8.7/10
3,147
36 user 8 critic

Smiley's People 

Trailer
1:52 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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.
Reviews
Popularity
4,795 ( 118)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1982  
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

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.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate
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
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
The Sandbaggers (1978–1980)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The missions of an elite British Intelligence covert operations unit.

Stars: Roy Marsden, Ray Lonnen, Jerome Willis
Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Broadcast live from London's Royal Festival Hall, join us for a celebration of one of the world's greatest writers as he shares the secrets behind the creation of his most beloved character.

Director: John Kirby
Stars: Hossein Amini, Simon Russell Beale, Tom Hiddleston
A Murder of Quality (TV Movie 1991)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Taken from the book by John le Carre, George Smiley rallies to the aid of his former intelligence colleague, Ailsa Brimley, to investigate a mysterious letter from a junior master's wife at... See full summary »

Director: Gavin Millar
Stars: Denholm Elliott, Joss Ackland, Glenda Jackson
Certificate: M Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

From the John le Carré novel about a British spy, who sends a Polish defector to East Germany, to verify missile sites.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Christopher Jones, Pia Degermark, Ralph Richardson
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
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret
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
A Very British Coup (TV Mini-Series 1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Harry Perkins, steel worker and trade unionist from Sheffield, becomes Prime Minister of the UK by a landslide, partly because of corruption and public disillusionment with the Conservative... See full summary »

Stars: Ray McAnally, Marjorie Yates, Geoffrey Beevers
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
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Smiley and Karla in the final confrontation. The acclaimed BBC production of John le Carré's espionage classic. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agent in eigener Sache 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Curd Jürgens and Michael Lonsdale appeared as antagonists in the James Bond film franchise: Jurgens played Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and Lonsdale played Hugo Drax in Moonraker (1979). See more »

Quotes

Toby Esterhase: First we'd take the document to Max. That's you, George. Max would know its meaning, Max would reward us. Gifts, promotion, medals, maybe we'd get lunch with the Queen. Only problem was, Vladimir didn't know you were on the shelf and the Circus had joined the Boy Scouts.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Great Film... but Buyer Beware
26 November 2006 | by dcurrie623See all my reviews

Judging by the other comments on this site, this episode of the 2 Smiley-BBC productions seems to disappoint some of it's fans. In my opinion, this is only slightly less praiseworthy than Tinker, Tailor and that is due to the previous high standard of its predecessor.

SP has excellent character parts, particularly Bernard Hepton as Tobe Esterhazy, Beryl Reid, and even the maligned Barry Foster as Saul Enderby. (His outstanding scene with Guinness on the roof after the consideration of Smiley's evidence about Karla is outrageously deleted in the Acorn DVD version. It's one one of my favorite moments.) Everyone in this production is outstanding and equal to their forbears in TTSS - almost all of whom are them! The fact that virtually every key person is back reprising their roles says a lot about the quality of this production. Mario Adorf plays another vivid character, Claus Kretschmar. Dammit, every actor is interesting, alive and vivid in this story.

I guess the discrepancy is due to the fact that this is an entirely different sort of thing than TTSS. This also is a detective story but with a different dynamic. Nonetheless the same qualities make this must viewing for every Smiley fan. SP has excellent character parts all of whom add texture to the slow unfolding of this tale. And that is what is good about it - the story unfolds with pieces coming to light after each of Smiley's interviews. (To anyone who has never seen the Smiley stories this might sound like a recipe for boredom, but in fact it is just the opposite. So yeah, you have to pay attention.) Now for the bad news.

The Acorn DVD is a travesty.

With about forty minutes cut and scenes shortened and juxtaposed, this is NOT the Smiley's People that appeared on PBS and the BBC videotape. While the story can be followed and enjoyed to a point, there are moments when the cutting is abrupt and the story jumps with the viewer wondering why some things are happening and 'did I miss something?'. The answer is yes. For example, Villem's part is cut and his reason for going to Hamburg are not explained. The previously mentioned Enderby-Smiley scene is nowhere to be found.

I don't know where or why this particular 'version' of Smiley's People was found or used but it as an extreme disappointment to me and to viewers who are coming new to this film. No wonder it gets such mixed reviews.

With the story stretched to 3 DVDs surely someone should have noticed.

A great film, a very disappointing DVD.


29 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 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