Directed by: John Irvin
Starring: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate, George Sewell, Bernard Hepton
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Acorn Media
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Running Time: 324 minutes
Mini-Series: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I was not a fan of 2011’s remake of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” at all and thought it was completely confusing and boring. The original 1979 mini-series on the other hand is a lot more entertaining and stars the wonderful Alec Guinness (“Star Wars”) in the lead role. I think it was the fact that this complex and in-depth story was spread out over 5+ hours instead of being crammed into a 2+ hour movie. There is just something that is so classy about the PBS aired British series. In this American re-cut “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, the series is spread out over six episodes.
The mini-series reveals that a mole has infiltrated the Circus, code name for the British Secret Intelligence Service. Agent George Smiley (Guinness) gets the job of find out who can be the mole and finds that it can only be one of four men who sit at the very highest level. Throughout this task of digging through the world of Cold War-era espionage and also his own past. Alec Guinness really nails the heart of John le Carré’s character and gives a new view to the definition of a spy.
This new HD transfer comes packed with sharp and bright 1080p transfer. The audio overall is decent but only boasts a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. Overall this Blu-ray release is not the best restoration ever but if you are a fan of the series, it is worth checking out and it definitely expands on the issues that the past DVD releases have had.
The special features are impressive including some new extras for this release. There is a very interesting exclusive interview with John le Carré, author of the book, who talks about the mini-series and his book. There is an all-new interview with Director John Irvin talking about the production and its cast. There are eleven of deleted scenes that were a part of the original series, which was cut down from seven episodes to six. It is also exclusive to this Blu-ray release. The production notes are included in text format and gives some interesting information about the series. There is a glossary of main characters and terms, which comes in very handy with this film, I would recommend printed them off the internet and keeping on you while watch. Lastly there are cast filmographies and John le Carré biography included.