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Smiley's People 

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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.
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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:
Alec Guinness ...  George Smiley 6 episodes, 1982
Eileen Atkins ...  Madame Ostrakova 4 episodes, 1982
Bill Paterson ...  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
Michael Byrne ...  Peter Guillam 3 episodes, 1982
Anthony Bate ...  Oliver Lacon 3 episodes, 1982
Tusse Silberg Tusse Silberg ...  Alexandra Ostrakova 3 episodes, 1982
Germaine Delbat 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

Taglines:

The acclaimed sequel to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smiley's People See more »

Filming Locations:

Bern, Kanton Bern, Switzerland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 parts) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After watching the early rushes of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979), John Hopkins and John le Carré re-drafted the script of this mini-series to subtly change George Smiley's character to use Sir Alec Guinness's performance to greater effect. See more »

Goofs

When Smiley is talking to Connie Sachs, she mentions that Karla once had a mistress, upon which Smiley's eyes widen, and with an utterly surprised look, he asks "Who?" She then goes on to tell about how Karla also had a daughter from that relationship.

It's highly improbable that George Smiley, who spent most of his life gathering every bit of detail about Karla, and even wrote "The Karla papers" (according to Saul Enderby) wouldn't know about such an important piece of information about his nemesis. See more »

Quotes

Toby Esterhase: You remember the first rule of retirement, George? No moonlighting, no fooling with loose ends, no private enterprise, ever. You remember who preaches this rule, at Sarratt, in the corridors? George Smiley did. Quote, "When it's over, it's over. Pull down the shutters, go home," unquote. We're over, George. We've got no license. They don't want us anymore.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the closing credits, a yellow chalk mark suddenly appears on some planks. See more »

Connections

Follows Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

More problematic than Tinker Tailor, but still wonderful.
9 June 2005 | by pekinmanSee all my reviews

The merits of Alec Guinness's Smiley are familiar to anyone who has seen this wonderful BBC adaptation of LeCarré's great 'Karla' trilogy of books..well, two of the books anyway. Sadly they skipped over 'The Honourable Schoolboy' arguably the most exciting of the three.

Both 'Tinker Tailor' and 'Smiley's People' have their casting mishaps but nothing that detracts in any important way. I found Eileen Atkins' Ostrakova to be wildly miscast, physically, but masterfully acted, so she gets a pass. Michael Byrne's Guillam is an improvement over his predecessor in 'Tinker Tailor' but his part is so small that it hardly registers. Beryl Reid's scene as Connie Sachs is longer than her scene in 'Tinker Tailor' but still woefully short of the involved and fascinating scene in the book. It is in regards to Sachs and Jerry Westerby that I deeply regret the BBC not making 'The Honourable Schoolboy.' Reid would have been fabulous in that role, though still not nearly fat or tall enough to wear the original Connie's shoes.

Generally the actors are superb. There is an especially moving and unforgettable performance from Tulle Silberg as Alexandra Ostrakova. Her scene with Smiley is deeply touching and it is easy to understand why Smiley does what he does in the end. I won't say any more to avoid a spoiler.

'Smiley's People' is not as riveting as 'Tinker Tailor' I think because I found the first mini- series, focusing on the inner workings of the Circus, to be far more interesting than the foreign "outside" locations in 'Smiley's People.' But that's just me. I still love this film and watch it often.

Don't miss the Smiley series! The BBC will never make anything like it again, on the evidence of the mediocre bilge they've been catting up in recent years.


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