In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control (Sir John Hurt), resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. It transpires that Control believed one of four senior figures in the service was in fact a Russian Agent, a mole, and the Hungary operation was an attempt to identify which of them it was. George Smiley (Gary Oldman) had been forced into retirement by the departure of Control, but is asked by a senior government figure to investigate a story told to him by rogue Agent Ricky Tarr (Tom Hardy), that there was a mole. Smiley considers that the failure of the Hungary operation and the continuing success of Operation Witchcraft (an apparent source of significant Soviet Intelligence) confirms this, and takes up the task of finding him.Written by
Director Tomas Alfredson had author John le Carré write part of the dialogue for the Circus conference: "When we rehearsed it, it felt as if Bill Haydon (Colin Firth) should say something, but what would he say? Well, why not call John le Carré and see if he's in? And we called him and we described the situation. He thought for fifteen seconds and he said, grab a pen, here it is. It was a fantastic moment." Firth jokingly suggested a velvet cushion for the paper on which the line was written. See more »
When Smiley meets with Esterhase at the airfield there is a lot of heat haze in the background and the trees are in full leaf, suggesting a hot day in summer, but all the characters present are in overcoats. Also there is enough wind in the foreground to make their coats flap about but the trees in the background do not move at all. See more »
I have been eagerly awaiting this production for a long time and have not been disappointed. Never have I seen such a compilation of such fabulous performances together. No way is this another James Bond, it is how the world of espionage was, and is today. No car chases in Aston Martins or gadgets but a world of seedy little offices and the grim reality of this genre. What had the greatest impact on myself was the slow deep menace conveyed by all. Difficult to single out any one performance as all were amazing but I particularly admired Gary Oldman, Mark Strong and Tom Hardy for their work. At times this film has some unexpected moments of shocking cruelty. Complex character portrayal is presented in a slow deep style that only inspires you to know more about the person. The story itself is a classic and known by many, yet this production introduces a few changes which work well. One of the most absorbing and classy movies I have seen and has left a lasting impact on me. Please, please, please, make Smiley's People now.
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