Winner 1982

Smiley’s People

BBC, Paramount Television, Operation Prime Time

When the BBC stamps its mark upon a television production, it is generally recognized as a mark of excellence. Seldom has this been a more accurate conclusion than in the six-hour mini-series, Smiley’s People. Alec Guinness brought additional distinction to his already overwhelming series of credits with his portrayal of the British spy hero, George Smiley, who had been retired but who wanted one more go against the notorious Karla, his Russian counterpart. Combine Guinness’ exceptional talents with those of author, Jon Le Carre, and the skills in cinematography of Kenneth MacMillan, and the result is an exceptional television experience. Moreover, the traditional obsession of the British to pay close attention to detail brings a realism to the viewer that one seldom finds elsewhere. For a rare television dramatic experience, a Peabody Award to the British Broadcasting Corporation, Paramount Television, and Operation Prime Time, who made Smiley’s People available to the American People.