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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [Blu-ray]


List Price: CDN$ 99.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate, George Sewell, Bernard Hepton
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: April 24 2012
  • Run Time: 290 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006Z4LP72
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,505 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on May 30 2004
The aging head of the British Secret Intelligence Service ("the Circus") has discovered that the Soviets have a very highly-placed mole within his organization. However, before he can discover who the mole is, he dies of natural causes, taking the secret of the mole's existence with him. However, when the mole is again suspected, the government has no one to turn to, except for the retired spymaster, George Smiley (played by Alec Guinness). Trusting no one inside the Circus, Smiley must discover who the mole is, and plug the leak.
I remember all the talk when this miniseries came out in 1979, and now I get to see it again! This is a fascinating story, a mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat, as Smiley tracks his mole. I enjoyed this miniseries (on 3 DVDs) as much now, as I did then, and do not hesitate to recommend it to you.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 24 2004
Old, owlish, bookish George Smiley, retired spymaster, is approached in dead of night to covertly journey through the archived past to reassemble the threads and events surrounding the capture and torture of a British spy (and the forced retirement of Smiley and his discredited mentor). Smiley's slow, methodical work (through back door interview, through deduction, and through anecdote and flashback presented to the viewer) confirms the existance of a 'mole'. He prepares a plan to flush out the person (hidden among several probable), and puts it in motion.
I recorded this film off PBS (6 hours on Beta!) over three nights in the early 80's. Very, very slowly, the story draws the viewer in as George Smiley peels off layers of deception to get to the hidden core. The dialogue tosses around terms like 'mole' and 'safe house', and slang for the intellegence trade, that adds British flavor to an atmosphere of sad menace. The story is well-crafted; the melancholy atmospheres suggest a drawing-room who-done-it mystery. A conscious effort to be patient is necessary to appreciate the author (and the unmatched Alec Guinness) as they untangle the threads of an inside-out puzzle linked to code names like 'Testify' and 'Gerald'.
Recommendation: Buy the DVD(s) and set aside 2-3 evenings to watch. Then watch it again to see the missed clues, many subplots, and to appreciate the strength of the ensemble. On the other hand, if half hour plot resolutions are your forte', this probably moves too slowly; consider another movie instead.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. McGee on June 14 2004
Excellent TV series. Production on DVD runs almost 6 hours on 3 DVDs. Every actor in this production can actually act. Worth the purchase price just to see Guinness. If you have not read the book, go ahead and watch the DVD, read the book, then watch the DVD again. They are complimentary, neither the book nor the DVD spoil each other. It was originally a TV series, so don't expect excellent video quality or wide screen, it was shot in the late 70's for tv.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Poirier on May 18 2004
The opening shot sets the tone of the entire six hours. We see a dingy meeting room in an old London office building. The radiators are indiscretely visible, the paint is peeling off the walls, the lone cabinet looks creaky. Through the windows we see it's a cold grey day. A man sits at the table smoking a cigarette; he is soon joined by a second who sits diagonally opposite him. A third man arrives with a tea cup, saucer over the cup to keep the contents from splashing. A fourth man smoking a pipe arrives, sits at the head of the table sets down a folder and opens. The scene has lasted a minute, it was silent, no music was heard, though the first man coughed once or twice. The last man then says "We are ready to begin" and low horns begin sounding the theme music. This is director John Irvin's idea of a quick scene!
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim on March 27 2004
As other reviews have stated this is a tightly scripted, reasonably true to Le Carre's original, cold war, spy thriller. That said, it is also so much more than that. Even if you are not usually one to be impressed by filmic attempts to capture books (as in the book is always better!), attempts to film Le Carre's books authentically, mini-series, attempts to tell spy/cold-war stories w/o lots of booms and blood you should give this set a try. The characters are real, the camera work is of the stuff to be a textbook, the directing is superbe and the editing is of the highest standard. The DVD itself is an improvement over the VHS version but this is broadcast TV and in 4:3. Still there is almost NOTHING to criticise here (unless you've just GOT to have the noise and gore!). Yes it is 324 minutes long but each episode is so well done you can literally watch them out of order and they each make a great evening's viewing. What other mini-series can that be said of? Among the best the the BBC have done and they usually get this type of stuff as well as anyone. An excellent choice for discussion groups, film students, etc, etc. Can I come up with a real criticism? Well the box is dull and there's no directors blather or such but this is among the best you can get for the full price. At a discount it almost makes one feel guilty. What a wonderful study piece for any aspiring actor, director, editor, or just blokes like me who like to pretend we're British every now and then. Buy this one!
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