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A Murder of Quality (TV Movie 1991) Poster

(1991 TV Movie)

Trivia

Alec Guinness was asked to play George Smiley for a third time but he passed. Anthony Hopkins, who had previously starred in John le Carré The Looking Glass War (1969), was offered the role and read a script, but withdrew from the project when script changes were made that he didn't like. Denholm Elliott was approached with just three days until production was to start. Elliott turned it down initially as he was living in Spain and returning to the UK would mean he would be landed with a bigger tax bill. He then agreed to play the role when he was offered twice the fee.
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This was Thorley Walters's final appearance before his death on July 6, 1991 at the age of 78.
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Writer John le Carré partially based his famous George Smiley character on a friend, the Lincoln College tutor and Oxford University don, the Reverend Vivian Green. Smiley was also based on le Carré's boss at Mi5, Lord Clanmorris, who wrote crime novels under the pseudonym of John Bingham.
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One of three appearances of actor Thorley Walters in a John le Carré filmed adaptation. The first was in an episode of the television mini-series Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) [See: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Tarr Tells His Story (1979)], the second was in the theatrical feature film cinema movie The Little Drummer Girl (1984), whilst the third and final appearance was in the tele-movie A Murder of Quality (1991), the latter which was also Walters' final ever film and television appearance. Walters appeared in every kind of John le Carré adaptation: a tele-movie, a TV mini-series, and a theatrical feature film.
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Final made-for-television adaptation of a John le Carré novel for around twenty-five years with the next being the TV mini-series The Night Manager (2016).
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The synopsis of this tele-movie's source novel "A Murder of Quality" (1993) by John le Carré on his personal website reads: "George Smiley was simply doing a favour for an old friend. Miss Brimley had received a letter from a worried woman reader: 'I'm not mad. And I know my husband is trying to kill me.' The writer of the letter was one Stella Rode, wife to an assistant master at Carne School, Dorset, and by the time it arrived, she was dead. Smiley went there to listen, take sherry, ask questions and think. And thus uncover, layer upon layer, the complexities, skeletons and hatreds that comprised this little English institution."
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Rupert Davies was the first actor to play'John le Carré''s famous George Smiley in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965); James Mason was the second actor to play George Smiley character on screen and TV in The Deadly Affair (1966) though the character was renamed Charles Dobbs; Sir Alec Guinness was the third, he played him twice, in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) and Smiley's People (1982); Denholm Elliott was the fourth actor to play Smiley in A Murder of Quality (1991); whilst Gary Oldman was the fifth actor to play George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
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The later John le Carré adaptation television mini-series The Night Manager (2016) was first broadcast in the 25th Anniversary year (2016) of this tele-movie's debut in 1991.
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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.
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This tele-movie's source John le Carré " . . . novel was the second story to be broadcast in BBC Radio 4's major series to feature all the Smiley novels (The Complete Smiley), with Simon Russell Beale in the main role" according to website Wikipedia.
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This filmed adaptation of a John le Carré novel is his only ever book which is not set inside the world of spies and espionage.
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This tele-movie was made and released almost thirty years (specifically, about twenty-nine years) after its source novel of the same name by novelist John le Carré had been first published in 1962.
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The source novel "A Murder of Quality" (1962) was the second published novel written by source author John le Carré.
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The name of the public school educational institution in Dorset, England was "Carne School".
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The closing credits of this tele-movie state that the production was "filmed on location at Sherborne School and in the town of Sherborne, Dorset and at Shepparton Studios". Source novelist John le Carré was born in Poole, Dorset in England, UK.
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One of two filmed adaptions of John le Carré novels featuring actor David Threlfall. The productions are The Russia House (1990) (the first) and A Murder of Quality (1991) (the second and final). One was made for TV and the other cinema, whilst both were first released during the early 1990s, and were the only two le Carré filmed adaptations of this 90s decade.
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The production filmed in the English county of Dorset. The tele-movie's source novelist John le Carré was born in Poole, Dorset in England, UK.
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This production is the only ever tele-movie adaptation based on a novel by source novelist John le Carré though there have been about a half a dozen TV mini-series adaptations, A Murder of Quality (1991) is a tele-feature film, and not a television mini-series.
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The only made-for television adaptation of a John le Carré novel that was first released during the 1990s decade. The Russia House (1990), which premiered the year before, is a theatrical feature film.
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The production featured three Academy Award nominees of whom two became Academy Award winners. Star Denholm Elliott had once been Oscar nominated, for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for a A Room with a View (1985), but did not win. Actress Glenda Jackson has been Oscar nominated four times, all during the 1970s, and prior to this tele-movie, and won the Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar twice. Actor Christian Bale has been Oscar nominated three times, all after A Murder of Quality (1991) had been made and debuted, and has won once, for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.
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According to the British Film Institute, "the setting is based on [source novelist John] Le Carre''s own schooldays in Sherborne [in Dorset, England]and his brief experience teaching at Eton".
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