8.6/10
6,001
90 user 19 critic

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 

TV-14 | | Drama, Thriller | TV Mini-Series (1979)
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.
Reviews
Popularity
2,444 ( 4)

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1979  
Top Rated TV #158 | Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn't want to know what ... See full summary »

Stars: Alec Guinness, Eileen Atkins, Bill Paterson
A Perfect Spy (1987)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This is the story of Magnus Pym, from his childhood to the end of his career in middle age. As a young man, there is little doubt that his father Rick was the most influential character in ... See full summary »

Stars: Ray McAnally, Rüdiger Weigang, Alan Howard
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the Cold War during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Richard Burton, Oskar Werner, Claire Bloom
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy
The Sandbaggers (1978–1980)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The missions of an elite British Intelligence covert operations unit.

Stars: Roy Marsden, Ray Lonnen, Jerome Willis
A Murder of Quality (TV Movie 1991)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Taken from the book by John le Carre, George Smiley rallies to the aid of his former intelligence colleague, Ailsa Brimley, to investigate a mysterious letter from a junior master's wife at... See full summary »

Director: Gavin Millar
Stars: Denholm Elliott, Joss Ackland, Glenda Jackson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The schemes of a ruthlessly ambitious British politician who will stop at nothing to get to the top.

Stars: Ian Richardson, Susannah Harker, Miles Anderson
Certificate: M Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

From the John le Carré novel about a British spy, who sends a Polish defector to East Germany, to verify missile sites.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Christopher Jones, Pia Degermark, Ralph Richardson
I, Claudius (1976)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.

Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips
State of Play (TV Mini-Series 2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A thriller set in London, in which a politician's life becomes increasingly complex as his research assistant is found dead on the London Underground and, in a seemingly unrelated incident, a teenage pickpocket is shot dead.

Stars: John Simm, Kelly Macdonald, Bill Nighy
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An American Actress with a penchant for lying is forceably recruited by Mosad, the Israeli intelligence agency to trap a Palestinian bomber, by pretending to be the girlfriend of his dead brother.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Diane Keaton, Yorgo Voyagis, Klaus Kinski
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
 Ricki Tarr 5 episodes, 1979
...
...
 Jim Prideaux 4 episodes, 1979
...
 Percy Alleline 4 episodes, 1979
Alec Sabin ...
...
Duncan Jones ...
Daniel Beecher ...
...
 Connie Sachs 2 episodes, 1979
John Wells ...
 Headmaster 2 episodes, 1979
Frank Compton ...
Frank Moorey ...
 Lauda Strickland 2 episodes, 1979
Edit

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:

Alec Guinness is George Smiley in John le Carré's thriller See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

29 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

König, Dame, As, Spion  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (7 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The 1974 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' novel is the first book in John le Carré's Karla or Quest for Karla Trilogy, the second and third parts being 'The Honourable Schoolboy' (1977) and 'Smiley's People' (1979). See more »

Goofs

Jim Prideaux goes off on his abortive mission to Czechoslovakia at the end of March. Following this scene is a strap-line that says "six months later". That should put the continuing action at the end of September. However we see snow on the roads, and Roddy Martindale saying to George Smiley in the restaurant "... I do hope you're not going to tip him. It's a guinea at Christmas". See more »

Quotes

George Smiley: Ever bought a fake picture, Toby?
Toby Esterhase: I sold a couple once.
George Smiley: The more you pay for it, the less inclined you are to doubt its authenticity.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, the church prayer "Nunc dimittis" is played. This prayer describes Simeon's wish to depart this world after having witnessed the newborn Messiah. In context, this theme is used to bid farewell to the viewer. See more »

Connections

Featured in Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies (2014) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Masterpiece
29 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

The book by John Le Carre is intricate and multi layered and to attempt to film it was brave of the BBC. One wishes they had such courage these days, but that is another story. It is a television masterpiece.

The acting is superb. Alec Guinness was made for the part of George Smiley. From his opening scene in a London bookshop to the last shot of his face he is mesmerising. The supporting cast are the cream of British actors at the time. Some of them only have one scene like John Standing, Beryl Reid, Joss Ackland and Nigel Stock but they become real people before your eyes. Ian Bannen as Jim Prideaux is particularly moving and Hewyl Bennett gives the performance of his life.Even the actors who don't say anything look just right.

It is plainly filmed but that adds to the atmosphere. On the face of it life is normal and ordinary but beneath there is betrayal, anguish, danger and pain. The motif of Russian dolls in the opening credits is good. Dolls with faces, then one without and then an emptiness. In the end Smiley solves the mystery but the mystery of life is beyond him.

The music is great,sparse but edgy. I can watch this time and again and still get something out of it.


77 of 82 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 90 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

This week on "The IMDb Show," La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz shares some "secret" information about his new spy-thriller series, "Counterpart." Plus, Kevin Smith lets us in on his favorite Sundance movies of all time.

Watch the show