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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 

TV-14 | | Drama, Thriller | TV Mini-Series (1979)
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In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6's echelons.
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1  
1979  
Top Rated TV #238 | Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Alec Guinness ...  George Smiley 7 episodes, 1979
Michael Jayston ...  Peter Guillam 7 episodes, 1979
Anthony Bate ...  Sir Oliver Lacon / ... 7 episodes, 1979
George Sewell ...  Mendel 7 episodes, 1979
Bernard Hepton ...  Toby Esterhase 5 episodes, 1979
Ian Richardson ...  Bill Haydon 5 episodes, 1979
Hywel Bennett ...  Ricki Tarr 5 episodes, 1979
Terence Rigby ...  Roy Bland 4 episodes, 1979
Ian Bannen ...  Jim Prideaux 4 episodes, 1979
Michael Aldridge ...  Percy Alleline 4 episodes, 1979
Alec Sabin Alec Sabin ...  Fawn 4 episodes, 1979
Alexander Knox ...  Control 3 episodes, 1979
Duncan Jones Duncan Jones ...  Roach 3 episodes, 1979
Daniel Beecher Daniel Beecher ...  Spikely 3 episodes, 1979
Beryl Reid ...  Connie Sachs 2 episodes, 1979
John Wells John Wells ...  Headmaster 2 episodes, 1979
Frank Compton Frank Compton ...  Bryant 2 episodes, 1979
Frank Moorey Frank Moorey ...  Lauda Strickland 2 episodes, 1979
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Storyline

George Smiley has been retired for about a year when he finds a friend from the Circus, his old outfit in British Intelligence, sitting in his living room. He is taken to the home of an advisor to the Prime Minister on intelligence matters, where he finds evidence that one of the men in the senior ranks of his old agency is a Russian spy. Smiley is asked to find him, without official access to any of the files in the Circus or letting on that anyone is under suspicion. With only a few old friends, his own powers of deduction, and secrecy as weapons, Smiley must unearth the spy who turned him out of the Circus. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SIR ALEC GUINNESS as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Czech | Russian

Release Date:

29 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (7 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Czechoslovakia scenes were filmed in and around Glasgow, Scotland, which producer Jonathan Powell says "was a very rough, poverty-stricken place" in 1979. See more »

Goofs

In episode 6, when Peter Guillam is testing the taping system at the safe house, he says the recorder is voice-activated, but it doesn't stop turning on his first silent pause, which is much longer than his second and third pauses, when it stops instantly. See more »

Quotes

Roy Bland: It isn't ordinary flight information, Peter. The source is very private.
Toby Esterhase: Ultra, ultra sensitive in fact.
Peter Guillam: In that case, Toby, I'll try and keep my mouth ultra, ultra shut.
[Bill Haydon chuckles]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits show a set of Russian matryoshka dolls. One doll opens up to reveal a doll more irate than the other one, and the final doll is seen as being faceless. This was inspired by a line at the end of the "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" novel: "Smiley settled on a picture of one of those little Russian dolls that open up to reveal one inside the other, and another inside him. Of all men living, only Karla had seen the last little doll inside..." See more »

Alternate Versions

The American DVD edition is a syndicated edit comprised of six episodes instead of seven. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Yes, Prime Minister: One of Us (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Nunc Dimittis
Composed by Geoffrey Burgon
Sung by Paul Phoenix and the Boys of the St Paul's Cathedral Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just about as good as it gets
11 November 1999 | by Tom-447See all my reviews

Sir Alec Guinness is so good at being George Smiley that John LeCarre claims he can no longer write the character about without seeing Guinness' face. The supporting cast is uniformly excellent, and the script captures the novel almost flawlessly. It takes six hours because the story is complex and ranges over many years and many characters, but it is so well-written and acted that the any viewer with an attention span longer than that of a gnat can easily keep track of who did what and when, so that the ultimate unmasking of the traitor may be a surprise, but it is not a shock.


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