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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011]

Tom Hardy , Gary Oldman , Tomas Alfredson    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (457 customer reviews)
Price: 4.12 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] + Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People Double Pack [DVD] [1979]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Kathy Burke, Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Directors: Tomas Alfredson
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, HiFi Sound
  • 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: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jan 2012
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (457 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00505QASQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,063 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Adapted from John le Carré’s uniquely British 1973 espionage novel, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is set in the analogue conditions of the Cold War, a time when cassette tape and Telex were your only gadgets and where middle-aged spies exchanged looks of cordial hatred--and the occasional loyalty--like Bond and Bourne exchange weapons, women and warm locations. Gary Oldman (Leon, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) plays George Smiley, the former agent who’s called in from the cold to hunt down one of his own--a Soviet mole in the top ranks of the leaky secret service that runs MI5 and MI6. Once inside, his investigations are simultaneously professional and deeply personal: digging around for one double-crossing colleague selling secrets to the Russians only unearths another sleeping with his wife. Le Carré’s London hasn’t been updated so much as back-filled with autumnal 1970s design: brown and pumpkin patterns upholster the shabby little rooms and crooked staircases through which the spies pursue each other, while the supporting cast--John Hurt, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Kathy Burke, Mark Strong and a porcine Toby Jones--is regularly squeezed, often several titans of British cinema at a time, into cramped British cars or shelf-sized offices. George Smiley has a natural home in Oldman, who, like Smiley, has a self-effacing control of his craft--hiding himself in outrageous villains or declining a credit entirely, as he did in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal. With its atmospheric drab and novelistic pace, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is the kind of chamber-piece that suits showy ensemble performances, but Oldman’s turn as Smiley is the most subtle in recent history. --Leo Batchelor

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
131 of 160 people found the following review helpful
For everyone comparing this new movie to the book and the tv series (and I am a fan of both) - Le Carre himself has said in interviews that he categorically did not want someone just copying the book or even the series. He wanted a new take on the story. Yes, it is different. Of course it would have been nice to have characters fleshed out a bit more, but then, I think that will be the problem with anyone who has read the book or seen the series - you expect the same thing stuffed into an hour something, and that is nigh on impossible. My only personal gripe is that I didn't really understand some seemingly superficial changes, like Sam Collins (in the book) being changed in name to Gerry Westerby (considering Gerry is a whole big character on his own in the second book, and ultra posh to boot), Czech Republic being changed to Hungary etc. But that is minor, and overall, I think this was a great, quiet movie, the kind of thing you just don't get anymore. To the commentator who said this movie was more about betrayal than spies, it's probably true that this was the emphasis, but in the book, it is just as much about the nature of betrayal in relationships as it is about spies (in the book see Guillam/Camilla, Smiley/Ann, Little Bill/Prideaux, Connie/The Circus and even reality as she knew it, etc etc), to the point where you wonder if there is anything redeeming about the world outside of the Circus.
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203 of 250 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It either clicks or it doesn't 8 Dec 2011
Must admit, I'm quite surprised that even the mainstream critics dared to rate Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy so highly. Not because it isn't brilliant, which it is, but because critics have to consider their readership and, unfortunately, your average Joe-Public will not appreciate this film. I'm mostly going by the outraged 1-star customer reviews on here, where there are numerous complaints that the film was "boring" and "had no action in it". Truth is, they're right- It doesn't have much "action" in it. Actually, neither did Dirty Dancing, or Philadelpia, or Juno, or The Elephant Man for that matter...
I would say that if you are finding the film dull or uninvolving then it's just not your cup of tea, which is fine. In fairness it is very literary, the plot can be hard to keep up with and the dialogue is rather jargonistic (but really shouldn't be too difficult to decipher).
At the other end of the scale are the narrow-minded purists with their nostalgic view of the original BBC TV series, which was excellent for it's day but really doesn't hold up very well at all. I can remember when TV didn't pander to such short attention spans, but watching it on DVD I found the Alec Guinness version quite flat, and not in the moody, atmospheric way that it should be. It's okay to prefer the series, but that shouldn't come with an obligation to trash the film.
Tinker Tailor... gives us a small history lesson. This world of espionage is far removed from the exploits of 007 which have always been bare-faced escapist fun. The true face of the cold war in the 60's & 70's was this, a very private game played by lonely, vain, repressed old Oxbridge throwbacks in stuffy offices. Field agents were merely pawns to be used and abused.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Hollywood-isation 25 Feb 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Saw the BBC series - which was excellent, well acted and kept true to the story.
Then watched the film which was confusing despite the excellent cast. Puzzled why Peter Guillam character was made gay. Read the book and no mention in neitherthe BBC series nor book of such a detail.
Got the family, who were familiar with neither the BBC series nor the book, to watch the film. They also found the story confusing. They much preferred the BBC series which we watched after the film.
Disappointing film of an excellent tale
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly seedy 27 Feb 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
These books,film, tv series all require the creation of Le Carres somewhat faded, fusty melancholy world of espionage laced with sudden acts of violence and long simmering concoctions of betrayal and malice.
This movie does rather well in that department, ably served by the cast of players you know will not let the script down, even though dramatic flourishes are not sought nor produced.
I enjoyed it although it was always going to be a struggle to reproduce the heart of the original tale within the time constraints of conventional cinema. A respectablr
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 16 Feb 2013
By Sarah
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this dark, moody and atmospheric version. Gary Oldman managed the impossible and lived up to the original Alec Guiness portrayal of George Smiley.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 21 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
l looked forward to this but disappointed by drawn-out preview/adverts. Good when it gets going but difficult to keep track of all the characters as it was so fast moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Why compare this 2 hour film with the 6 hour serial, or require it to be a precise rendition of a book of more than 400 pages? I thought it a fine attempt to take many plot threads and make two hours of entertainment from them, I enjoyed items that were not present in the book. I do wonder though how the following books will be filmed now that Guillam's character has been changed.

