8.6/10
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Smiley's People 

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1:53 | Trailer
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, George Smiley (Sir Alec Guinness) 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:

Smiley and Karla in the final confrontation. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. 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

Ferguson: I'm still on the side of the angels.
George Smiley: I didn't know we had any angels.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in John le Carré (2008) See more »

User Reviews

 
The Disenchanted Romantic returns to the Theatre Of The Absurd
12 August 2013 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

which is to paraphrase John Le Carre's own description of George Smiley played by Alec Guinness in this. I'm glad the Creator himself called the craft of spying absurd, there's a lot of people who apparently think it an essential art form and necessary for all our safety. And he also said he thought it was Guinness's performance which held people glued to the end, to which I can only agree too. There's a remarkably seamless continuity between this, the sequel TV series to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – seamless in all departments that is and not just in Alec Guinness's performance. And eleven brilliant hours all told. To me it's as good as the first, a splendid and engrossing pair of miniseries from the days when UK BBC often still broadcast for higher common denominators. Alas, since then they've settled firmly into the gutter, producing year after year of cheap unloved tripe and remembered by no one.

Complicated tale of "modern" and old systems of espionage clashing, of smoothing over the many consequences of various past causes, of West & East blurring in the middle, of a spy story expertly related, and basically of staunch Briton Smiley hoping to find his old adversary the master-crafty Russian Karla had an ancient Achilles Heel after all. It's all beautiful to behold, all walking and talking with plenty of thinking required for full enjoyment. The only (slight) downer to me was that the sex club scene went on for an unnecessarily long time. Probably for Smiley too!

As with Tinker I had to especially concentrate during the first episode but again found it more than worthwhile and completely memorable. Everyone who can appreciate this gem is another of Guinness's People.


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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 »

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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