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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) Poster

Quotes

George Smiley: I want to talk about loyalty, Toby. Control recruited you, didn't he? He found you starving in a museum in Vienna, a wanted man. He saved your life, I heard. And yet, when the time came... when it came to picking sides between him and Alleline, you didn't hesitate. It's understandable, perhaps, with your war experience. You survived this long, I suppose, because of your ability to change sides, to serve any master.

Easterhase: What's... what's this about, George?

George Smiley: It's about which master you've been serving, Toby.

Oliver Lacon: It's the oldest question of all, George. Who can spy on the spies?

Peter Guillam: [on Karla] He went back to die, rather than give in.

George Smiley: And that's how I know he can be beaten. Because he's a fanatic. And the fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt.

[a teenage couple are making out in front of Connie and Smiley]

Connie Sachs: I don't know about you George, but I'm feeling seriously under-fucked!

Control: I know that Moscow has planted a mole, and I know it is one of five men.

[starts placing out chess pieces with photos on them]

Control: Alleline: Tinker. Haydon: Tailor. Bland: Soldier. We leave out "Sailor", too much like "Tailor". Esterhase: Poorman.

Jim Prideaux: And the fifth?

Control: Smiley.

Bill Haydon: [on the phone] As I said, you may fuck me but you still have to call me "Sir" in the morning.

[last lines]

Bill Roach: I made this for you, sir.

Jim Prideaux: I don't want you hanging around here anymore. Keep away from me from now on. Go and join the others.

Bill Roach: But...

Jim Prideaux: Just bloody join in, will you?

Jim Prideaux: Go and play! Damn you!

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George Smiley: Is there anything you would like me to pass on to Ann?

Bill Haydon: That was nothing personal, George. You have to understand. Karla said that you were good; the one we had to worry about. If I were to known as Ann's lover, he'd figure that you wouldn't be able to see me straight. And he was right, up to a point...

George Smiley: Up to a point.

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George Smiley: We're not so different, you and I. We've both spent our lives looking for the weakness in one another's systems. Don't you think it's time to recognize there is as little worth on your side as there is on mine?

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Minister: I thought Lacon had made it clear to you: keep your nose bloody well out of Witchcraft's business!

George Smiley: It's Lacon's advice I'm following.

[to Lacon]

George Smiley: You told me to follow in Control's footsteps.

Minister: I wouldn't consider that sound advice, given the mess Control left us with. It has taken Alleline - and if I may say so, myself - this long to get us back in the game.

George Smiley: The man Alleline and the others meet is called Polyakov. You believe his role is to bring information from Witchcraft to you. His real role is to receive information from the mole, to take back to Karla.

Minister: [laughing incredulously] That... that's not possible.

George Smiley: Made possible, by you, in the house which you persuaded the Treasury to pay for.

Minister: Witchcraft's intelligence is genuine! It's been gold!

George Smiley: It's just enough glitter amongst the chickenfeed. Control didn't believe in miracles, and he didn't believe in Witchcraft. But you were lazy, and you were greedy, and so you hounded him out of the Circus and you let Karla in. You've opened negotiations to exchange intelligence with the Americans...

[Realizing the implications of what Smiley is saying, the Minister starts to tremble]

George Smiley: What they tell the Circus, they'll be telling the Kremlin. Witchcraft's information, the "gold" Karla let you have, it wasn't to lure you. It was to lure the Americans. Now... do you want to take credit for that?

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Ricki Tarr: They're going to kill me.

George Smiley: Who is?

Ricki Tarr: Your lot. Or their lot, whoever gets me first. I'm innocent. Within reason.

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George Smiley: Did Karla want you take over the Circus?

Bill Haydon: I'm not his bloody office boy!

George Smiley: [angry] What are you then, Bill?

Bill Haydon: I'm someone who's made his mark.

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[from trailer]

Oliver Lacon: [to Smiley] There's a mole, right at the top of the Circus. And he's been there for years.

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[from trailer]

Irina: [to Tarr] I know who you are.

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[from trailer]

Control: All I want from you is one codename: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier...

George Smiley: ...Spy.

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Ricki Tarr: Mr Guillam, I'm sorry I was out for so long.

