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 #156 | Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 George Smiley (7 episodes, 1979)
...
 Peter Guillam (7 episodes, 1979)
...
 Sir Oliver Lacon / ... (7 episodes, 1979)
...
 Mendel (7 episodes, 1979)
...
 Toby Esterhase (5 episodes, 1979)
...
 Bill Haydon (5 episodes, 1979)
...
 Ricki Tarr (5 episodes, 1979)
...
 Roy Bland (4 episodes, 1979)
...
 Jim Prideaux (4 episodes, 1979)
...
 Percy Alleline (4 episodes, 1979)
Alec Sabin ...
 Fawn (4 episodes, 1979)
...
 Control (3 episodes, 1979)
Duncan Jones ...
 Roach (3 episodes, 1979)
Daniel Beecher ...
 Spikely (3 episodes, 1979)
...
 Connie Sachs (2 episodes, 1979)
John Wells ...
 Headmaster (2 episodes, 1979)
Frank Compton ...
 Bryant (2 episodes, 1979)
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:

The acclaimed BBC production of John le Carré's classic spy story. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

29 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

König, Dame, As, Spion  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (7 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two appearances in two filmed John le Carré adaptations featuring actor Joss Ackland. The first was in an episode of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) [See: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Smiley Sets a Trap (1979)] and the second and final appearance was in the tele-movie A Murder of Quality (1991). Ackland appeared in each type of television adaptation of a John le Carré novel, both a tele-movie and a TV mini-series. The two TV productions were made and first broadcast around a dozen years apart. 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

George Smiley: You heard something about his
[Peter's]
George Smiley: murderous assignment in French North Africa, I suppose?
Mendel: Something. Whispers...
George Smiley: Peter was overmatched and he lost. His agents were hanged. No one recovers entirely from that sort of thing. That is, I wouldn't trust a man who did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER: The closing credits scroll over a scene of Oxford, which is chronologically where the spy was recruited in the story. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Steam Video Company: I Was Hitler's Bookie (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Nunc Dimittis
Composed by Geoffrey Burgon
Sung by Paul Phoenix and the Boys of the St Paul's Cathedral Choir
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User Reviews

 
Breathtaking acting, direction and suspense
25 August 2004 | by (Amstelveen, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Having just watched this film again (for about the tenth time) I am moved to say that few adaptations have brought such a well crafted book to the screen so brilliantly. Perhaps this was because the author also provided the screenplay ?

The acting, direction, lighting are superb and the whole is only further enhanced by the haunting music of Burgon. The pace and suspense are every bit as thrilling as the book.

One tip for lovers of this movie : try and get a copy of the follow-up, namely Smiley's People. It takes over very gently from Tinker, Tailor and leads on to the ultimate conclusion of Smiley's career.

Bravo !


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