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George Smiley

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20111215-154324-pic-559685885.jpg

Gary Oldman portrays George Smiley, who is called out of retirement from MI6 when a covert operation goes awry, in the latest but not greatest adaptation of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." (Focus Features via Associated Press)

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20111211-155516-pic-506489306.jpg

Gary Oldman (right) spent a month mulling over whether to take on the role of George Smiley, which Alec Guinness put a distinctive stamp on. "The ghost of Guinness just sort of loomed so large," said Mr. Oldman, shown on the set (above) during the filming of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." (Associated Press)