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"Marvelously riveting" --The New York Times "Scintillating, seductive" --The Washington Post
The thrilling sequel to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Tell Max it concerns the Sandman…
Both had supposedly outlived their usefulness to the Circus, the British Secret Intelligence Service: George Smiley, the retired head of espionage, and General Vladimir, an aging informant who reported to him. When the general walks into a bullet after sending an urgent message to his old handler, the Circus asks Smiley to "tidy things up." But Smiley hears Vladimir’s message as a call to arms against his nemesis, the Soviet super spy Karla, once again tantalizingly within his grasp.
Alec Guinness reprises the role of British spymaster George Smiley in this gripping sequel to the television masterpiece Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Filmed on location in London, Paris, Hamburg, and Berne, Smiley’s People also stars Eileen Atkins, Anthony Bate, Bernard Hepton, Michael Lonsdale, Beryl Reid, Patrick Stewart, and Bill Paterson.
glossary of main characters and terms
le Carré biography and booklist
Top Customer Reviews
But the transfer, the transfer is simply terrible. Someone cheaped out on the restoration of the sound in particular, and there are more than a few moments when the dialogue is essentially inaudible, a problem in a production as complex and deft as a BBC workup of a Le Carre drama. This is why I give this set three stars instead of the five the story and acting so richly deserve. Expect to have the sound cranked up uncomfortably loud while viewing, and still miss some dialogue.
You may be thinking that this is a thick American who doesn't understand English accents, but I followed every word of Tinker Tailor, which is a greatly superior transfer, though not itself great by any means.
Both series contain virtues that are rare in television: enormous patience in developing a complex and challenging narrative, a refusal to insult the intelligence of the viewer (instead of making every point achingly obvious, they assume we'll figure it out eventually), a willingness to be content with small moments of drama instead of epic action sequences, and acting that can compete with that of the most outstanding Shakespearean production. In every way, this is the anti-Jame Bond spy drama. Though George Smiley's nemesis Karla (played in both series by Patrick Stewart, a nonspeaking role he undertook several years before becoming famous in STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) emerges as a more than adequate villain, he would be by far the least charismatic bad guy in all of the Bond corpus. Narratively, almost nothing happens in contrast to a Bond film. The series contains the results of violence, but almost all of the actual violence takes place off screen, or even prior to the narrative timeline. Like a Bond film, the series features several international locations, but there is none of the cosmopolitanism of the Bond films, and absolutely none of the glamour. Indeed, much of the series features sets that are a bit dowdy, worn, or frayed. But the greatest contrast with the Bond films comes with George Smiley himself.Read more ›
As you may recall, TTSS and SP were the first and last books, respectively, of the Karla series. (The second, THE HONORABLE SCHOOLBOY, was never adapted to the small screen. The plot was considered too complex.) In TTSS, Smiley, formerly right-hand man to the Director of the British Secret Intelligence Service (the "Circus" or MI-6), is brought out of retirement to dig out a highly placed Soviet mole embedded in the Circus. In SP, it's several years later, and Smiley is brought out of retirement a second time by the politicians to "tidy up" after a Russian emigre, a former general, is brutally murdered on Hampstead Heath. Because the old soldier was an occasional source of information for the Service, the "Minister" wants George to make sure there's no embarrassment to the government in the affair. Smiley soon discovers that the killing has a link to Karla, his old nemesis in the KGB's Moscow Center. Karla has been a thorn in the side of MI-6 for years, and was the one who controlled the mole that was Smiley's quarry in TTSS. In SP, George finally brings Karla down.
Several of the characters appearing in TTSS appear also in SMILEY'S PEOPLE, providing a nice touch of continuity: Smiley, Oliver Lacon (the Minister's lackey), Anne (Smiley's wife), Connie (MI-6's Head of Research, retired), Toby Esterhasy (one of the high Circus executives under suspicion in TTSS), Karla, and Peter Guillam (Smiley's right hand in TTSS).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sir Alec Guinness is excellent in this mini series. He is George Smiley. It is a fair representation of the novel and well worth watching. Read morePublished 2 days ago by RebDo
Acorn's DVD version of Smiley's People cuts out entire scenes from the original production which at times makes it difficult to follow the plot. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jeanne
I watched this recently -- having viewed the production when it was first aired in the U.S. years and years ago -- and I confess I found the reality did not live up to my... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. R. Trtek
I have seen BBC version and it doesn't have problems that this Acorn version has.
I just bought the BBC version so i'll see if DVD is just as good. Read more
I got this movie for my dad for Christmas. He just love Smileys PeoplePublished 3 months ago by Vickey Barnett