SMILEY’S PEOPLE 2-DVD Set
The acclaimed production of John Le Carrés’ espionage classic.
OPTIONAL SUBTITLES. 2 discs. 6 episodes. Espionage. Year: 1982. Colour. Running time approx: 349 mins.
Director: Simon Langton.
Dramatised by John Le Carré and John Hopkins.
Special Feature: interview footage with John Le Carré and John Irvin.
Cast: Alec Guinness, Eileen Atkins, Michael Byrne, Bernard Hepton, Beryl Reid, Anthony Bate, Barry Foster, Tessy Kuhls, Mario Adorf, Michael Lonsdale, Bill Paterson, Curd Jürgens, Siân Phillips, Michael Gough, Patrick Stewart, Ingrid Pitt, Vladek Sheybal, Dudley Sutton, Rosalie Crutchley, Tanya Rees, Maureen Lipman, Joe Praml, Michael Elphick, Paul Herzberg, Stephen Riddle, Tusse Silberg, Norma West, Lucy Fleming, Andrew Bradford, Alan Rickman and Alex Jennings.
George Smiley is a character whose ambiguous motivation, obsessiveness and sense of possessing an impeccable secret, brought many to note the similarities
with Guinness’ own personality.
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 emigré 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 showdown with his old adversary, Karla of Moscow Centre. Smiley’s People is the television adaptation of the 1979 spy novel Smiley’s People by John le Carré, and a sequel to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (missing out the second book in the trilogy, The Honourable Schoolboy, which was not filmed for cost reasons). It was first shown in the UK in the autumn of 1982. Smiley’s People won four BAFTA awards, including Best Actor (for Alec Guinness) and Best Actress (for Beryl Reid). The plot focuses on character rather than thrills, each cameo contributing another view of the human cost of the cold war. Most of the old friends Smiley seeks out react to his reappearance by saying they never wanted to see him again. Victory only becomes possible because Smiley discovers that his opposite number has a weakness. Originally broadcast in six hour-long episodes, its intelligent approach works better if you digest each episode before starting the next.
“Among the most beautiful and enduring achievements of TV drama.” The Guardian
“Guinness fitted perfectly into the mentality of a spy.” John Le Carré