I found the new film to be most excellent, and among my favorites of the year, if not the best. Gary Oldman really impressed me in a way he never has before. His performance is at once subdued and dynamic, simmering through the cold war patina with a depth I wouldn't have guessed he had in him. I love the genre, specifically many of the great films coming out of the mid 1960s through the 1970s, so this was a real treat for me. Can't wait for the blu ray in a month to watch it again.
My father watched the Alec Guinness version on PBS in 1980 and I remember it the way you remember something as a child - more about how much my father loved it (he owned everything Le Carre wrote) than the series itself. I've almost bought it a dozen times in the last year, and bit the bullitt after seeing the new film. on Episode 2 now and it's a different animal, but i'n definitely sucked in for the long haul tonight. If anything, seeing the slow burn of this makes me appreciate the skill with which Alfredson distilled it into a two hour film and retained both the feel/pacing and the full story. Both are damned near masterpieces.
Of course a week after I buy it I see Acorn has announced a blu-ray
of the original will be coming in late April. Though if they didn't do any more work on it I can't see the point - the Acorn DVD is practically VHS quality. They also are apparently never going to put out the 315 minute uncut UK version, as the blu ray is also listed as having the US 290 minute run-time. Can anyone speak to what we poor Americans missed out on?