[Guillam attacks Tarr]

George Smiley: Ricki's been helping us, Peter! He's been telling us all about his adventures.

Peter Guillam: He's a double, George! There is no mole! Irina's been locked up by Moscow!

[turns on Tarr]

Peter Guillam: I stole that, because of you! I spied on my own, because of him! Do you know how that makes me feel?

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Connie Sachs: It was a good time back then.

George Smiley: It was a war, Connie.

Connie Sachs: A war we could be proud of.

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Wall Graffiti: The future is female.

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[from trailer]

Ricki Tarr: [about Irina] She had information concerning a double agent. What she told me was sensational...

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Irina: I have something to trade. Something big.

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Ricki Tarr: She told me she had a secret, the mother of all secrets...

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Bill Haydon: It's become so ugly...

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Control: [pouring vodka generously into a punchbowl] It'll take us five hours to get drunk on this monkey's piss!

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Bill Haydon: I thought I'd pop down and catch a glimpse at the new girl before Bland gets to her.

Peter Guillam: Ah, yes, Belinda the Blonde.

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[Haydon rides a bicycle into the Circus office]

Peter Guillam: You got clearance for that?

Bill Haydon: Well, I'm not bloody chaining it up outside. Mind you, probably no better off in here with this bunch of bloody cut-throats, they'll have the gold out of your teeth!

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Jim Prideaux: [on Roach] I've known a lot of Bills in my time. They've all been good ones. Whatcha good at?

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Control: [signs his resignation] A man should know when to leave the party...

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George Smiley: [discussing the veracity of a new report] Where did you get this?

Control: I didn't. Percy and his little cabal walked in with it.

Easterhase: Look, Control...

Control: Shut up!

Bill Haydon: Style, appalling. Blatantly a fabrication from beginning to end. Just could be the real thing.

Control: Smiley is suspicious, Percy.

George Smiley: Where did it come from? What's the access?

Percy Alleline: A new secret source of mine.

George Smiley: But how could he possibly have access?

Percy Alleline: He has access to the most sensitive levels of policy making. We named the Operation Witchcraft.

Control: Well, Percy and his pals bypassed us Smiley. Gone straight to the minister. Percy has been allowed to keep the identity of his new friend top secret.

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George Smiley: After today, Peter, they have to assume they're watching you. If there's anything you need tidied up, now's the time.

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[Alleline's telex arrives from London]

Ricki Tarr: Read it aloud.

Ben: "Personal for Tarr from Alleline: require clarification before meeting your request. Quote, 'information vital to safeguarding of the Circus', unquote, does not qualify, send further information."

Ricki Tarr: [laughing maniacally] That's the way, Percy boy! You keep stalling. I warn you, Ben, we've got some really lousy people in this outfit, I wouldn't trust a fucking one of them!

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George Smiley: I met him once. Karla. In fifty-five. Moscow Centre was in pieces. Purge after purge. Half their agents were jumping ship and I traveled around signing them up. Hundreds of them. One of them was calling himself Gerstmann. He was on his way back to Russia, and we were pretty sure he was going to be executed. Plane had a twenty-four hour layover at Delhi, and that's how long I had to convince him to come over to us instead of going home to die. Little room. I'm sitting here... he's sitting there. The Americans had had him tortured. No fingernails. It's incredibly hot. I'm very tired and all I want to do is get this over with and get back home. Things weren't going well with Ann. I give him the usual pitch: come to the West and we can give you a comfortable life, after questioning. Or you can catch your plane and fly home and be shot. "Think of your wife. You have a wife, don't you? I brought you some cigarettes, by the way. Use my lighter. We could arrange for her to join you, we have a lot of stock to trade. If you go back, she'll be ostracized. Think of her. Think about how much she..." Kept harping on about the damn wife. Telling him more about me than... Should have walked out, of course, but for some reason it seemed important to save this one. So I go on. "We are not so very different, you and I. We've both spent our lives looking for the weaknesses in one another's systems. Don't you think it's time to recognize there is as little worth on your side as there is on mine?"... Never said a word. Not one word.

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[from trailer]

Bill Haydon: What the hell are you doing up here?

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George Smiley: I know who it is. It's Karla.

