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TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (RE-PACKAGE)
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"A smashing thriller" --The New York Times "Exhilarating" --The Washington Post
With ALEC GUINNESS as George Smiley
"One of the most madly atmospheric and enjoyably literate films ever done for television" --The Washington Post
No doubt remains: a mole has infiltrated the Circus, code name for the British Secret Intelligence Service. It can only be one of four men operating at the very highest level. Sidelined agent George Smiley is covertly tapped to root out the mole, a task that requires a painstaking dig through the double-blind world of Cold War-era espionage and his own past. Alec Guinness brilliantly captures the weary heart and steely soul of John le Carré’s master spy in an intricate drama hailed as one of the finest ever made for television.
Also starring Ian Richardson, Michael Aldridge, Joss Ackland, Ian Bannen, Bernard Hepton, Terence Rigby, Michael Jayston, Hywel Bennett, and Anthony Bate.
glossary of main characters and terms
le Carré biography and booklist
Top Customer Reviews
TINKER, TAILOR is a sinuous story of a mole in high places in the British Secret Service, also known as the Circus to insiders. Called out of retirement, a rather premature retirement, we learn, George Smiley (Alec Guinness) is called on to uncover the British official selling secrets to the Soviet enemies.
In the interesting 2002 30-minute interview on disk one writer le Carré tells us that after the initially reluctant Guinness signed on everyone wanted to work on the project, and this mini-series is studded with great actors. Fortunately so, too, because this movie takes place around restaurant tables and in dingy `safe' houses more often than in exciting, exotic locales. This one belongs to actors who can deliver in tight close-ups much more so than to special effects wizards who can blow things up prettily.
At the center of it is Guinness, who, in my opinion, is simply brilliant. In the interview le Carré mentions that Guinness was always shaving lines off the script, reducing his role, so to speak. Wasn't good at memorizing lines. There's more to it than that, though. Guinness approach is minimalist to practical non-existence. I probably won't be able to convey it, but somehow Guinness makes little to no impression.Read more ›
Later scenes move much more methodically, and involve long conversations about the plot, but that are framed beginning and end with chit-chat about the wife and the cottage. There is some action, but we almost feel it interferes with the plot and we want to get back to those conversations that contain the gold dust we need to sift out of the polite exchanges.
Alec Guinness is perfect as George Smiley. Slow and methodical and illustrating GS's quirks and mannerisms perfectly. Notice how often he takes off his glasses and wipes them clean. The rest of the cast performs admirably. On my first viewing, they had managed to hide some truly difficult dialogue (e.g. "Now, Young Mr. Guillam, are you happy in Brixton?" le Carre's weakness is realistic dialogue, for all his realism elsewhere) and turn them around into believable expressions of character.
Finally it seems the weather improved the production no end.Read more ›
The success of the television adaptation was assured the second they recruited Alec Guinness to play George Smiley. The Smiley of the novels does not in most ways resemble Alec Guinness. Smiley is reported as resembling a frog, of always wearing expensive but ill fitting clothes, of being extremely fat, none of which is true of Guinness. But there is one way in which Guinness is perfect for the role, and which makes him a huge success in the series: Smiley is described by LeCarre as possessing a beautiful, sonorous, honey-like voice. It is no exaggeration to say that Guinness's voice dominates this series. Even if the series had done nothing else well, Guinness would have made the series a success.
Nonetheless, the production brought a great deal more to the table than Alec Guinness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An absolute classic masterpiece. I am a major John Le Carre and Alec Guinness fan. Find this story and the history that inspired it fascinating. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Garland D Merfeld
Great 1979 BBC TVmini series adaptation of Le Carre's spy novel with a mediocre bluray transfer that's slightly better than the DVD version. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Rick Smith
When the Gary Oldman atrocity-filled version of TTSS came out a few years ago, purists rightly denounced it as garbage, while harking back to the supposed incomparable BBC series... Read morePublished 28 days ago by David Ljunggren
I had to buy a new DVD Player as mine was restricted to Australian purchasesPublished 2 months ago by Michael Deed
Alec Guinness keeps doing it over and over! To really appreciate the magic inspired by this amazing actor, watch this series first, then Smiley's People. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joseph Brown