Forget James Bond, ignore “Mission: Impossible,” if you want a film that shows what real spy work is like – it’s Tomas Alfredson’s 2011 adaptation of John le Carre’s iconic novel “Tinker Tailor Solider Spy”.
Tied in with the home video release of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” two former CIA veterans spoke with the press about their careers in the spy trade and Slashfilm asked them what would they consider to be the most accurate spy movie.
Jonna Mendez, who served as the CIA’s Chief of Disguise and was a specialist in clandestine photography, says: “I can’t stand to watch [spy movies] when they’re not correct. So the movie I call out [for its accuracy] is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I love those kinds of stories about spies – action movies…not so much.”
Peter Earnest, who served 25 years as a case officer in the CIA’s Clandestine Service, running a wide range of covert and intelligence operations says: “I have to second what Jonna said [in enjoying] Tinker Tailor so much. I was involved in counter intelligence, and Tinker Tailor is very much a duel of wits. The bottom line of which is: you identify a traitor – someone who has betrayed your group. That happens in reality, and I have been very close to that. So the consequence of it, and the effect it has on people, are very real to me. So I particularly enjoy that kind of spy film.”
Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Ciaran Hinds all starred in the carefully paced character study about an attempt to flush out a mole working in British intelligence.