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Drama - Spies

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)


Elevator Pitch

In the early 1970s Control, the head of MI6, suspects that there is a mole in the senior management and, on the possibility of finding out who it is, sends Jim Prideaux to Hungary. But Prideaux is shot and as a result Control and his right hand man George Smiley are sacked. Later Smiley is recalled to secretly investigate the allegations and to find out who the mole is. Central to his investigation is a secret information source “Witchcraft” and the evidence of Ricky Tarr an agent on the run after becoming involved with a Russian spy in Istanbul.


For much of the film Smiley looks into the middle distance possibly thinking about the case, or the fact tht his wife is being unfaithful to him. He, and his assistants spend time in the grey and dusty offices of MI6 and more secret locations. Mostly in flashback meetings take place and the various failings of the management are revealed. There are three shots fired, all of them important to the plot, one distantly viewed male and female coupling, some drinking and a lot of smoking.

A View I thought that this was a wonderful film, and so did most of the critics, but I am a John le Carré fan, I have read the book  and had seen the TV version starring Alec Guinness. Gary Oldman somehow makes Smiley a bit more vulnerable than Alec Guinness did. I would make it a “Must See” but for the fact that I know the plot is a bit labyrinthine (although simpler than the book) and the pace is not for everybody. So now you can decide whether it is for you or not.
Duration 2h 2m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A book of the same name by John le Carré
Director Tomas Alfredson
Writers/Script Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan
Starring Mark Strong, John Hurt, Gary Oldman, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Firth, Kathy Burke, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon McBurny, Tom Hardy, Roger Lloyd Pack,
Additional Info The author based the book on the existence of the Cambridge Five who had been double agents in the British secret service back in the 1950s.


About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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