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 (ten years ago) link

this sounds awesome

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

ian mcshane for percy? ian mckellen as bill haydon?

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

s1ocki otm

stet, Friday, 20 November 2009 16:18 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten 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 (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:

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

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

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

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

Hahaha yeah

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

spoilers?

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

Holy shit. It might actually work.

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

But I still totally love TTSS and SP.

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

Thank god for that.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:09 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine 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

(also i'd read the book abt 349852309457 times)

mark s, Monday, 5 November 2018 20:51 (one year ago) link

My god Firth and Richardson tied? I adore Ian Richardson as Haydon. Also I do really like Hepton as Esterhase. Actually one of the performances that brings the most joy when watching! I love how he adopts an English accent in TTSS but loses it for something vaguely foreign in SP.

chinavision!, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 16:14 (one year ago) link

And his insane shirts

chinavision!, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 16:17 (one year ago) link

Esterhase also really shines in the Bern scenes in SP. We see how good he is at what he does.

chinavision!, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 16:18 (one year ago) link

yeah hes a much better performance and role in sp

lie back and think of englund (darraghmac), Tuesday, 6 November 2018 16:20 (one year ago) link

firth dies better than richardson

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Tuesday, 6 November 2018 16:52 (one year ago) link

i like richardson's weird broke-neck wriggle, even though it's totally unconvincing -- it sort of suits the stupid squalor of the situation (including the fact that the air and the charm go out of the character like a leaky balloon when he stops being an actor on a stage)

mark s, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 16:56 (one year ago) link

Ok I really don’t really remember the broke neck wriggle. Have to rewatch.

chinavision!, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 17:37 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

binged little drummer girl over three nights and thought it was good

the absence of actual british government agents until the last act made the one representative character take on an air of imperial cynicism that you miss out in some of the other le carre adaptations because everything's coated in that cynicism from the get-go

mh, Thursday, 29 November 2018 19:14 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Ricki Tarr, one of fiction’s great dirtbags

I have measured out my life in coffee shop loyalty cards (silby), Friday, 18 January 2019 04:09 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Why did Alfredson's The Snowman get such terrible reviews? I thought it was okay--standard serial-killer stuff that at least looked good and maintained a kind of desolate mood.

clemenza, Monday, 4 March 2019 12:50 (one year ago) link

(Val Kilmer's pretty bad, I should add--and almost unrecognizable at first.)

clemenza, Monday, 4 March 2019 12:53 (one year ago) link

seven months pass...

According to le Carré, The Ink Factory now plans to do new television adaptations of all the novels featuring Cold War spy George Smiley — this time in chronological order. “That means that if you actually go back to the first big conspiracies in ‘The Spy Who Came In From the Cold’ you’ve got to consider how Smiley ages and how young he was at that time,” le Carré says. That would mean finding an actor who can play younger than the Smiley incarnated by Gary Oldman in the film version of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” Le Carré says that his sons are interested in casting the British actor Jared Harris, whose performance they all admired in the recent TV mini-series “Chernobyl.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/12/books/john-le-carre-agent-running-in-the-field.html

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Sunday, 13 October 2019 03:24 (eleven months ago) link

Shit, Harris would be a really good pick

omar little, Sunday, 13 October 2019 04:07 (eleven months ago) link

Yeah I'd be down for sure.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 13 October 2019 04:20 (eleven months ago) link

omg yes plz

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 13 October 2019 04:24 (eleven months ago) link

Understandable if interesting that he mentions Cold since a full series sweep would have to start with Call For the Dead.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 13 October 2019 04:33 (eleven months ago) link

tbh if you're really gonna do this why not cast multiple actors a la The Crown

Simon H., Sunday, 13 October 2019 04:43 (eleven months ago) link

Understandable if interesting that he mentions /Cold/ since a full series sweep would have to start with /Call For the Dead/.


a parochial british detective story with a spy thriller solution. they’d do well to start with it rather than forget it.

Fizzles, Sunday, 13 October 2019 06:49 (eleven months ago) link

tbh if you're really gonna do this why not cast multiple actors a la The Crown


if this means we get olivia colman as george smiley i’m all for it tbh

NEWS Giant penis frog didn’t have a giant penis after all (bizarro gazzara), Sunday, 13 October 2019 07:18 (eleven months ago) link

geraldine mcewan as the smiley in a murder of quality plz

mark s, Sunday, 13 October 2019 12:59 (eleven months ago) link

she's only a bit dead

mark s, Sunday, 13 October 2019 12:59 (eleven months ago) link

tought to improve on Spy Who Came In From the Cold film

just as the TTSS movie did nothing. noooooothing.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 13 October 2019 14:39 (eleven months ago) link

six months pass...

Just read The Traitor and the Spy. I’m told this is about as good as non fiction about espionage gets, and it was good! (but still nowhere near TTSS).

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 13 April 2020 15:30 (five months ago) link

i just got gifted that last week! cant wait to read

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 13 April 2020 16:05 (five months ago) link

I’ve probably already said this but Spy / Counterspy is tremendous and while almost certainly not completely true it’s totally gripping and “non-fiction” in a, uh broader sense.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 13 April 2020 16:26 (five months ago) link

The Deadly Affair is unfortunately fairly weak. Don't bother with it.

― Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:27 (eight years ago) bookmarkflaglink

this is fair advice

some nice supporting turns but they absolutely butchered smiley/anne and shouldve really left that whole strand out

steer calmer (darraghmac), Saturday, 18 April 2020 22:36 (five months ago) link

two months pass...

Currently listening to the audiobook of a perfect spy, read fantastically by David jayston (Peter Guillam from the tv series)

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 05:21 (three months 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 (three months ago) link

Truly a ripping yarn!

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

years back

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

he's 84!

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

looks like he's recorded lots of le carre audiobooks

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

He has got an excellent voice.

Future England Captain (Tom D.), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 22:00 (three 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 (three 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 (two 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 (two 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 (one month 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 (one month ago) link

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

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 3 August 2020 05:21 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month ago) link


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