Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (novel, miniseries, and forthcoming film to be directed by Tomas Alfredson)

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the miniseries is pretty amazing. i haven't read the novel. i just saw this bit of news, which is a little old but hopefully still accurate:

Tomas Alfredson signs on for 'Tinker, Tailor'

July 09, 2009 Fresh from the success of highly acclaimed vampire movie "Let The Right One In," award-winning Swedish director Tomas Alfredson has signed on as director on Working Title upcoming project "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," the company announced Thursday. The new feature film adaptation of John Le Carre's seminal cold war best-seller is being produced by Working Title's co-chairmen Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and marks their next collaboration with Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan ("Frost/Nixon," "The Queen") and will be exec-produced by Debra Hayward, Liza Chasin, John Le Carre and Peter Morgan. A 1970s British television series starred Alec Guinness as George Smiley the retired former British intelligence officer called in to track down the double agent within the spy agency.

jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 20 November 2009 01:54 (eleven years ago) link

this sounds awesome

chillwave dudes get washed out, totally (J0rdan S.), Friday, 20 November 2009 01:55 (eleven years ago) link

been musing on the possible cast. i hope it's a similar set of dope brit character actors surrounding an old-school charismatic star.

jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 20 November 2009 02:02 (eleven years ago) link

Yeah both miniseries (including Smiley's People) are stellar. One of my favorite moments is in SP when Smiley finds the film using 'Moscow rules.'

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 November 2009 02:09 (eleven years ago) link

i downloaded a torrent of the series but there are no subtitles during the lengthy bits where theyre speaking russian

max, Friday, 20 November 2009 02:10 (eleven years ago) link

ian mcshane for percy? ian mckellen as bill haydon?

jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 20 November 2009 15:55 (eleven years ago) link

love the book, love the miniseries. only problem with it is i cant remember who i lent it to.

interesting project, but i cant really imagine anyone doing better than guinness. that was a truly magnificent performance.

311 is a joek (s1ocki), Friday, 20 November 2009 16:03 (eleven years ago) link

s1ocki otm

stet, Friday, 20 November 2009 16:18 (eleven years ago) link

I have a hard time imagining that this could touch the miniseries, which was pretty much perfect.

Moodles, Friday, 20 November 2009 16:44 (eleven years ago) link

i have a hard time imagining that i can't touch my miniseries as someone has borrowed it and i can't remember who :(

311 is a joek (s1ocki), Friday, 20 November 2009 16:57 (eleven years ago) link

i hope this isn't a horrible travesty that makes me sad - because the original miniseries was so great.

sarahel, Friday, 20 November 2009 17:29 (eleven years ago) link

alec guinness' performance is on another level in the miniseries, true. i think it's possible to make a good film of this and get everything into 150-160 minutes without rushing through. i have a good feeling about this one though i'm not expecting it to be a definitive take (that's already been accomplished obv.) i assume the choice of alfredson means they won't try to bourne things up too much.

jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 20 November 2009 18:01 (eleven years ago) link

Mmmf, something just occurred to me -- are they going to try and make this a period piece or are they going the contemporary route?

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 November 2009 18:30 (eleven years ago) link

This could be interesting but I'd be concerned that the slow, twisty procedural of the book, which worked well on TV, mightn't transfer properly to a 2 hour movie.

Herman G. Neuname is the first European president (Noodle Vague), Friday, 20 November 2009 18:42 (eleven years ago) link

the opening scene of the 70s 'tinker tailor', where the spies all sit down and smoke, not saying a word but speaking volumes, is prob my fave bit of telly ever, partly cos i used to work very near cambridge circus, seen in the very first shot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyBuUM6BRy0

Ward Fowler, Friday, 20 November 2009 18:52 (eleven years ago) link

Absolutely agree. One of my favourite pieces of television ever. I wonder whether the new film will also consist of an awful lot of footage of middle-aged men smoking in dingey rooms.

