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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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The synopsis of the source novel on John le Carré's personal website reads: "'It's an emergency, George. You remember Vladimir? George, are you awake? You remember the old General? The phone call that dragged George Smiley, acting Chief of the Circus, from his bed was a plea to return to active service. But only to bury the case, not to solve it." See more »
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 »
What was it you used to say? "I wouldn't trust Saul Enderby any further than I could throw Oliver Lacon."
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The wooden planks in the opening credits are those of park benches. See more »
I have to say I loved this and it got better as the story unravelled. This was something that is all too rare now - a story which takes it's time and teats the viewer as an adult (a great antidote for all the Hollywood contrived happy endings that make me bilious just to think of them). I love the fact that we didn't have a clue what was going on til almost half weay through, I loved the fact that we didn't need every small detail explained ad nausium, but most of all I loved the fact you had to pay attention, listen and think for a change. Guinness was his usual flawless self and wonderfully under-stated, but I must admit to getting twinges of Deadringers in the car showroom every now and then. And to those who did not understand Barry Fosters over-the-top portrayal of Saul Enderby - that was the point he was meant to be a thoroughly tasteless David Brent character, right down to his Eton tie.
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