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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
     

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

4.0 11
Director: John Irvin, Alec Guinness, Michael Aldridge, Bernard Hepton

Cast: John Irvin, Alec Guinness, Michael Aldridge, Bernard Hepton

 

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The acclaimed British miniseries Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy finally makes its way to DVD with this Acorn Media release. This three-disc set is attractively packaged in a slipcase with a glossy cardboard fold-out inside. The box also contains a two-page insert featuring a list of main characters with their basic descriptions and a glossary of spy terms. This

Overview

The acclaimed British miniseries Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy finally makes its way to DVD with this Acorn Media release. This three-disc set is attractively packaged in a slipcase with a glossy cardboard fold-out inside. The box also contains a two-page insert featuring a list of main characters with their basic descriptions and a glossary of spy terms. This proves to be very helpful, given the extremely complicated nature of the plot. Technically, however, the set is less impressive. Presented in its original TV aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the video looks grainy and often murky. The audio is recorded with low volume and it is not sufficiently crisp, which makes some portions of the dialogue hard to grasp without turning up the volume. The extras are all located on the first disc. The highlight is an exclusive, 30-minute interview with writer John Le Carré, in which he reminisces about working on this TV adaptation of his novel. Other extras include the author's biography and bibliography, as well as the movie's production notes. Overall, despite the technical deficiencies, this DVD release will likely please fans of Alec Guinness and John Le Carré, but casual viewers may be disappointed.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/2004
UPC:
0054961526291
Original Release:
1979
Rating:
NR
Source:
Acorn Media
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
5:24:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Digitally remastered presentation; Exclusive interview with John Le Carré; Production notes; Cast filmographies; Le Carré biography and book list

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alec Guinness George Smiley
Michael Aldridge Percy Alleline,Actor
Bernard Hepton Toby Esterhase,Actor
Ian Richardson Bill Haydon
Michael Jayston Peter Guillam
Terence Rigby Roy Bland
Alexander Knox Control,Actor
Hywel Bennett Ricki Tarr
Joss Ackland Jerry Westerby
Ian Bannen Jim Prideaux
Anthony Bate Lacon,Actor
Hilary Minster Boris
Sian Phillips Ann Smiley,Actor
George Pravda Polyakov
John Standing Sam Collins
Patrick Stewart Actor,Karla

Technical Credits
John Irvin Director
Tony Pierce-Roberts Cinematographer
John le Carre Source Author

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Episodes 1-2
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. Prologue [2:01]
2. On the Trail [10:15]
3. Meet the Wife [5:50]
4. Pillow Talk [7:43]
5. Revelation [6:29]
6. Follow the Path [5:50]
7. Spying on Spies [13:35]
8. 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]
1. Prologue [2:01]
2. On the Trail [10:15]
3. Meet the Wife [5:50]
4. Pillow Talk [7:43]
5. Revelation [6:29]
6. Follow the Path [5:50]
7. Spying on Spies [13:35]
8. End Credits [2:35]
Side #2 -- Episodes 3-4
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 [2:41]
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]
Side #3 -- Episodes 5-6
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 [4:51]
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]
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 [4:51]
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]

Customer Reviews

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Stemline More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dedicatedmysterylover More than 1 year ago
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.