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 »
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1  
1982  
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 George Smiley (6 episodes, 1982)
...
 Madame Ostrakova (4 episodes, 1982)
...
 Lauder Strickland (4 episodes, 1982)
Vladek Sheybal ...
 Otto Leipzig / ... (4 episodes, 1982)
Andy Bradford ...
 Ferguson (4 episodes, 1982)
Bernard Hepton ...
 Toby Esterhase (3 episodes, 1982)
...
 Peter Guillam (3 episodes, 1982)
Anthony Bate ...
 Oliver Lacon (3 episodes, 1982)
Tusse Silberg ...
 Alexandra Ostrakova (3 episodes, 1982)
Germaine Delbat ...
 Madame La Pierre (3 episodes, 1982)
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Storyline

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 happened. He begins to follow up the clues of his friends past days, discovering that the clues lead to a high person in the Russian Secret service, and a secret important enough to kill for. Smiley continues to put together the pieces a step ahead or a step behind the Russian killers. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

25 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agent in eigener Sache  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Judi Dench was the original choice for Madame Ostrakova, but she was unable to take the role due to scheduling conflicts. See more »

Quotes

Toby Esterhase: Grigoriev has a salad. She has steak and chips, glass of beer, and a slice of cake. George, the guy will fold, believe me! You never had a wife like that.
George Smiley: No, I don't think I ever did.
Toby Esterhase: You think he wants to be locked up in a two-room flat in Moscow with that bitch for the rest of his life? Ha hah, don't worry.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The wooden planks in the opening credits are those of park benches. See more »

Connections

Follows The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Guinness is the definitive Smiley
8 August 2000 | by (Derbyshire, UK) – See all my reviews

The recent death of Sir Alec Guinness prompted me to wonder which role in his very long career he should be remembered for, and I believe it should be his portrayal of John Le Carre's master spy and inadequate man, George Smiley.

"Smiley's People", like the earlier "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", derives much of its fascination from its mundane realism. Le Carre, unlike many espionage authors, really knew the setting, the techniques and many of the people. The TV series follows every detail of the novel and cannot be faulted on any grounds of atmosphere.

The cast list has a plethora of famous names, some so heavily made up and convincingly acted as to be unrecognisable as themselves. Guinness's gelid tones and painstakingly slow gestures manage to put them all, even the bubbly Bernard Hepton and Beryl Reid, in the shade. Especially in the final scene, where all Smiley's friends and supporters are practically dancing with joy, Guinness's studied absence of emotion dominates.

Few corporations other than the BBC would dare drag a 200-page novel out to over 4 hours of TV time, and very few actors other than Sir Alec Guinness could have held the viewer fascinated throughout such a marathon.


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