In Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the award-winning adaptation of John le Carre’s best-selling novel, Alec Guiness brilliantly captures the weary heart and steely soul of spymaster George Smiley.
Brought secretly out of retirement after a British agent makes a startling discovery, Smiley must face the ghosts of his past to uncover a mole at the heart of the Circus – code name for the British Secret Intelligence Headquarters. As Smiley analyzes files, questions witnesses and trawls through his own memory, he gradually pieces together a chilling story of personal and public betrayal.
The Washington Post called it right when they said “one of the most madly atmospheric and enjoyably literate films every done for television.” It’s easily one of the best TV series of the decade.
A sequel called Smiley’s People followed in 1982.
UK / BBC2 / 7×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 10 September – 22 October 1979
Writer: Arthur Hopcraft / Novel: John Le Carre / Music: Geoffrey Burgon / Script Editor: Betty Willingale / Design: Austen Spriggs / Camera: Tony Pierce-Roberts / Costume: Joyce Mortlock / Producer: Jonathon Powell
ALEC GUINNESS as George Smiley
ALEXANDER KNOX as Controller
BERNARD HEPTON as Toby Esterhase
MICHAEL ALDRIDGE as Percy Alleline
HYWEL BENNETT as Ricki Tarr
SIAN PHILLIPS as Ann Smiley
TERENCE RIGBY as Roy Bland
IAN RICHARDSON as Bill Hayden
BERYL REID as Connie Sachs
GEORGE SEWELL as Mendel
IAN BANNEN as Jim Prideaux
MICHAEL JAYSTON as Peter Guillam
NIGEL STOCK as Roddy Martindale
ANTHONY BATE as Lacon
THORLEY WALTERS as Tufty Thessiger
WARREN CLARKE as Alwyn
PATRICK STEWART as Karla
JOHN STANDING as Sam Collins
JOSS ACKLAND as Jerry Westerby
JOHN WELLS as Headmaster