'virgin' should be 'wizard' (GamalielRatsey), Friday, 20 November 2009 19:00 (eleven years ago) link

odd that they're redoing it, but love love love Alfredson and Morgan.

sean gramophone, Saturday, 21 November 2009 00:16 (eleven years ago) link

they should have done the middle book The Honourable Schoolboy instead, at least that one hasn't been taken yet :/

zappi, Saturday, 21 November 2009 00:25 (eleven years ago) link

That one always was a little out of place, though. Don't get me wrong, it's excellent.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 21 November 2009 00:50 (eleven years ago) link

Yeah, I found Honorable Schoolboy to be a little odd and difficult to relate to.

Is it just me or do a disturbing number of his novels end with the protagonist just about to make it to safety when they are suddenly brutally gunned down?

Moodles, Saturday, 21 November 2009 01:52 (eleven years ago) link

Hahaha yeah

Herman G. Neuname is the first European president (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 21 November 2009 14:02 (eleven years ago) link

spoilers?

311 is a joek (s1ocki), Saturday, 21 November 2009 15:54 (eleven years ago) link

nine months pass...

wonder how this is gonna work, really

but it'll be good to have gary oldman starring in a non-shit film for a change

i am legernd (history mayne), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:22 (ten years ago) link

don't count yr chickens etc

former moderator, please give generously (DG), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:24 (ten years ago) link

the tv show is veeeeerrrryyyy slllooooooowwww but that's part of the charm

i am legernd (history mayne), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:27 (ten years ago) link

michael bay to direct

former moderator, please give generously (DG), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:29 (ten years ago) link

the tv show is so insanely good

so slow and subtle

so awesome

real s1ock (s1ocki), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:31 (ten years ago) link

the opening scene of the 70s 'tinker tailor', where the spies all sit down and smoke, not saying a word but speaking volumes, is prob my fave bit of telly ever, partly cos i used to work very near cambridge circus, seen in the very first shot:

― Ward Fowler, Friday, November 20, 2009 6:52 PM (9 months ago) Bookmark

otm

not mad on guinness's stuff when he was younger, tbh, but he totally shreds in this

i am legernd (history mayne), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:33 (ten years ago) link

yeah i was just thinking about watching this again. "smiley's people" is really good too.

the parking garage has more facebook followers than my band (Jordan), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:34 (ten years ago) link

i remember watching the tv show when i was abt 12 and liked le carré, i wanted to like it but it was too slow for me then

nakhchivan, Friday, 3 September 2010 15:35 (ten years ago) link

benedict cumberbatch hahaha just fucking cast bill nighy and make it a romantic comedy*

*[placeholder for explanation of how it already is]

former moderator, please give generously (DG), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:43 (ten years ago) link

wonder if they'll leave in the two female characters

i am legernd (history mayne), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:45 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

i really love how the tv version kind of starts off on this note of smiley being this totally out-of-the-loop outsider who is "too old for this shit", and then he sits down with the british agents at the estate house to meet with the spy-on-the-run, and he takes off his glasses and puts them back on and gives this dude a look which says in an instant that he's the smartest and toughest dude around and it's like "oh shit."

mark strong just got cast, too. so it's him and oldman, firth, cumberbatch, hinds, ralph fiennes and tom hardy.

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 17:43 (ten years ago) link

Holy shit. It might actually work.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 17:46 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, I found Honorable Schoolboy to be a little odd and difficult to relate to.

One big problem with that one was the woman character, who is as badly drawn as all Le Carre women characters (with possible exception of Connie). I do wonder sometimes whether Le Carre has ever met any actual women.

The New Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 17:58 (ten years ago) link

But I still totally love TTSS and SP.

The New Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 17:59 (ten years ago) link

he takes off his glasses and puts them back on and gives this dude a look which says in an instant that he's the smartest and toughest dude around and it's like "oh shit."

otfm

rmde @ the romo dumplings (history mayne), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 18:03 (ten years ago) link

Absolutely the best moment of the whole series, I get chills just thinking about it.

