Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Trust No One, Suspect Everyone

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman looking intense in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy | Focus Features

Guys in trench coats, secret spy codes, rogue agents… ah, I love a good spy thriller, so I’m really looking forward to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the thriller adapted from John le Carre’s best-selling novel.

The movie was released in the U.S. on January 6, 2012 (and September 2011 in the U.K. and Ireland!), but unfortunately, hasn’t arrived here in northern Michigan yet (thanks, Carmike Cinemas!), so I’m hoping it gets here ASAP. Until then, maybe I should grab a copy of the [amazon_link id=”B005DXCO94″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]1979 TV series[/amazon_link] starring Alec Guinness to tie me over.

In addition to the don’t-blink storyline, the cast doesn’t get much better than Benedict Cumberbatch, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Ciaran Hinds, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and John Hurt, to name a few. It’s the 1970s, and retired MI6 agent George Smiley (Oldman) is doing his best to adjust to life outside the secret service. However, when a disgraced agent (Hardy) reappears with information concerning a mole at the heart of the Circus, Smiley is drawn back into the murky field of espionage.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Gary Oldman rocking the trench coat in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy | Focus Features

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, urbane, successful agents. But past histories, rivalries and friendships make it difficult to pinpoint the man who is eating away at the heart of the British establishment.

The screenplay is by Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor, and the film, shot in London, Budapest and Istanbul, is produced by Working Title’s co-chairmen Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and Robyn Slovo. The executive producers are Debra Hayward, Liza Chasin, Douglas Urbanski, Peter Morgan, Olivier Courson, Ron Halpern and John le Carré.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is directed by Tomas Alfredson and rated R for violence, some sexuality/nudity and language. It sounds like a smart, grownup thriller that’s worth hiring a babysitter for.


2 responses to “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Trust No One, Suspect Everyone”

  1. Alexandra Avatar

    Went to see this movie last weekend with my husband who saw the first version and read the book. He loved the movie. For me, it was only so- so. It was hard to understand who was who and why they were doing what they were doing or not doing. I think I might like it better a second time. My hubby said that the book was based on a true story. The spy lived his life out in Soviet Russia, wishing he could return to England.

    1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

      Good to know. Thanks for weighing in, Sandy. When I was reading the Amazon reviews of the 1979 TV version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, one of them said you can’t blink or go get a snack or anything, because you’ll be completely lost if you do. I felt that way about Rubicon, a spy show that aired on AMC last year. At the time, I wondered if it would be too complex for viewers, and sure enough, it only made it through one season. It’s too bad, really, because I LOVE those kinds of shows and movies that really make you think – where you have to pay attention to get the gist of who’s who and what’s happening. But I must admit, I usually have to see them more than once to really understand what’s happening. The Departed and Inception are two movies I had to see a few times to really get it.

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