Gary Oldman and Colin Firth Star in a Film of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré

by |August 11, 2011

Set in the 1970s, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY finds George Smiley (Gary Oldman*), a recently retired MI6 agent, doing his best to adjust to a life outside the secret service. However, when a disgraced agent reappears with information concerning a mole at the heart of the Circus, Smiley is drawn back into the murky field of espionage. Tasked with investigating which of his trusted former colleagues has chosen to betray him and theircountry, Smiley narrows his search to four suspects – all experienced, urbane, successful agents – but past histories, rivalries and friendships make it far from easy to pinpoint the man who is eating away at the heart of the British establishment.

The film stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch and is directed by Tomas Alfredson.

*Old people may remember that Obi-Wan Kenobi starred in the BBC version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

From MSN UK:

“There’s a mole. Right at the top of the circus.” We’re beyond excited. This icy plunge into the depths of The Cold War is laced with espionage thrills. The cast is magnificent. The book is considered the pinnacle of Cold War fiction. It looks flawless, frankly.

Even the soundtrack is enough to give us the shakes. Gary Oldman is in the lead as the MI6 agent who is forced out of retirement to dig out the Soviet agent lodged in the echelons of MI6. But that’s far from all. Just look at the quality in the rest of the cast of agents and counter-agents: Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds and loads more. The depth of the cast is astonishing.

Espionage is at it’s best when it’s in the Cold War. And this might just be the best trailer we’ve seen this year. Are we gushing over it too much at this point? We don’t care! It looks fantastic!

The novel:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré

George Smiley, who is a troubled man of infinite compassion, is also a single-mindedly ruthless adversary as a spy.

Smiley and his people are facing a remarkable challenge: a mole – a Soviet double agent – who has burrowed his way in and up to the highest level of British Intelligence. His treachery has already blown some of their vital operations and their best networks. The mole is one of their own kind. But which one?

“A great thriller, the best le Carré has written” The Spectator

“John le Carré is the great master of the spy story . . . the constant flow of emotion lifts him above most novelists now practising” The Financial Times

“A stunning story” The Wall Street Journal

“Tinker, Tailor is as perfect a spy yarn as one is likely to find and a great novel on top of it.” Stephen L. Carter

Order your copy of the film tie-in edition of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy here.

The FlipBack edition of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy here.

Or the moody edition of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy here.

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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