Moodles, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 18:18 (ten years ago) link

not sure if this was mentioned but it's apparently retaining the cold war era for the setting.

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 19:56 (ten years ago) link

Thank god for that.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:09 (ten years ago) link

man i gotta find my dvds of the show so i can watch it again

guanciale diary (s1ocki), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:17 (ten years ago) link

I have a hard time imagining that this could touch the miniseries, which was pretty much perfect.

― Moodles, Friday, November 20, 2009 11:44 AM (10 months ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

i have a hard time imagining that i can't touch my miniseries as someone has borrowed it and i can't remember who :(

― 311 is a joek (s1ocki), Friday, November 20, 2009 11:57 AM (10 months ago) Bookmark

guanciale diary (s1ocki), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:18 (ten years ago) link

it's always in the place where you least expect it, like the amazon marketplace page of your friend or acquaintance.

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:20 (ten years ago) link

Unwittingly I've only watched the compressed, US six-episode (instead of seven) version of the series. Apparently they've even jumbled the chronology of some scenes around. Anyone seen both?

abcfsk, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:01 (ten years ago) link

oh shit, that's the version i've seen too (via netflix).

bows don't kill people, arrows do (Jordan), Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:04 (ten years ago) link

Basically I'm going to get and watch the original no matter how trivial the differences might be. Every scene could be longer. Feels like I can still taste the words exchanged between Smiley and Prideaux in the car, at the hotel, walking around the moors.

abcfsk, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 22:59 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

gonna be great this i can feel it. god knows how they're going to squelch it all down to 2 hours. if they can nail the Ricky Tarr bit they've got the rest i think.

piscesx, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 01:18 (nine years ago) link

tom hardy playing ricky tarr fyi

omar little, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 05:39 (nine years ago) link

super stoked for this... killer cast

Princess TamTam, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 08:11 (nine years ago) link

Oh I forgot to update

I finished The Traitor & The Spy and it was remarkable. I had to keep reminding myself that it was true, it was so unbelievably tense and (sometimes completely absurd!) it truly felt like a novel. Incredible stuff, highly HIGHLY recommend.

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 05:45 (five months ago) link

Truly a ripping yarn!

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 06:00 (five months ago) link

not read it but when it was book of the week on R4 a couple of years it caught my attention, because normally their books of the week are quite dull and this was not!

calzino, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 06:38 (five months ago) link

years back

calzino, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 06:38 (five months ago) link

As great as was, I was even more spellbound by, earlier Kim Philby book.

Ben Macintyre's true spy storytelling is better than almost any spy fiction. Right up there with The Traitor & The Spy, I'd recommend his Kim Philby book, A Spy Among Friends and Double Cross: the True Story of D-Day Spies.

punning display, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 20:42 (five months ago) link

As great as was, I was even more spellbound by, earlier Kim Philby book.

punning display, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 20:43 (five months ago) link

If you can find a copy (it's probably out of print), I really recommend Take Nine Spies by Fitzroy Maclean. It's got a great chapter about Kim Philby and another really good one about Operation Mincemeat.

Greetings from CHAZbury Park (Lily Dale), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 21:05 (five months ago) link

Michael Jayston I think you mean, who I am delighted to see is still alive.

Future England Captain (Tom D.), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 21:14 (five months ago) link

the Donald Maclean book, A Spy Named Orphan is a not bad read. Not much tension in it though, because the British establishment was so numb-brained back then about their posho diplomats that if "one of theirs" got shitfaced on vodka and started singing The Internationale and drunkenly telling anyone in earshot that they are a traitor, it still wouldn't be enough to arouse suspicion. whereas Gordievsky had an absolutely sadistic, switched on, paranoid evil bastard, possessed with low cunning type boss who was suspicious of all his underlings, so he is on much less borrowed time.

calzino, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 21:40 (five months ago) link

xp no i meant david jason ha

i was staggered when i looked up the reader. he must be 1000 years old but it's an incredibly spry performance! tons of accents. can you imagine your reaction as a audiobook reader when the author creates a character originally from france with a bronx accent? admittedly the american accents aren't great, but he sounds about 50.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 21:42 (five months ago) link

he's 84!

