Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a brilliant film and an astounding example of the cinema of the closet - or what D.A. Miller refers to as the ‘Open Secret’.
It’s all there in the monochrome mise-en-scène: the secrets that are known to be known but maintained; the strategic silences, omissions and coded expressions of the spies; the exchange of women as a cover in this homo-social subculture; the secret service as the boundary between the public and private; and the double agent located everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
The capture of the duplicitous mole in the film is but a secondary narrative piece in this espionage puzzle. It is the invisible specter of the closet – always hidden yet under surveillance - that is the central, structural conundrum of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - its elusive, open secret.