8.6/10
6,612
89 user 21 critic

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 

TV-14 | | Drama, Thriller | TV Mini-Series (1979)
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.
Reviews
Popularity
2,907 ( 211)

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1979  
Top Rated TV #186 | Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The murder of a Soviet defector forces his old handler, British spymaster George Smiley, out of retirement. His investigation leads to an old nemesis, the Soviet spymaster known only as Karla. This will be their final dance.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Eileen Atkins, Bill Paterson
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the Cold War during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Richard Burton, Oskar Werner, Claire Bloom
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy
A Perfect Spy (1987)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This is the story of Magnus Pym, from his childhood to the end of his career in middle age. As a young man, there is little doubt that his father Rick was the most influential character in ... See full summary »

Stars: Ray McAnally, Rüdiger Weigang, Alan Howard
I, Claudius (1976)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.

Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The schemes of a ruthlessly ambitious British politician who will stop at nothing to get to the top.

Stars: Ian Richardson, Susannah Harker, Miles Anderson
State of Play (2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In London, a naive young politician becomes a suspect when his female assistant and mistress is killed in a suspicious accident. The politician's investigative journalist friend and his team uncover a government conspiracy.

Stars: John Simm, Kelly Macdonald, Bill Nighy
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Two young men meet at Oxford. Charles Ryder, though of no family or money, becomes friends with Sebastian Flyte when Sebastian throws up in his college room through an open window. He then ... See full summary »

Stars: Jeremy Irons, Diana Quick, Roger Milner
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Alec Guinness ...  George Smiley 7 episodes, 1979
Michael Jayston ...  Peter Guillam 7 episodes, 1979
Anthony Bate ...  Sir Oliver Lacon / ... 7 episodes, 1979
George Sewell ...  Mendel 7 episodes, 1979
Bernard Hepton ...  Toby Esterhase 5 episodes, 1979
Ian Richardson ...  Bill Haydon 5 episodes, 1979
Hywel Bennett ...  Ricki Tarr 5 episodes, 1979
Terence Rigby ...  Roy Bland 4 episodes, 1979
Ian Bannen ...  Jim Prideaux 4 episodes, 1979
Michael Aldridge ...  Percy Alleline 4 episodes, 1979
Alec Sabin Alec Sabin ...  Fawn 4 episodes, 1979
Alexander Knox ...  Control 3 episodes, 1979
Duncan Jones Duncan Jones ...  Roach 3 episodes, 1979
Daniel Beecher Daniel Beecher ...  Spikely 3 episodes, 1979
Beryl Reid ...  Connie Sachs 2 episodes, 1979
John Wells John Wells ...  Headmaster 2 episodes, 1979
Frank Compton Frank Compton ...  Bryant 2 episodes, 1979
Frank Moorey Frank Moorey ...  Lauda Strickland 2 episodes, 1979
Edit

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:

One Of Britain's Master Spies Is Working For The Enemy. Can George Smiley Beat Him At His Own Game? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Czech | Russian

Release Date:

29 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (7 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernard Hepton (Toby Esterhase) played George Smiley in the BBC radio play of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and "Smiley's People". See more »

Goofs

Jim Prideaux goes off on his abortive mission to Czechoslovakia at the end of March. Following this scene is a strap-line that says "six months later". That should put the continuing action at the end of September. However we see snow on the roads, and Roddy Martindale saying to George Smiley in the restaurant "... I do hope you're not going to tip him. It's a guinea at Christmas". See more »

Quotes

Roy Bland: It isn't ordinary flight information, Peter. The source is very private.
Toby Esterhase: Ultra, ultra sensitive in fact.
Peter Guillam: In that case, Toby, I'll try and keep my mouth ultra, ultra shut.
[Bill Haydon chuckles]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits show a set of Russian matryoshka dolls. One doll opens up to reveal a doll more irate than the other one, and the final doll is seen as being faceless. This was inspired by a line at the end of the "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" novel: "Smiley settled on a picture of one of those little Russian dolls that open up to reveal one inside the other, and another inside him. Of all men living, only Karla had seen the last little doll inside..." See more »

Alternate Versions

The American DVD edition is a syndicated edit comprised of six episodes instead of seven. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conan: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Rabbi (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Nunc Dimittis
Composed by Geoffrey Burgon
Sung by Paul Phoenix and the Boys of the St Paul's Cathedral Choir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I can only add to the other comments:
21 August 1999 | by larcher-2See all my reviews

I can only add to the other comments: this is a superb film. It is absolute proof that a TV mini-series can stand beside the best cinema films with honor. I have rarely paid $7.00 for just 87 minutes of anything this good. If I could vote on it, it would get a 9. The writing is rich; the acting, excellent; the theme, deep; the technical quality only slightly inhibited by a presumably small budget. When I consider the BBC's obsession with the mass market peddling of dull costume dramas, I cannot understand why this astringent tragedy is not available, at least in the US, on video or DVD. In about 20 years, this will have the sort of mythic reputation given to lost or damaged movies of the teens and twenties--more deservedly than most of them.


43 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 89 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed