It occurs to me that I have not had anything in my series of anti-Communist films for a little while. This one may be cheating a little not because the theme is not anti-Communist but because the film manged to get rid of that theme. You would not think that was possible with something like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy but they did it.
Both the book and the TV series (as well as a more recent radio series, I believe) dealt with the theme of Communist perfidy and treason in a reasonably straightforward fashion though the plot is anything but straightforward. Of all John le Carré's books this is morally the clearest and considerably better than the rest of the lamentable "Karla trilogy". On our side rough men might do bad things so that the rest of us sleep soundly but our side is infinitely preferable to theirs and traitors are contemptible.
Somehow, this message gets lost in the film, which seems to excise the Cold War from its plot and concentrates on personal matters, ignoring the different characters of the "three of them and Alleline" (a phrase that is never mentioned), making a huge mountain of the very slight homosexual theme in the book and changing the characters and stories of both Peter Gwillym and Jim Prideaux to an extraordinary degree without adding anything to the plot.
No, I did not like it, despite Gary Oldman's brilliant performance of Alec Guinness at the centre. The film was a huge wasted opportunity and at some later stage in this series we shall have to have a look at the now classic TV series.
There is, however, one magnificent scene in it: the Christmas party at the Circus, slightly spoilt by what somebody I know called a knee-trembler at the end but that does kind of fit in with the plot, Still, the rest of it is enjoyable.