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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Explained: What happens to Ricky Tarr at the end of the movie?

See Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy for the novel. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 1979 television adaptation (TV series).

Tomas Alfredson directed the Cold War spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in 2011. Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan wrote the script, which is based on John le Carré’s 1974 novel of the same name.

Gary Oldman plays George Smiley in the film, which also features Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciarán Hinds, David Dencik, and Kathy Burke. It takes place in London in the early 1970s and revolves around the search for a Soviet double agent at the top of the British secret service.

The film was produced by Working Title Films in the United Kingdom and financed by StudioCanal in France. It premiered at the 68th Venice International Film Festival in competition. It was a critical and commercial success, and for three weeks it was the highest-grossing film at the UK box office.

It was nominated for a BAFTA for Best British Film. The film was also nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Actor for Gary Oldman.

The story was originally made into the award-winning 1979 BBC television series of the same name, which starred Alec Guinness as Smiley.


  • George Smiley is played by Gary Oldman (“Spy”)
  • Bill Haydon is played by Colin Firth (“Tailor”)
  • Ricki Tarr is played by Tom Hardy.
  • Jim Prideaux is played by Mark Strong.
  • Roy Bland is played by Ciarán Hinds (“Soldier”)
  • Peter Guillam is played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
  • Toby Esterhase is played by David Dencik (“Poorman”)
  • Jerry Westerby is played by Stephen Graham.
  • Oliver Lacon is played by Simon McBurney.
  • Percy Alleline is played by Toby Jones (“Tinker”)
  • Control: John Hurt
  • Connie Sachs is played by Kathy Burke.
  • Mendel is played by Roger Lloyd-Pack.
  • Irina is played by Svetlana Khodchenkova.
  • Polyakov is played by Konstantin Khabensky.
  • Karla is played by Michael Sarne.
  • As a Christmas party guest, John le Carré

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Explained Conclusion

tinker tailor soldier spy explained

Smiley meets Oliver Lacon and the priest and discusses Operation Witchcraft with them. Polyakov is the informant, they tell Smiley. They describe how they obtain Russian intelligence from him. Smiley corrects them, stating that Polyakov’s real role is to gather information from the mole and relay it to Karla. Oliver and the minister are stunned that they have allowed this to happen. They ask Smiley to help them out.

Ricky is sent to Paris by Smiley. In exchange, Ricky demands Irina’s safety. Smiley already knows she’s dead, but he lies and says he’ll do everything he can to save her. Smiley then confronts Toby Esterhase and accuses him of treason. He also mentions Toby’s unfaithfulness to Control. Esterhase, terrified, divulges the secret address where they will meet Polyakov.

Ricky holds a British intelligence operative at gunpoint in Paris in order to convey a message to The Circus. The message he sends out is identical to the one he put out on November 20th. This time the mole is caught in a trap.

Bill, as planned, approaches Polyakov and orders him to assassinate Ricky (because of the message). Smiley and Peter are waiting for Bill and Polyakov at the address, and Smiley is holding them both at gunpoint. They are apprehended, and the audience learns that Bill is the mole at this moment.

Bill admits to siding with Karla and believes he’s made an impression. Smiley is asked to provide money to a female and create a cover narrative. He also demands that money be given to a young boy. We have no idea who these people are. We can assume that they are lovers.

It’s also revealed that Jim met Bill before coming to Budapest in order to safeguard Bill. Jim had a feeling Bill was up to something nefarious. Bill also acknowledges that he seduced Ann as a result of Karla’s teaching and Smiley’s blind spot. Bill is about to be deported to Russia, but before he can do so, Jim snipes and kills him for what he did to him. Because of his love for Bill, Jim lets a tear fall down his cheek.

Roy Bland and Percy Alleline are fired from The Circus. Smiley is named the new leader. The movie is over.

Explanation of Plot

tinker tailor soldier spy explained

I now see why I’ve been asked to describe this movie so many times. It’s not the plot that’s perplexing; it’s the narrative, which is incredibly non-linear and doesn’t provide many clues to the sequence of events. So, as usual, we’ll go over the events chronologically, despite the fact that this ruins the amazing story.

George Smiley (Gary Oldman) and Karla are the two primary characters we should be aware of (not really shown). Smiley is a prominent British intelligence official (referred to as The Circus). Karla works for the Soviet intelligence service. Smiley was flying across the world encouraging Soviet operatives to convert to the British side when the Moscow Center was in ruins.

Karla was one of the people Smiley had met in Delhi. Karla was about to return to Russia. Karla was almost certainly going to be executed once she arrived in Russia because he had been exposed. Smiley tries to persuade Karla to switch sides. He makes the error of harping on saving Karla’s marriage, which echoes Smiley’s own marital problems.

Smiley also gives Karla a pack of cigarettes and his lighter. “To George from Ann, All my love,” reads the lighter. Karla is revealed to be a zealot, and he returns to die. Karla gives back the cigarette box but keeps the lighter.

Karla is spared from execution. Years go by. He rises through the Soviet spymaster ranks.

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