Review of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" From The TV MegaSite
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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy DVD cover

 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


  Review by Suzanne 11/4/11

I have always wanted to see this because I'd heard for so long how good it is, and I love Alec Guiness. However, I was very disappointed in it.

For one thing, it is very slow-moving, and not just because it's from 1979. I have seen lots of shows from the 1970's, including British ones. I loved "Upstairs Downstairs". They did not move as glacially as this does, with nothing much happening. Frankly, I found it very boring.

I also found it confusing because they throw a lot of characters and names at you right away, and then the characters talk about these's kind of hard to keep new names straight if you haven't actually seen them. It didn't help that this DVD has no closed-captioning, so the accents made it even harder for me to understand what was going on.

The show is very talky, with little action. I wouldn't mind that if I could understand what they were saying or it made any sense.

Maybe one of these days they will closed-caption it, and I will try it again...if I have nothing better to do. I do love spy dramas, but this one is just too boring for me.

Even the features/extras were boring. There is an interview with John le Carre (original author of the book that the movie came from). He is really dull, too. The rest is just words and pictures, not video: production notes, glossary, cast filmographies, and le Carre's biography. There's also a short booklet that has a list of characters' names and some terms. I'm sure they designed this to help you figure out who's who and what's what, but who wants to read all that before watching a movie? Not me.

More Information:

Oscar®-winner Alec Guinness stars in John le Carré’s classic Cold War spy drama;
Coincides with star-studded feature film adaptation starring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth


On DVD October 25, 2011
"A smashing thriller"—The New York Times
"Exhilarating"—The Washington Post
"One of the most madly atmospheric and enjoyable literate films ever done for television"—The Washington Post

Silver Spring, MD – Coinciding with the December 9, 2011 feature film adaptation starring Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), John le Carré’s classic Cold War-era spy drama Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy arrives to DVD from Acorn Media on October 25, 2011. Oscar® winner Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia) delivers the performance of a lifetime in his BAFTA-winning role as George Smiley, a retired spymaster recruited to find a mole in the British intelligence service. Hailed as one of the finest dramas ever made for television, this 1979 BBC miniseries garnered universal critical acclaim for its stellar ensemble cast, literate writing and intricate plots. This repackaged and discounted DVD 3-disc set includes six episodes, along with a 28-min. interview with John le Carré, cast filmographies, production notes, and more ($49.99, Acorn Media is also re-releasing its sequel, Smiley’s People, on October 25th. Available upon request (6 Episodes, $49.99).

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 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. Alec Guinness brilliantly captures the weary heart and steely soul of John le Carré’s master spy.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was nominated for an Emmy® for best miniseries and won two BAFTA Awards, including best actor for Guinness. The series also stars Ian Richardson, Michael Aldridge, Joss Ackland, Ian Bannen, Bernard Hepton, Terence Rigby, Michael Jayston, Hywel Bennett, Anthony Bate, and a memorable cameo by Patrick Stewart, who returns in a larger role for the sequel.

Bonus Features: Exclusive interview with John le Carré (28 min.), production notes, glossary of main characters and terms, cast filmographies, and le Carré biography and booklist

Street: Oct. 25, 2011
SRP: $49.99
DVD 3-Disc Set: 6 Episodes - Approx. 324 min., plus 28 min. bonus - Closed captioned (main program)

Headquartered in suburban Washington, D.C., Acorn Media U.S. distributes distinctive home video releases to the North American market with a special focus on the best of British television. 2011 releases include Upstairs, Downstairs: 40th Anniversary Edition; U.S. debuts of must-see new series Garrow’s Law, Vera, Identity, and Single-Handed; more episodes from New Tricks, Doc Martin, Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Marple, George Gently, Murdoch Mysteries; as well as the Blu-ray debut of Brideshead Revisited; and acclaimed documentaries from our Athena line. Acorn’s DVD sets are available from select retailers, catalog companies, and direct from Acorn Media at (888) 870-8047 or

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Updated 11/4/11  


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