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 21:43 (five months ago) link

looks like he's recorded lots of le carre audiobooks

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 21:44 (five months ago) link

He has got an excellent voice.

Future England Captain (Tom D.), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 22:00 (five months ago) link

A Perfect Spy is a perfect book. (I read it just before lockdown, so it might be improved in memory).

remy bean, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 22:57 (five months ago) link

watched the bbc miniseries a couple months ago and it was great and also amazing how much ~space~ there was. any recent adaptation would ratchet up the tension so much more, e.g. guillam would have had to sweat much harder when lifting documents from the circus, tarr would have been shot at, etc.

also a couple of smiley's antagonists are such *exquisite* assholes, notably alleline and (from the first episode) roddy martindale. esterhase wasn't quite up to snuff imo. and while i'll admit it's a tough role, tarr's russian girlfriend was wholly unconvincing as a legit source of information.

the string quartet ruled

mookieproof, Thursday, 25 June 2020 00:23 (five months ago) link

Listening to the perfect spy scene in which brotherhood interviews an eccentric old catholic while surrounded by his grandchildren and wearing a “disgraceful” pullover. I’m in heaven.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Thursday, 25 June 2020 01:29 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

did we talk about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bureau_(TV_series) anywhere?

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 3 August 2020 05:10 (three months ago) link

Maybe. Should I binge watch this rather than going outside and enjoying the rest of summer?

lukas, Monday, 3 August 2020 05:17 (three months ago) link

i don't know! i want to know if it's any good.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 3 August 2020 05:21 (three months ago) link

I've binged all of those The Bureau seasons. It's somehow a huge phenomenon and casual mainstream reference point over here (in Norway).

I have actually made the "Tinker" comparison while talking about it before. There's not as much nostalgic pathos in the conversations, perhaps, but like Tinker it's brilliant at making thrilling television out of office work and careful smoking out of spies, mules and state secrets. It takes the spy work extremely seriously but it's still got plenty of larger than life characters. As a TV thriller it's one of the best.

abcfsk, Monday, 3 August 2020 08:52 (three months ago) link

agreed. it’s tremendous. kassowitz is incredible but you’ve got other absolute giants of cinema in there too. and the operations, and the centrality of the middle east, are (from what i understand) based on very detailed research.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 3 August 2020 10:43 (three months ago) link

Similar vein, is the 2007 adaptation of Robert Littel's 'The Company' any good?

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Monday, 3 August 2020 11:49 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

looks like he's recorded lots of le carre audiobooks

― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, June 24, 2020 5:44 PM (four months ago) bookmarkflaglink

He has got an excellent voice.

― Future England Captain (Tom D.), Wednesday, June 24, 2020 6:00 PM (four months ago) bookmarkflaglink

now listening to jayston's TTSS. flawless performance.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Tuesday, 17 November 2020 01:06 (one week ago) link

Watched episode one last night and every second guinness is on screen is incredible

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Saturday, 21 November 2020 12:40 (five days ago) link

It may require a post idk

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Saturday, 21 November 2020 12:40 (five days ago) link

yes and yes.

Fizzles, Saturday, 21 November 2020 13:08 (five days ago) link

also thanks for the recommendation of the bureau itt. it’s not ttss but i’m very much enjoying it which is more than i can say about anything else on television.

Fizzles, Saturday, 21 November 2020 13:09 (five days ago) link

yw! i'm still sitting on the most recent season like a bottle of wine you don't want to drink yet.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 21 November 2020 13:38 (five days ago) link

I literally started the novel in bed this morning and have already ordered the BBC blu ray. (I've seen, and enjoyed, the Alfredson version.)

