The end of the Cold War was, by and large, a good thing. Finally, the US and Russia could stop comparing the size of their nuclear warheads, and Europe – stuck in the middle – was able to relax a bit. Countries to the east of München found freedom to grow, trade and host stag weekends. And the Eurovision Song Contest became an annual lesson in European co-operation and/or conflict.
But the fall of the iron curtain was not all positive. Aside from the boost to David Hasselhoff’s music career (which is possibly reason enough to put the wall back up), an entire literary genre lost its home.
I’m sure there are still spies sneaking about all over the world, but they’re not confirming that “in winter, the badger and the mole sleep side by side” in Leningrad, and frankly, it’s just not right. Today’s spy writers have to set their adventures in the Middle East, Africa, China, Mars… anywhere other than Russia or Berlin.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, written in 1974, has no such concerns. Entrenched in the deepest traditions of espionage and the frigid hostilities between East and West, the novel and subsequent BBC mini-series were hugely popular, and the new film, out in cinemas from 16th September, looks set fair too. We certainly loved it and you can read our review here.
What is certain is that Tomas Alfredson put together a stellar cast. It’s a real Who’s Who of British talent, from hot new stars (Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch) through to those in their prime (Colin Firth, Mark Strong) and all-time movie legends (John Hurt and Gary Oldman). With this in mind, here’s a collection of films featuring the Tinker, Tailor cast that you can stream on the LOVEFiLM service.
Gary Oldman plays Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious in punk rock biopic Sid and Nancy, which also features Kathy Burke, while Mark Strong and Simon McBurney star in Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies, a tense thriller also set in the shady world of international intelligence.
Oldman turns up in several other titles in the collection including Air Force One, Track 29, The Backwoods and even as the narrator on the superb Italia ’90 documentary, One Night in Turin. Strong can be seen in Revolver, Flashbacks of a Fool, Sunshine and Jane Austen’s Emma. And Toby Jones appears in The Mist, W., Rembrandt’s J’Accuse and The Painted Veil.
You can find them all in our Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Cast collection. But remember, if you’re caught streaming loads of great films while you should be doing something vital around the house… we never had this conversation. Right?
Rob Holloway, Senior Content Manager – left to his own Devices, he probably would.