John le Carre Source Author
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
1. Prologue [3:30]
2. Mole Hunting [8:07]
3. Over the Border [7:58]
4. Ambushed [3:58]
5. Beggarman [9:58]
6. Called Up [4:21]
7. Lateralism [10:54]
8. End Credits [2:35]
1. Episode 9: Prologue [3:30]
2. Episode 10: On the Trail [8:07]
3. Episode 11: Meet the Wife [7:58]
4. Episode 12: Pillow Talk [3:58]
5. Episode 13: Revelation [9:58]
6. Episode 14: Follow the Path [4:21]
7. Episode 15: Spying on Spies [10:54]
8. Episode 16: End Credits [2:35]
1. Prologue [3:30]
2. Mole Hunting [8:07]
3. Over the Border [7:58]
4. Ambushed [3:58]
5. Beggarman [9:58]
6. Called Up [4:21]
7. Lateralism [10:54]
8. End Credits [2:35]
5. Prologue [2:01]
6. On the Trail [10:15]
7. Meet the Wife [5:50]
8. Pillow Talk [7:43]
9. Revelation [6:29]
10. Follow the Path [5:50]
11. Spying on Spies [13:35]
12. End Credits [2:35]
Disc #2 -- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
1. Prologue [2:41]
2. Old School [8:57]
3. Missing History [8:26]
4. Witchcraft [5:49]
5. Buying Time [11:19]
6. Testify [6:01]
7. Tense Meeting [8:28]
8. End Credits [2:36]
1. Prologue [2:45]
2. Family Business [6:16]
3. Karla's Past [12:17]
4. Merlin and Mole [5:58]
5. Training Day [8:59]
6. Man the Boards [6:05]
7. Losing Control [9:22]
8. End Credits [2:36]
1. Prologue [2:45]
2. Old School [6:16]
3. Missing History [12:17]
4. Witchcraft [5:58]
5. Buying Time [8:59]
6. Testify [6:05]
7. Tense Meeting [9:22]
8. End Credits [2:36]
1. Prologue [2:45]
2. Family Business [6:16]
3. Karla's Past [12:17]
4. Merlin and Mode [5:58]
5. Training Day [8:59]
6. Man the Boards [6:05]
7. Losing Control [9:22]
8. End Credits [2:36]
Disc #3 -- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
1. Prologue [4:15]
2. Brief Encounter [7:09]
3. Czech Memories [9:27]
4. Pub Tales [11:58]
5. Missing Rhino [2:36]
6. Gerald's Game [9:34]
7. Interrogation [6:37]
8. End Credits [2:35]
1. Prologue [4:15]
2. Under Watch [7:09]
3. Into the Open [9:27]
4. Uncover the Mole [11:58]
5. An Open Eye [2:36]
6. On the Inside [9:34]
7. Gone to Ground [6:37]
8. End Credits [2:35]
1. Prologue [4:51]
2. Brief Encounter [3:48]
3. Czech Memories [8:21]
4. Pub Tales [6:48]
5. Missing Rhino [9:33]
6. Gerald's Game [8:48]
7. Interrogation [8:43]
8. End Credits [2:36]
1. Prologue [4:51]
2. Under Watch [3:48]
3. Into the Open [8:21]
4. Uncover the Mole [6:48]
5. An Open Eye [9:33]
6. On the Inside [8:48]
7. Gone to Ground [8:43]
8. End Credits [2:36]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
   Episode Selection
      Play Episode 1
      Scene Index
      Play Episode 2
      Scene Selection
   Scene Index
      Episode 1
      Episode 2
   Special Features
      Interview with John le Carré
      John le Carré Biography
      Production Notes
      Filmographies
         Sir Alec Guinness
         Ian Richardson
         Michael Aldridge
         Bernard Hepton
         Terence Rigby
         Ian Bannen
         Michael Jayston
         Hywel Bennett
         Anthony Bate
Disc #2 -- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
   Episode Selection
      Play Episode 3
      Scene Index
      Play Episode 4
      Scene Index
   Scene Index
      Episode 3
      Episode 4
Disc #3 -- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
   Episode Selection
      Play Episode 5
      Scene Index
      Play Episode 6
      Scene Index
   Scene Index
      Episode 5
      Episode 6
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    George Smiley at his best.

    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, is the hunt for the mole inside the British Secret Service. All of Le Carre's twists and turns are intact, leading to one of the great spy stories. Alec Guinness IS George Smiley, retired spy who must hunt the mole. Great acting alround.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent adaptation of the book

    This is a wonderfully complex and erudite story, and, as one would expect from the cast, it is superbly acted. The clutter that usually surrounds spy stories (impossible feats of action, for example) is blessedly absent. The only problem is that the second biggest "name" is cast as the traitor, so the suspense is reduced to waiting to see how Smiley figures out who it is. One of the best spy movies ever made in my view.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    DIDN'T CONNECT WITH ME

    i'M A BIG MYSTERY/SPY FAN, BUT THIS WAS A DISAPOINTMENT IN SUCH A GREAT ACTOR. STORY AND ACTING TOO SLOW, DULL, VERY HARD TO FOLLOW WHAT IT WAS ALL ABOUT. NOTHING LIKE THE USUAL BRITISH FILMS OR SERIES.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Alec Guiness & John LeCarre -- Superb!

    Alec Guiness, while widely know from Star Wars was a gem of an actor. His many films will show an interested viewer a very accomplished & gifted performer. In Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy you will see Alec Guiness lead a stable of actors in their portrail of the inner works of the British Spy machine. This is a delightful film that needs to be watched closely because there is a lot going on. Le Carre, a former spy, is a master storyteller. Guiness plays the retired but very thorough and well respected George Smiley who is asked to find the Russian 'mole' in the British Circus. This can viewed in a very long sitting or over a series of days or weeks. It is a film ou can return to again and again to enjoy. A sort of sequel is Smiley's People. But they are independent of each other. Seeing "Tinker, Tailor" first will benefit slightly when you watch Smiley's People

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AT LAST !!!

    I read and enjoyed LeCarre's trilogy about George Smiley several times long ago. I caught only part of this series when it was aired on PBS television so VERY long ago and have been waiting for YEARS to see it available on ANY video format viewable in the USA. Do yourself a favor and get both parts at the same time so you don't have to wonder how it all turns out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    exceptional ...

    Sir Alec Guiness brings to life the physically unassuming but mentally acute spy master George Smiley. This superb work ( for once the tv version is true to the book ) is hugely enjoyable if you are a fan of dialogue and character oriented drama.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Classic for the Agents

    I saw this first in London while living there in the 90s. This is, without exception, the finest spy story ever told. It is filled with wholly believable characters and great narrative. Do yourself a favor...pony up the money and buy this DVD. You will not be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beyond easy description...

    This is as good as has ever been seen on the small screen. The subtleties of Sir Alec Guiness' performance (he IS George Smiley) perfectly follows the current of this magnificent adaptation of the preeminent Cold War novel. Finally on DVD, this is a must buy for anyone with an appreciation of the truly great works. It stands up to an infinite amount of repeat viewings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews