Starring: Alec Guinness, Mario Adorf, Eileen Atkins, Anthony Bate, Michael Byrne, Rosalie Crutchley, Michael Elphick, Barry Foster.
Directed by: Simon Langton.
The bespectacled spymaster is once more called from retirement to come to the aid of the 'Circus' - and he returns with a vengeance. The murder of an migr Soviet General who was also a British agent, sends him digging into the past on a twisted trail across Europe that moves, inexorably, towards a final showdown with his old adversary, Karla of Moscow Centre. Sir Alec Guinness, the definitive Smiley, brings John le Carre's greatest creation to life in this acclaimed dramatisation. Compulsive to the end.
DVD Extras: John Le Carre & John Irvin (director of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) interview footage (approx 28 mins duration).
George Smiley is once more called from retirement to come to the aid of the 'Circus'
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“A brilliant and classic piece of television drama, now out on DVD. John le Carré's novel, about the final confrontation between retired spymaster George Smiley and his Soviet adversary Karla is magnificently adapted for tv. The casting and the acting is superb and especially the late Sir Alec Guinness gives one of his best and most moving performances as the outwardly drab, dull and unflappable George Smiley, who wrestles with his own and other people's demons and yet tries to remain human and decent. Thsi is not just for lovers of nostalgic telly or for the hoity-toity highbrow drama crowd, allthough there are bits of dialogue that seem to come straight out of Samuel Beckett's work. In order to appreciate this you will have to expand your attention span to more than five minutes, and you will have to be reconciled to the fact that there is unfashionbly little shooting going on but if you can live with those two provisos you will be rewarded by some of the best drama in the history of television. Highly recommended. ”
From: S. A. Kuipers