327 of 349 people found the following review helpful
This is a movie that is essentially a time warp. We are warped back into the seventies, when film was more grainy, the camera was actually steady, actors had substance, movies actually had a story to tell, and the audience was patient and intelligent.
By the standards of contemporary movie-making, when the first five minutes is usually an appetizer action sequence with a lot of explosions, this novel takes a really long time to get started, and the conflict slowly unfolds. Gary Oldman does an excellent job of playing the understated George Smiley, who must uncover a Russian mole within the leadership circle of British intelligence while battling old age/insignificance and the loss of the love of his life. George Smiley is the unlikeliest of all action heroes, and this spy thriller the opposite of James Bond. It doesn't have the epic scale and consequence of "The Good Shepherd," which was a great spy thriller in its own right. But "Tinker, Tailor" does work, and is a rare breed of film: a movie that stays loyal to the book while transforming onto the big screen.
What ultimately makes it work is the director's steady hand, his willingness and courage to test the audience's patience as he slowly builds up the plot, just as George Smiley patiently built his strategy to track down the Russian mole.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 12, 2012 10:18:01 PM PST
Could not agree with you more about the Good Shepherd.
Posted on Mar 13, 2012 9:57:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2012 10:03:29 AM PDT
George B. Purdy says:
I would only add that there is a 324 minute BBC version with Alec Guinness Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Posted on Mar 22, 2012 4:55:26 AM PDT
Excellent review Jiang...
By the way, I'd also liketo reccomend the 1980s TV version of Tinker Tailor, starring Alec Guinness. It goes into more depth than this movie..
Posted on Mar 28, 2012 6:13:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2012 6:21:34 PM PDT
Mark O. Avery says:
Although not enamored of "The Good Sheppard" (I actually found it boring)
your comparison is a welcome one. My respect for DeNiro made that dis-
appointment a must see when released. My respect for Oldman makes this
another movie I seriously thought I needed to check in with as well. Though an older movie viewer I, at times, need more than thought provoking motivations to sustain me through well written film representations of 'valued authors'.
Again, G. Oldman is my primary motivation for checking in with this presentation.
Time... will... tell....! Thanks!
Posted on Jan 11, 2013 8:39:11 PM PST
Love your review. Especially the second sentence. I found Tinker Tailor to be 1970s in style as well as substance. The colors -- there's a ton of orange and red and brown. Plus there seems to be cigarette smoke in almost every scene -- probably just as there was all over Europe in the 1970s!
Posted on Mar 19, 2013 1:08:59 PM PDT
File Server says:
Excellent review Jiang.
Commenting on your first paragraph...by contrast, today's films have headache inducing jerky-camera action, actors who have little or no talent reading a script with no content, a storyline at the intellectual level of coloring books and crayons, all geared for impatient and dumbed-down viewers.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2013 6:29:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2013 6:30:20 AM PDT
Interesting comment about the cigarette smoking, Christian. Did you know that often a film nowadays has a caution about smoking....guess it's to tell smokers they need to watch films in a friendlier place (like their home!). DVDs can be paused for a cigarette break!
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2013 6:25:03 AM PDT
Can you tell me if there is a commentary on this dvd?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2013 1:38:30 PM PST
Grumpy Bear says:
I'd say, there is a 324 minute, MUCH BETTER version and true to the book...unlike the new version, has a different ending than the book/BBC version...
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2013 1:57:27 PM PST
George B. Purdy says:
Yep! and Alec Guinness is Smiley, too!