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 21 November 2020 13:44 (five days ago) link

Oh man, jealous

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Saturday, 21 November 2020 13:50 (five days ago) link

Michael Jayston does a extremely good impression of Alec Guinness for his smiley voice in the audiobook.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Saturday, 21 November 2020 15:28 (five days ago) link

darraghmac, would love to read your full impression

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Saturday, 21 November 2020 17:13 (five days ago) link

deems' Alec Guinness is even better than Jayston's.

Boring blighters bloaters (Tom D.), Saturday, 21 November 2020 17:37 (five days ago) link

Right let me see

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Monday, 23 November 2020 21:50 (three days ago) link

Intro, beautiful.

But let's move to Smiley/Guinness.

NB this viewing has been stewed by previous viewings of the series, the movie, the book and indeed the remainder of the Karla trilogy and back again, nothing of the impressions gained can really be viewed as anything but projection on the part of the poster.

In addition, what Guinness/director/author have put out there as setting for the series specifically, or what is informed by book is likewise confused but we'll press on.

Guinness is first seen at the booksellers, pleasantly and relaxedly bantering. Not Smiley at all.

Spots Guillam, smoothly moves to evade without breaking character. Sends book by post, to what end I had a thought on but now cannot recall (if this irritates perhaps skip the post there may be a lot of this murkiness- I feel it befits the material however).

In the evasion he bumps into Martindale and what on first viewing was a painful inescapable dinner encounter (which is, from the book, at least that much genuine tbf) in Guinness' hands on this particular rewatch as smooth a decision to be caught as the decision to evade was in the booksellers. He fends Roddy off with studied (and tbf expected) irritation, paying the clumsier efforts to rise him with exasperated contempt, the gentler ones with a carefully (and likewise easily seen through from Martindale's pov) mournful helplessness. The whole time he's extracting the catch-up information he has decided (all along? since spotting Guillam? For the purposes, and again presuming it's not explicit in the book I prefer, this time, the latter) he is going to need while playing Smiley the defeated, retired, bitter cuckold as suits. Not Smiley, but at least Smiley in a conscious mode- an outer-Matryoshka Smiley, then.

Soused and slightly stumbling Smiley muttering indulgently to himself en route home with pieces to fit together- well we know from many book passages (to my greater recollection, from The Honourable Schoolboy tbh but again I'm due a TTSS re-read) that this is a genuine Smiley, but more a part of him that floats free while the machinations underneath receive his own fuller attention.

Guillam revealed- crotchety, verbose, im-going-to-the-cotswolds Smiley fusses around as he again pries and pushes to see -not what's up, we know on this watch that George knows the most part of at least the summoner and the approximate topic already- but the precise nature of the motivation for the approach that has activated him today. The wizard-gone-to-seed Smiley, total performance but for Guillam a different performance than was used to entice Martindale, a performance to demonstrate and re-establish connection as the niceties are observed between a former acolyte sent to summon his willing better.

The car- Smiley testing still, more a personable superior with Guillam than we will later see to be his habitual manner in his role, therefore again striking me as performance, save for the first flash of True Smiley- when Guillam provides a wittily evasive and circular response to a lazily-direct query to the heart of the matter, a resonant yet clipped approving "Quite right, Peter!" that exudes a relish for the game that is totally at odds with the sullen press and meander so far.

Smiley and Lacon passing mannerly time while Guillam is sent to make himself presentable for the interrogation of the unworthy Tarr (what a beautiful touch, btw)- Guinness positively thrumming to attention now, the game truly afoot and the path in now becoming clear, he stands upright and alert and bristling to go, Lacon hasn't made a play nor offer yet but Smiley the procedural bloodhound has already dropped all pretence that this isn't the breadcrumb that he has been waiting for through the long hibernation.

Finally, Smiley the interrogator- the scene & moment paid rightful tribute above and many other places, the boiled-down, five-steps-ahead archivist of the past and present who is merely waiting for Tarr to confirm which of the two or three paths he has already mapped out is to be the one we follow to the quarry, the look that pins the butterfly Tarr, the precision of tone and phrase designed and brilliantly executed to let the interrogated (and we the audience) know that Smiley was never being informed here, he was merely waiting to see what Tarr was able to reveal to the benighted Lacon to ensure that the quest may be correctly provisioned and outfitted. Essential Smiley, the pursuer Smiley, no mumbles no protests no hesitation Smiley, Smiley the cat at stalk.

