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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 (485 customer reviews)
Price: £3.65 & 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 (485 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00505QASQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,007 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

Product Description

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy finds George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a recently retired MI6 agent, doing his best to adjust to a life outside the secret service. However, when a disgraced agent reappears with information concerning a mole at the heart of the Circus, Smiley is drawn back into the murky field of espionage. Tasked with investigating which of his trusted former colleagues has chosen to betray him and their country, Smiley narrows his search to four suspects - all experienced, skilled and successful agents - but past histories, rivalries and friendships make it far from easy to pinpoint the man who is eating away at the heart of the British establishment. An acting masterclass from the crème de la crème of British film (Colin Firth, The King's Speech; Tom Hardy, Inception; Mark Strong, Kick Ass; Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock) and inspired direction from Let The Right One In's Tomas Alfredson make this gripping and tense adaptation of John le Carré's classic spy novel essential viewing.Special Features - Commentary with Gary Oldman & director Tomas Alfredson - John le Carré Interview - Deleted Scenes

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
212 of 259 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, well... 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 bare-faced escapist fun of 007. 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. British Intelligence was under-funded, ineffective and disliked by the CIA. Gary Oldman's cool, understated incarnation of George Smiley views his former employer for what it has become- rejected, out-of-touch, eager to get back into the game and on the brink of it's own downfall. I hadn't read the novel beforehand but had no trouble following the plot or being absorbed by the story. All of the performances are great and the direction beautiful.
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132 of 162 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It is fair to say that I am a fan of John Le Carre's masterpiece, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I have read the book, I love the TV series with Alec Guinness and thoroughly enjoyed the recent radio adaptation with Simon Russell Beale. And now, finally, there is a film. And what an amazingly good film it is!

The plot is simple, there is a Russian mole in British intelligence. Retired spy George Smiley is drafted in by the powers that be to examine the service from the outside with an insider's eye to try and find the mole. But it's so much more than this simple two sentence summary conveys. The book and the film are all about atmosphere. The atmosphere of the paranoid intelligence world of the early seventies, at the height of the cold war. And this film produces that atmosphere in spades.

Gary Oldman is an impressive Smiley. He spends the first quarter of an hour looking slightly confused and bumbling, then as he gets involved in the mystery you see that this is just a facade, and that there is an incisive and sharply intelligent mind behind the mask. He portrays a ruthless and cunning Smiley, but who rarely reveals himself as such and has a huge impact when he does become commanding and authoritative. It's different to those that have portrayed Smiley in the past, but still the essential character and a truly exceptional performance that really carries the film.

The film moves at a gentle pace, with an ever increasing sense of urgency, paranoia and danger as it heads towards the climax. There is no Bond style derring do here, just the careful gathering of evidence while trying to remain unobserved. The film is presented in a series of snapshots and remembrances, never quite giving the whole story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compact Reminder 11 Mar 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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. Unfortunately I think John Hurt was miscast again. A bit too much of something to feel realistic. Everyone else was really good.
I'll be honest ... I've not read the book. The only comparison I have is the BBC version, and I do remember that quite well; everyone fits in nicely, and the overall tone is convincingly of the correct era. If you just want a little something to remind you of the basics and don't want to go through all the BBC episodes, this covers the important bases.
I still think the BBC version outshines it by far, but I didn't dislike this film like I was expecting to. I quite enjoyed it.
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