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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy : Complete BBC Series [DVD] [1979]

Alec Guinness , Ian Richardson    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
Price: £5.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy : Complete BBC Series [DVD] [1979] + The Spy Who Came In From The Cold [DVD] [1965]
Price For Both: £14.67

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Product details

  • Actors: Alec Guinness, Ian Richardson, Bernard Hepton, Joss Ackland, Beryl Reid
  • Writers: John le Carre
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 26 May 2003
  • Run Time: 315 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000092WCG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,143 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Note: Customers have reported that the they are unable disable the subtitles , there is no issue here, please note the color coding for the subtitle option, grey is 'ON' , and white is 'OFF'.Disc 2 does default to subtitles on, however there is an option on the main menu page to turn subtitles off. The customer will need to click on this before watching episodes on this disc
'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy stars Alec Guinness as George Smiley, John Le Carré's familiar, ageing British Intelligence agent, called out of retirement to discover the identity of the high-ranking Russian mole who has burrowed deep into "The Circus"--codename for the British secret service. This slow-burning, complicated and ultimately rewarding BBC adaptation, dramatised by Arthur Hopcroft and directed by John Irvin, perfectly captures Le Carré's own insight into the shady underworld of spies and the political climate during the Cold War.

Le Carré's style is the antithesis of his contemporary Ian Fleming's--far from the glamorous lifestyle of Bond, with his fast cars and faster women, these agents ride around in Skodas, and Beryl Reid is the closest thing to a femme fatale, save for Smiley's elusive wife, Anne. An extraordinary cast (including Ian Bannen, Hywel Bennett and Ian Richardson), gritty realism and close attention to detail make Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy an outstanding piece of television drama. --Nicola Perry

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2.4 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Documentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: 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. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Emmy Awards, ...Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-notch drama and stellar performances 20 Aug 2005
Format:DVD
The cold war is in full swing. British agents are at risk. There is a mole at work within the highest levels of the secret service. Smiley, who had been unfairly ejected from the service - forced into early retirement after voicing legitimate suspicions - is brought back to investigate. He must tread carefully. The double agent could be any one of his former colleagues. Information is power and should not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.
You know great drama when you see it. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is easily one of the best. I watched it for the first time on DVD recently and found the story compelling, the acting flawless and the quality of the cinematograph superb (although the picture quality on the DVD could have been better). I remember people talking about it when it was shown on television. There was a lot of criticism of its incomprehensibility, the complexity of the plot and difficulty in keeping track of the characters. Now that I have actually watched the series for myself, all these years later, it just shows how a person should make their own judgement and not accept everything the critics have to say. It was easy to follow and understand the plot, but perhaps the ease of watching the episodes over the short period of a couple of days so that the story is fresh in the mind from one episode to the next gives the DVD watcher an advantage over the people who had to wait a week between episodes.
In addition to the drama, there is also a documentary entitled 'The Secret Centre', revealing fascinating details of John Le Carre's life: when, where, why and how his ideas and attitudes were formed, his life as a spy, how he became an author and so on. I found this documentary so riveting that I watched it twice.
Highly recommended.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical transformation 14 Jan 2006
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
Format:DVD
Will the endless debates over the transformation of a book into a film ever be resolved? More than one TV miniseries has shown how proper casting and directing can produce some outstanding successful conversions. Even so, few approach the excellent production of John Irvin's rendition of John Le Carre's famous spy thriller. With superb casting and close following of the original story, Irvin has produced an almost flawless conversion of a narrative into a visual presentation.
Irvin's success might have rested on his capture of Alec Guiness to play George Smiley. Irvin, however, collected a stunning array of talent to portray one of the world's great spy stories. If you've read the book, you will see Le Carre's characters come to life with rarely seen precision. Guiness, of course, is an incomparable George Smiley. Reserved, unquenchable, distanced from both the ones he loves and despises, he carries an intense story with practiced ease. His task seems insurmountable - how to find a long-established “mole” within "The Circus". This agency, run by a driven man close to his dotage, has been penetrated by a Soviet agent right at the top of the hierarchy. "There are three of them, plus Alleline" - "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier" with one the traitor that must be unearthed.
Irvin is able to keep the suspense at its height as George, the one man deemed trustworthy to "Go backwards, George? Go forwards?" in the words of Foreign Office functionary Oliver Lacon [Anthony Bate] who brings Smiley filched records each night to peruse. Tucked away in a seedy hotel used as his headquarters, Smiley must sift through skimpy evidence to pinpoint the traitor. Is it Toby Esterhazy [Bernard Hepton] the Hungarian émigré now more British than Control himself?
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of BBC Drama 4 May 2004
Format:DVD
This is the third time I have watched the series through and even though I know the plot and have read the book, I still get a lot of pleasure from it.
The story is strong - totally believable as you would expect from, as the accompanying documentary makes clear, the pen of a real spy. For those who don't know it it is based on the real story of Kim Philby, a mole who penetrated deep into MI5.
The acting is stunning! Alec Guinness, as George Smiley, shines - a subtle combination of school boy benevolence and executioner's hardness. But the number of cameo appearances by top quality British actors is mind blowing.
Technically the production is as good as the acting - an atmosphere of built up pressure and intense guilt is established almost from the first frame: Great Camerawork and Great Music.
Well worth the money.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Drama 20 Mar 2007
By Mr. M Errington VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is proof that novels are better dramatised in TV series than in films. From the opening scene where the four chief suspects character's are shown in a meeting, (pompous, prissy, cynical and slobbish), we begin to descend into the murky world of espionage and counter espionage. George Smiley (Alec Guiness) is pulled out of retirement to secretly investigate a mole in the upper echelons of the security community. With blind trails and missing paper chains, he must rely on his memory and his old contacts to uncover the traitor.

This is anything but a blockbuster, with no car chases or wiz-bangs on screen. Instead there is the methodical and dogged methods of a sphinx-like master of the dark arts of intelligence. Smiley's nemesis is the shadowy Soviet spy-master, Karla, played silently but mesmerically by Patrick Stewart. The joy in this series is in the acting, script and direction, which draws out tension from hints and half-truths. This is surely one of the greatest ever TV dramas. Try to spot and name the actors making early screen appearances, such as a camp Warren Clarke!

On 2 DVDs, through seven episodes, the story leads to the unmasking of the traitor and to the heart of Smiley's relationships, both professional and personal. You cannot warm to Smiley, but you cannot help admire his intellect and dedication. The quality, both picture and sound, is very fair, but there are no extras, so you will just have to make do with this most intriguing drama as it was broadcast.
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Does it have subtitles (for the hearing impaired) ? 8 11 Feb 2012
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