Category Archives: George Smiley

Top 20 TV Spies

Not everyone agrees, but for me the spy story is definitely a subset of the crime and mystery genre. However, tales of espionage do come in all shapes and sizes: from contemporary to historical, deadly serious like Tinker Tailor Soldier … Continue reading

Posted in Espionage, George Smiley, John le Carre, Len Deighton, London, Mexico, Robert Culp, Rome, Scene of the crime, The Sandbaggers | 61 Comments

Top 20 Spy movies

The release of Ben Affleck’s smart historical satire Argo, based loosely on the true extraction by the CIA and Canadian officials of six American Embassy staff members out of Tehran in 1980, made me reflect on the spy genre as … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Adam Hall, Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Billy Wilder, Brian de Palma, Cold War, Elleston Trevor, Eric Ambler, Espionage, Film Noir, George Smiley, Ian Fleming, James Bond, John Frankenheimer, John le Carre, Len Deighton, London, Michael Powell, New York, Paris, Quiller, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Spy movies | 76 Comments

CALL FOR THE DEAD (1961) by John le Carré

The recent film adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré, with its impressive rogues gallery of character actors and a mesmerising central turn by Gary Oldman as George Smiley, has re-ignited interest in the series of Cold … Continue reading

Posted in Columbo, Espionage, George Smiley, John le Carre, London, Scene of the crime, Spy movies | 8 Comments

John le Carré at 80

David Cornwell, aka John le Carré, turned 80 yesterday and celebrations are definitely in order. Not only is the feature film adaptation of his 1974 novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy a roaring critical and box office success but he is still publishing new work that is attracting praise from all quarters. A master of the espionage story, he has branched well beyond the constraints of genre fiction to produce work that in its topicality, lucid prose style and in its charting of the decay of the late and unlamented British Empire can certainly bear comparison with that of his great literary mentor and inspiration, Graham Greene. Of his most recent work, The Constant Gardener (2001), a trenchant conspiracy thriller and exposé of the ethics big pharma, he may well have produced his finest work to date, though there is a real bounty to choose from. Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Espionage, George Smiley, John le Carre | Leave a comment