Starring Alec Guinness
Directed by John Irvin
With the parade of new releases hitting video stores across the city of Toronto that is seemingly never ending occasionally a rerelease of an iconic show or series in promotion of an upcoming remake can get lost in the shuffle. Hitting theatres on December 16, courtesy of our friends at eOne films is “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” the cold war thriller based on the novel by John Le Carre and it is one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year. Out today on DVD from our same friends at eOne films via Acorn Media in the 1979 British TV miniseries of the same name starring the late Alec Guinness. It’s time to go back to the Cold War with “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”.
With “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” no doubt remains: a mole has infiltrated the Circus, code name for the British Secret Intelligence Service. It can only be one of four men operating at the very highest level. Sidelined agent George Smiley (Alec Guinness) is covertly tapped to root out the mole, a task that requires a painstaking dig through the double-blind world of Cold War-era espionage and his own past.
The quality of British television is notorious, and this intense Cold War thriller that leaves you on the edge of your seat for all six episodes is no exception. Veteran director of TV and film John Irvin working from John LeCarre classic novel that was adapted for the small screen by Arthur Hopcraft who had worked on several LeCarre mini-series ultimately crafted a very special piece of entertainment. The slow burn of this thriller was excellent as the tension built slowly but surely unraveling the story before our eyes. Despite some location shoots the bulk of the story played out it small rooms, which requires a quality cast that can simply tell the store with a facial expression or their eyes. The pedigree of the supporting cast was simply second to none and anyone familiar with British television or films will see a great deal of familiar faces.
As George Smiley, Alec Guinness was stellar and even took home a BAFTA award for his performance. His grizzled and slightly bitter ex-spy who’s brought back into the fold in order to root out a Russian spy was iconic. No overt gestures or over the top dramatics, Guinness put you on edge simply with the expression on his face as he was interviewing his query and listening to their various responses. It is a performance that is a must see for any aspiring actors who need to learn express intensity without saying a word.
At a run time of nearly 5 and a half hours, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” certainly requires a bit of dedication, but you will unquestionably rewarded with one of the finer pieces of dramatic television created on either side of the pond.
5 out of 5 stars.
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is available at video stores across Toronto; click here for a list of some of the finer independent video stores near you.
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” the theatrical re-imagining starring Gary Oldman opens at movie theatres everywhere on December 16th. To learn more about the movie you can visit there site right here.
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