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Smiley's People (1982)

 NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

List Price: $49.99
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Blu-ray 2-Disc Version $38.19  
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Smiley's People + TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (RE-PACKAGE) + John Le Carre's A Murder of Quality
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 324 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,450 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Exclusive interview with John le Carré (20 min.)
production notes
glossary of main characters and terms
cast filmographies
le Carré biography and booklist

Editorial Reviews

"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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's probably safe to assume that anyone watching this BBC import miniseries has already seen -- and liked -- the classic "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." BBC's producers wisely recognized that the middle book of the series, "The Honorable Schoolboy," wasn't going to translate to the screen, so they went straight from the first story of the trilogy to the last. Comparisons between Smiley and Tinker Tailor are inescapable and it speaks well of the sequel that it is a worthy successor to the original.

"Smiley's People" maintains some of the main strengths of the original: Le Carre's taut characterization and plotting; excellent scripting, casting, and behind-the-camera work; and, most of all, Sir Alec Guinness's magnificent portrayal of the brilliant but profoundly flawed Cold Warrior George Smiley.

In some respects, this series follows the arc of the first one: George Smiley again is in a rather unhappy and not-entirely-voluntary retirement, having been removed once again following his brief return as head of the Circus. And, like the original story, he is called back in to take on a delicate errand for the Circus. The premise of this one is a little different -- he's brought in officially, by the current head of the Circus, rather than being somewhat offline, sponsored out-of-channels by "Lacon and the Minister." And the errand initially seems somewhat trivial: cleaning up the somewhat disorderly murder of a long-ago Circus informant. Obviously, the story quickly builds into something much deeper.

The plot probably isn't quite as compelling as the original, but then, "Tinker Tailor" was one of the best miniseries ever.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I am so returning this disk!! It's incredible!!

The amazing scenes in episode two in Hampstead Heath, where Smiley is retracing the General's steps? They cut it down! Threw out entire scenes! The so-perfectly-1970s Hari Krishna guy who offers to help him? Gone! Cut!

And the fantastic scene when Smiley sees the cigarette pack, that raises your hair and sends shivers up and down your spine? What really makes that scene so marvelous is the brilliant theme music that sets in just as Smiley makes the discovery, and that continues all through the sequence of him finding what's in the pack. That music? Cut! Gone! They cut it!!

OMFG UFB. Complete ripoff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Edited (!) August 8, 2014
By Shazbat
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Several years ago, I was fortunate to have seen the U.K. issue of this marvelous film. Sadly, the 3-disc DVD version that I received has been edited, omitting several key scenes; e.g., the General (Kurt Jurgens) meeting with his "nephew" on the highway to implore him to take a trip to Hamburg, Smiley retracing the General's steps on Hampstead Heath, etc. Without them, some of the connections in this mystery are mysteries in themselves, and only serve to confuse the viewer. One would expect that, for a premium price, one would receive the complete version of the series. Alas, 'twas not the case, and the main reason I have rated this at 3 stars.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Show, Very Poor Quality Product September 4, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This feature is not as good as Tinker Tailor. But regardless, the quality of the DVD - in particular the audio, is extremely poor. You cannot even hear some sections of the show. And of course this was not a cheap product.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Le Carre at his best March 9, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
These DVDs are of course of the famous 1982 BBC series and are, to put it mildly, elderly. The video quality is certainly not up to current standards. No matter, the climax of the Karla trilogy is terrific entertainment and Guiness, surrounded by a fabulous cast, is incomparable. John le Carre is surely one of the most underrated authors of our time. To get the most our of Smiley's People one should have seen or read "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier,Spy" from the same era, not the horrible current movie, which is a sort of visual "Cliff's notes" and very unsatisfying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expectations June 23, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When ordering I was under the impression that the DVD had subtitles. Unfortunately this was not the case. Maybe in the future subtitles will be added.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leave Perfection Alone September 3, 2014
When this series hit the TV in 82 it was a miniseries with commentary by actor Ray Milan during the breaks. This was the unedited version and it was hypnotic. Milan's excellent commentary, during the intermissions, on the performance of Guinness and the story only added to the spine tingling allure of this series. I just wish that the producers had transferred THAT entire TV production to disc. Instead, this version is edited in unfortunate ways. Why they did so is incomprehensible. You don't tamper with perfection.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is the sequel to the original Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, it tells you about Mr. Smiley's return, to help out the British intelligence. Smileys part is play by Sir Alec Guinness who is marvelous. To understand the story it will help if you buy the first series Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy not the film version but the series by the BBC and again featuring Sir Alex Guinness in the Part of Smiley. This story will round off the first series and has all the ingredients of a great thriller.
Well worth the time to watch it and re watch it again. Enjoy and hopefully you will get as much fun from this series as I did. When the British really get the right people to write produce and act, you get this excellent thriller. Watch both of these series, you will only enjoy them.
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