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Smiley's People [Blu-ray]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Alec Guiness
  • Directors: Simon Langton
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: Aug. 6 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,975 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

both men 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. Bonus deleted scenes (62 min.), interview with john le carr� (20 min.), production notes, glossary of main characters and terms, and le carr� biography and booklist //

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Smiley,Yes, Bond, No!

This is espionage of the highest order! An excellent 3 disc miniseries comprised of six parts, each one hour in length. As a longtime fan of John LeCarre, this adaptation of the book by the same title accurately depicts the Cold War adversaries of Great Britain's MI5 and the Soviet Union's, KGB. Smiley's People has an excellent cast headed by Alec Guiness as George Smiley. George, ever the paragon of English propriety, is surrounded by unsavory characters both past and present. As such, he doggedly pursues his quarry, and must inevitably resort to the sordid tactIcs of espionage employed by lesser mortals. The plot which is intricate requires the viewer's full attention to be fully appreciated. Those familiar with "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and the more recent release of "A Most Wanted Man" will enjoy this series.
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By Wendy Y on Aug. 31 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Excellent spy movie series. If you like spy shows this is a great one. DVD quality was good, no problems here.
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By catman on Jan. 1 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Alec Guinness in top form. Chillingly understated and superbly directed and filmed. One of the best series of all time.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fans of either British film actor Alec Guinness or author John Lecarre won't be disappointed with this wonderful DVD series! Originally aired on television, it is as timeless as is Lecarre's writing, and deserves a place in all private film libraries!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 109 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Not quite as good as "Tinker, Tailor," but still outstanding Oct. 31 2011
By L. S. Reed - Published on
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. This one takes a little longer to develop and some of the "visits" Smiley makes in his investigation (the obligatory visit to former research chief Connie, for example) seem more like sentimental visits than necessary parts of the investigation. The cast of "characters" Smiley encounters also seems a lot more miscellaneous than in the former show and some of the subplots (the Russian woman in Paris, for example) aren't that compelling.

But it's a great yarn and a very satisfying ending to George Smiley's Cold War.

I missed the steady presence of Peter Guillam in this series. The replacement character was far weaker and seemed much less "Guillam-ish" (the original Peter seemed a little more like a soccer thug who went to college, while the new Guillam seemed more like a croquet player). But he didn't appear until the very end and didn't really matter to the story.

This loss is more than made up for by the greatly enhanced role for Toby Esterhaze, one of the great character roles I've ever seen.

It's a great Cold War spy yarn and a very satisfying end to this saga.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This disc butchers this fantastic series!! Entire scenes and music cut, gone!! Ripoff!! Jan. 30 2014
By Richard Bondi - Published on
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.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Good, But Edited (!) Aug. 8 2014
By Shazbat - Published on
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.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Feeble Blu-ray Retains Woolly Focus & Murky Sound of DVD Oct. 26 2014
By J. L. Pressman - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Just to clarify, one * for the Blu-ray, 5 ***** for the dramas. Sad to say, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" & "Smiley's People" haven't fared well on home media. After their BBC debuts in 1979 and 1982, for twenty-odd years you couldn't find or see them at all. No VHS, no laserdisc, no re-broadcasts to my knowledge -- at least nobody online was hawking off-the-air dubs. Unobtainable, the series ascended to myth. It was eBay late 90s when I first saw them posted as converted dubs of UK PAL tapes. $200. An insane price for awful quality, beyond awful. But they found customers. Because there was no alternative, and because that's how good they really are. On one hand you had something approaching consensus that these shows were the best of their kind ever produced on television, and on the other hand, they'd only been released on PAL VHS after twenty years. Nothing changes until 2011, when out of the blue the Acorn DVD appears, and on its heels the 2014 Blu-ray. Whatever internecine squabbles required thirty-two years to sort out, Acorn Media emerged as the owner of record -- sadly, not a distinction they now wear with honor with this Blu-ray release. On DVD both "Tinker Tailor" and "Smiley's People" were thin high-priced boxes. On Blu-ray they are high-priced doubles. To my amateur eyes and ears, however, this dismal Blu-ray is identical to the DVD in picture and sound -- if anything, the sound mix may be worse -- and the DVD was, in turn, suspiciously reminiscent of those ancient VHS dubs, only marginally improved if at all. In any case these expensive Blu-rays aren't good value, and certainly add no value. The picture still looks pale and bloated like an upconverted old VHS tape, and the dialogue often sounds indistinct and congested. It's all as inexplicable as it is inexcusable. Acorn could not have believed much in these great titles (or in their sales) to toss them in the market without so much as a second glance.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Good Show, Very Poor Quality Product Sept. 4 2012
By Jonathan Harding - Published on
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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