I could, I'm sure, watch it again and pick out more but that's as I recall devouring the detail of the performance in real time, sheer bliss that is far above even the excellence around it. Absolute magic.

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Monday, 23 November 2020 22:40 (three days ago) link

but you knew better, didn't you, mr. smiley? he only beat it further in.

difficult listening hour, Monday, 23 November 2020 23:30 (three days ago) link

i also thought i knew at one stage why he decided to trust the book to the post office, but now can't remember - is it in the book?

Fizzles, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 18:57 (yesterday) link

otm about the utterly compelling scene in the car. it *is* performance, he's working Guillam - it's a magical bit of acting and directing that we're both able to see that, doubt it and in the gap between the two recognise an underlying set of competences and dynamic, recognise intelligence at work.

Fizzles, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:05 (yesterday) link

excellent post imo, makes me want to watch again.

Fizzles, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:05 (yesterday) link

i do think the muttering section is the 'real' smiley (you are right to be cautious), it's late, he's feeling peevish, irritable and justifiably *out of sorts*. but equally as you say, much is floating free at that point. it's almost like polishing your shoes, just something you do in the quotidian.

Fizzles, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:07 (yesterday) link

Shiney

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:45 (yesterday) link

from memory the book (in the book) is left at the shop bcz he doesn't want to be carrying it round and after he meets and drinks with martindale he's crossly too late to pick it up as he meant to and is instead going to call them and ask for it to be posted?

this sounds slightly different to the tv version

grimmelshausen is an interesting hinted if unexpanded glimpse into his mind (le carre was also a germanist and presumably knows it as a consequence)): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplicius_Simplicissimus

mark s, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 20:03 (yesterday) link

Love this line in the first smiley chapter describing his reaction to something foolish martindale says:

“The monstrosity of this, reaching Smiley through a thickening wall of spiritual exhaustion, left him momentarily speechless.”

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 20:23 (yesterday) link

In the TV show he spots Guillam, says to the bookseller "do you know I rather think that we might trust this to the royal mail, after all" and asks for a back entrance

It's worth pondering because a piece of this quality is simply fun and rich enough to ponder

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 20:47 (yesterday) link

Episode V

This time around, having read THS, Ackland really packs in all the Westerby detail and tics, it's a lovely little role and a lovely performance in it

Esterhase interrogation is far better in this, obviously, a real catharsis and Hepton hits all his spots very nicely too

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 22:10 (yesterday) link

Ackland’s performance really is something else. that compelling mixture you get in the book - both vivid social/class type and person. le carré v good at snobbery (and its victims like westerby).

Fizzles, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 22:24 (yesterday) link

A victim of his lack of aggression as opposed to his status, as performed here I think

But perhaps I'm missing things here, I thought he was quite posh but shamblingly, disappointingly so as I recall him in THS- is he meant to be a cut below the top dogs in the circus classwise here?

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 22:30 (yesterday) link

Again, how much of this is stewed versions coming together as projection or how much is deliberate subtext agreed between director and actors is possibly moot, but Esterhase was the wrong person, as far as the TV version has it, to send back to Jerry to squash his Czech report.

Fits with his being (as suggested by Smiley) the lapdog inclusion in the gang of four Witchcraft privileged, the one useful for errands, the one most eager, but certainly Ackland's Westerby bridles at being savaged by this clotheaten specimen- driving him to write the letter to Smiley

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 22:39 (yesterday) link

The second-best moment of actual direction so far- the camera remaining at the bar when Jerry and George sneak off into the corner to conspire

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 22:40 (yesterday) link

"clotheaten" not right, tbf, but not the stuff of any of the other title pieces certainly

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 22:54 (yesterday) link


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