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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

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

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 34 wins & 88 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Zoltán Mucsi ...
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Hungarian Waiter
Ilona Kassai ...
Woman in Window
Imre Csuja ...
KGB Agent
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Arthur Nightingale ...
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Storyline

In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control, resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. It transpires that Control believed one of four senior figures in the service was in fact a Russian agent - a mole - and the Hungary operation was an attempt to identify which of them it was. Smiley had been forced into retirement by the departure of Control, but is asked by a senior government figure to investigate a story told to him by a rogue agent, Ricky Tarr, that there was a mole. Smiley considers that the failure of the Hungary operation and the continuing success of Operation Witchcraft (an apparent source of significant Soviet intelligence) confirms this, and takes up the task of finding him. Written by David Brain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The secret is out. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, some sexuality/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

6 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El topo  »

Box Office

Budget:

£20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$310,562 (USA) (9 December 2011)

Gross:

$24,104,113 (USA) (16 March 2012)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title of the film and its source novel is taken from an English children's rhyme 'Tinker, Tailor' that reads: "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief". See more »

Goofs

Lacon meets with Alleline and Bland. He is holding a sheet of paper prominently in his right hand. As the camera angle changes to Alleline, who says "Operation Witchcraft needs to remain secret," Lacon is instantly holding a cup of tea in his right hand instead. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Control: [opening door] You weren't followed?
Jim Prideaux: No.
Control: Better come in.
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Crazy Credits

The closing credits constantly move back and forth, See more »


Soundtracks

All Kinds of Everything
Written by Derry Lindsay and Jack Smith
Performed by Dana
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Stinker, paler, borer why?
2 July 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I know my limits. I just couldn't follow the plot of this labyrinthine movie adapted from John Le Carre's novel, which had previously been made into an award-winning BBC TV series with Alec Guinness as spy-catcher George Smiley. That itself had been a multi-part production but here the action, or should that be inaction, is condensed into a still lengthy two and a half-hour film.

It seemed that every time I picked up a plot thread, it led me down an inconclusive side-road with no real drama at any point. Even the revelation of the mole in the British Secret Service was delivered unspectacularly, in keeping with the dogmatic realism of the rest of the narrative. Plot-lines circle round and turn in on themselves but ended up only dizzying my perceptive powers.

The cream of contemporary British acting talent, old and young, pretty much is the whole cast but I didn't get any sense of the actors really inhabiting their parts. Gary Oldman's playing is very much in the shadow of Guinness and no-one else distinguished themselves in my eyes. They may have been in the book, I guess but strange scenes, like Smiley taking a constitutional swim in a public place or the Secret Service office party, just sort of occur, although to what end I'm not entirely sure. Apart from hearing the odd stray song on the soundtrack or sighting a vintage car in the streets, I hardly got the impression that this was the 70's at all. There were no news inserts or political issues to reference the times, leaving the story to unfold in a musty, grey netherworld, vaguely Kafka-ish in tone.

Which may well have been the point. All I know is this film failed to connect with me at all and was a major disappointment for this particular viewer in almost very respect.


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