A dying French naval frigate captain tries to make a last rendezvous in the winter storm-tossed seas off the Grand Banks, with "le crab tambour," a French war hero he had betrayed twenty ... See full summary »

Writers:

(adaptation), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In Vietnam, 1954, a French platoon isolated behind enemy lines tries to come back. It is led by the inexperienced, idealistic sous-lieutenant Torrens, and by adjutant Willsdorf, a WWII veteran of the Werhmacht.

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
Stars: Jacques Perrin, Bruno Cremer, Pierre Fabre
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An American reporter finds himself in the middle of the 57-day battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam between the French army and the Vietminh, which finally resulted in the defeat and ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Patrick Catalifo, Jean-François Balmer
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The director, a French veteran of the Indochina war (La 317e Section), returned to follow a platoon of American soldiers for six weeks at the height of fighting in Vietnam in 1966. The ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
Stars: Joseph B. Anderson, Stuart Whitman
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In einer TV-Sendung bezeichnet Professor Paulet den im Algerienkrieg gefallenen Capitaine Caron als Folterer und Mörder. Dessen Witwe zieht mit der in Kriegsprozessen unerfahreren Anwältin ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
Stars: Jacques Perrin, Nicole Garcia, Charles Denner
Ridicule (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

To get royal backing on a needed drainage project, a poor French lord must learn to play the delicate games of wit at court at Versailles.

Director: Patrice Leconte
Stars: Charles Berling, Jean Rochefort, Fanny Ardant
Mr. Klein (1976)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Paris, 1942. Robert Klein cannot find any fault with the state of affairs in German-occupied France. He has a well-furnished flat, a mistress, and business is booming. Jews facing ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, Francine Bergé
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

France, 1719. Louis 14th died four years ago, Philippe d'Orleans is the regent. He is a liberal and a libertine. His right-hand man, Dubois, an atheistic and cupid priest, as libertine as ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort, Jean-Pierre Marielle
Going Places (1974)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two whimsical, aimless thugs harass and assault women, steal, murder, and alternately charm, fight, or sprint their way out of trouble. They take whatever the bourgeois characters value: ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Blier
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Patrick Dewaere, Miou-Miou
Z (1969)
Certificate: M Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Jean-Louis Trintignant
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

In May 1978, the mining town of Kolwezi in Katanga, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo, the former Belgian Congo) is under attack from a group of communist guerillas coming from nearby... See full synopsis »

Director: Raoul Coutard
Stars: Bruno Cremer, Mimsy Farmer, Giuliano Gemma
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An unstable former French Sergeant commits many atrocities. A judge considers how this case could benefit or damage his career.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Michel Galabru, Isabelle Huppert
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
Stars: Bruno Cremer, Claude Rich, Florence Darel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Captain
...
Le médecin, Pierre
...
Aurore (as Aurore Clement)
Odile Versois ...
Madame
Pierre Rousseau
Jacques Dufilho ...
Chef mécanicien
...
Lt. Willsdorff, 'le Crabe-Tambour'
Yann Brannelec
Jean Champion
Nguyen Long Cuong
François Dyrek ...
(as Francois Dyrex)
Jean Hennau
Yves Morgan-Jones
Bernard La Jarrige ...
Le recteur
François Landolf ...
(as Francois Landolt)
Edit

Storyline

A dying French naval frigate captain tries to make a last rendezvous in the winter storm-tossed seas off the Grand Banks, with "le crab tambour," a French war hero he had betrayed twenty years earlier. "Le crab tambour" the drummer crab" was a boyhood nickname for the handsome young Alsatian whom the film depicts proving his courage, first in the war in French Indochina, and then again in the "Generals' Revolt" in Algeria. Courtmartialed because friends like the French naval captain were afraid to risk their own careers by testifying for him, the exiled "crab tambour" and his trawler, The Shamrock, is now a legend among the Grand Banks fishermen. Written by Thomas Lipscomb <tom@infosafe.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 November 1977 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Drummer-Crab  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One thing that may be missed by viewers of this beautiful movie is that the French Navy frigate Jauréguiberry is not crossing the North Atlantic waters for an endurance mission (although much endurance is needed). She is actually fulfilling a mission of "Surveillance des pêches" (i.e. Support to the French fishing vessels) in the "Terre Neuve" (Newfoundland) and "Saint-Pierre et Miquelon" waters, a mission that the French Navy has carried on for centuries and still does today. Fishing rights for French vessels in these waters date from before the reign of king Louis XIV, and are among the last remaining rights from the French colonial venture in Canada. It has always been accepted as a truth that the "Terre Neuvas" (fishermen trained to work in these waters) were the best, the toughest recruits for the Navy. The film is about decolonization, of course, but its main theme is duty - carrying on whatever may and however unpleasant it may be. Unglamorous assistance to the "Terre Neuvas" fits in well with this theme. Another trivia : Jean Rochefort is as natural as can be playing the part of captain of the frigate Jaureguiberry : he may have acquired such an ease from watching his brother Pierre, a Naval officer who ended his career as an Admiral. See more »

Soundtracks

Kashmir
Written by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Bonham
Performed by Led Zeppelin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Beautiful picture about a mythical soldier
19 October 1999 | by (Paris, France) – See all my reviews

There are many war movies, but few movies about war. War movies are usually action movies set during a war. Other movies deal about war itself, why the people do it, why they enjoy it and suffer from it. Like Apocalypse Now or the Thin Red Line, The Crabe-Tambour is about war, though, unlike these movies, it shows little of it. It tells the story of Wilsdorf, a.k.a. the "Drummer-Crab", a French officer in the colonial armies, who witnessed (and took part in) the fall of the French empire after WWII. The man himself has become a legend and lives in the memories of fellow soldiers, who tell different tales - fantastic, ironic - about him. Wilsdorf appears as an elusive and shining ghost, a youthful figure of their past, who is still roaming the world as a free man while they grow old and embittered. Some may find there both a dubious fascination for the military (strongly reminiscent of Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese series) and nostalgia for the colonies. However, it's so beautifully filmed that this can be easily forgiven.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?