Firstly, there are no explosions, chases, babes or helicopters (as if any potential viewer didn't know that) so be prepared to sit, watch and think rather than expect action and glitz to flow over you. Sure, there are some holes and inconsistencies; I suppose that I take a less forensic view to viewing films than do many of the reviewers here.

I don't care that we don't see the characters build to point the way to the identity of the mole because for me the identity of the mole is immaterial. This is about loyalty, betrayal and sacrifice. A few examples:
* Guillam ends his relationship immediately on considering that it might be used against him, quite a sacrifice in my opinion.
* A terrific moment of acting as Smiley makes a deal with Tarr that he knows will violate Tarr's trust because he can't fulfil the spirit of the deal.
* What a strange world where someone who makes such a sacrifice for their country ends up living in a caravan and teaching at a boarding school after being bunged only a few quid and a car.

There were some nice juxtapositions that made me think of how fragile lives might be and the fine line between normality and hardship.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good remake
Remakes of old classics rarely come up to expectation, this is one of the few that does. The film is a lot more concentrated than the original and lacks many of its subtleties,... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Angela Mortimer
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't watch it
This is possible one of the most slow moving films I've ever seen. I don't like action films but I don like something to happen. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Moss
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better the second time
This is a classic Cold War spy thriller. I've watched this and the full tv series recently and they are all brilliant. Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. Sutherst
4.0 out of 5 stars Compact Reminder
Considering it's only a fraction of the length of the well-known BBC adaptation with Alec Guinness, it's not bad. The performances are almost all sterling. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. M. Evans
3.0 out of 5 stars Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
This film was not as good as I thought it might be. Considering the book is a very good read.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs L M Newstead
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spy for All
I had seen the tv series of this along time ago, and this adaption of this in to a film is even better, Gary Oldman is superb as George Smiley, and Benedict Cumberbatch is... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jan townsend
5.0 out of 5 stars Plot is similar to the original.
I saw the original many years ago. It is good to see a remake with brilliant actors in. Very good a bit dark in places.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. Glynis L. Leaney
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Drama
I thought I may find it very violent, but this was made easier to handle by the brilliance of the direction and the acting
Published 2 months ago by Linda S Butler
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
Was really disappointed , constantly keeps changing to flash backs and deary music in the background, in the end i fell asleep and my son who was watching it with me said it was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by S. bailey
1.0 out of 5 stars Not just a poor adaptation, but a really badly made film, period
I have just watched this film, all the way through, in one go, and kept my mind open through out.

Having watched the BBC series, when it was first broadcast, and several... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jonathan A. Warner
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