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Bill Haydon: You really are a poison dwarf, Toby. Why don't you fuck off to his majesty and stop trying to involve me in your little cabaret.

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Ricki Tarr: Everything the Circus thinks is gold is shit made in Moscow.

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Ricki Tarr: [to Smiley] I want a wife and family, I don't want to end up like you.

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[from trailer]

George Smiley: [to Guillam] I need you to do something for me. You have to assume they're watching you...

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[from trailer]

Easterhase: [to Smiley] Things aren't always what they seem.

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[from trailer]

George Smiley: Now is the time.

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Jim Prideaux: [on Roach, to Bill] Best watcher in the unit, I'll bet. As long's he's got his specs on, aye?

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Percy Alleline: Arabs. You can rent one but you can't buy one. Right Bill?

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Connie Sachs: [looks at old photos] That was a good time, George.

George Smiley: It was war.

Connie Sachs: A real war. Englishman could be proud, then.

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Connie Sachs: [to Smiley] So I was right, then; about Polyokov. There is a mole... If it's bad, don't come back. I want to remember you all as you were.

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Oliver Lacon: The treasurer can't understand why can't the intelligence service simply put in a request for a general increase in funding and then you'll account for the spend on your special operation?

Percy Alleline: Operation 'Witchcraft' needs to remain a secret; it's a fiefdom of its own.

Oliver Lacon: Yes, that's what's winding us; whole thing's very unaccountable isn't it? This London house that no one knows the address of, is that really necessary?

Percy Alleline: Now more than ever, we need to protect our Soviet source.

Roy Bland: [lights a cigarette] So where do you propose we meet, in a café?

Oliver Lacon: The rent and rates on this house have... doubled.

Roy Bland: We spent millions on nuclear warheads, we're asking for a few thousand for a house. I wonder if Karla has the same problem with the treasury at the Kremlin.

Oliver Lacon: Look, nobody underestimates the importance of the jobs you chaps are doing.What happened in Budapest last year... That was a disaster.

Roy Bland: With respect, sir, that wasn't one of your civil servants that got killed, was it? Now this isn't about soldiers in trenches anymore. We're the front line now...

Oliver Lacon: Roy...

Roy Bland: For 25 years we've been the only ones standing between them and Karla and Moscow and the Third bloody World War!

Oliver Lacon: Look, the minister is very pleased with your progress so far. He's less pleased though, with our progress with our American cousins. You see, in their eyes... You're still a leaky ship.

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Control: Trust no one, Jim. Especially not in the mainstream. Sit down. I understand you still have one Hungarian identity running.

Jim Prideaux: I do.

Control: I want you to go to Budapest. This is not above board. Nobody else knows. They're after my head, Jim-boy. You understand? I have had an offer of service. A Hungarian general wants to come over. I would like you to meet him. He has some information that I need, Jim.

Jim Prideaux: What information?

Control: Treasure. He has the name of the mole the Russians have planted in the British intelligence service, right at the top of the Circus. There's a rotten apple, Jim. We have to find it.

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Connie Sachs: [Smiley offers her whiskey] Not supposed to, doctor's orders.

Connie Sachs: [smiles] Wicked, wicked George.

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[from trailer]

George Smiley: What did you think of Control's theory?

Jim Prideaux: I thought it was madness!

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[first lines]

Control: [opening door] You weren't followed?

Jim Prideaux: No.

Control: Better come in.

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Percy Alleline: The Minister agrees with me that too many secrets are blowin' around here. Too much failure, too many scandals, too little solid intelligence.

Roy Bland: Percy does have a point, Control. We should be fighting communism, not each other.

Percy Alleline: Well, we're losing our reputation. Our partners.

Control: [scoffs] Your bloody Yanks!

Percy Alleline: And we've had enough! There's going to be changes.

Easterhase: We need to decide if we want to be part of the past or part of the future.

Control: I should have left you where I found you.

Easterhase: Look!

Roy Bland: Control-...

Control: Out! All of you!

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Tufty Thesinger: You're supposed to have gone. London station has been onto me, wondering what the hell it is you're doing.

Ricki Tarr: Fuck off.

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[from trailer]

Ricki Tarr: I needed to see you.

George Smiley: Why?

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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