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
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
The Tin Drum (1979)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Danzig in the 1920s/1930s. Oskar Matzerath, son of a local dealer, is a most unusual boy. Equipped with full intellect right from his birth he decides at his third birthday not to grow up ... See full summary »

Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Stars: David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler
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
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
Floride (2015)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Although he's now eighty years old, Claude Lherminier is still as imposing as he ever was. But his bouts of forgetfulness and confusion are becoming increasingly frequent. Even so, he ... See full summary »

Director: Philippe Le Guay
Stars: Jean Rochefort, Sandrine Kiberlain, Laurent Lucas
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 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
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In spring 1976, a 19-year-old beauty, her German-born mother, and her crippled father move to the town of a firefighter nicknamed Pin-Pon. Everyone notices the provocative Eliane. She ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Becker
Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Alain Souchon, Suzanne Flon
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
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Francois Merlin is an espionnage-book writer. He likes to mix every-day character he can met in his book. In his book, he is Bob Saint Clar, his neighbour Christine appears as Tatiana and ... See full summary »

Director: Philippe de Broca
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jacqueline Bisset, Vittorio Caprioli
The Adversary (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a man murders his wife, children and parents, the ensuing investigation reveals that he's been living a lie for almost 20 years.

Director: Nicole Garcia
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Géraldine Pailhas, François Cluzet
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Quatre amis, Etienne, Daniel, Simon et Bouly ont du mal à grandir et, la quarantaine révolue, continuent de se jouer des tours. Etienne, qui est toujours resté fidèle à sa femme, tombe ... See full summary »

Director: Yves Robert
Stars: Jean Rochefort, Claude Brasseur, Guy Bedos
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 cinematography but not especially engaging
22 July 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This was an amazing movie to look at--the footage of the North Atlantic was gorgeous and breathtaking. I can really appreciate all the trouble everyone went to making this film. However, apart from the great cinematography, I found the movie not particularly interesting. I think that is because the film is told in the form of flashbacks from several different people--it tends to bounce around a bit and can lose the viewer in the process. Getting lost was not as big an issue for me, as I am a history teacher. However, many non-French viewers will not understand the context for what occurs in the movie and the flashbacks will leave them baffled.

FYI to anyone wanting more background info--Following WWII, the French were trying desperately to hold on to the colonies it controlled before the war. The movie begins with the French in Indochina (Vietnam). They are continuing a war that had actually begun before the Japanese took over Vietnam. In essence, when the Japanese left, the war between the French and Nationalists resumed. The French lost this war in the mid-1950s and the United States entered this fray about a decade later.

Although there were some other small skirmishes along the way that were not mentioned in the film (such as the joint British-Israeli-French invasion of the Suez region), the movie picks up AFTER an abortive coup in the early 1960s. That's because Nationalists in Tunisia and Algeria had been pressing the French for independence (though many saw this land as an extension of France--not merely colonies--and losing it was unthinkable to them). This seriously undermined the French government and the military made attempts on deGaulle's life as well as attempts at a military coup. The officers involved were in some cases executed, imprisoned or fled the country. All this occurred because deGaulle's government reluctantly agreed to give up North Africa and the military felt this was a betrayal of France. The lead in the movie Drummer Crab was apparently one of those involved in these coup attempts. Another film that briefly discusses this same topic is the incredibly great film, Day of the Jackal (not to be confused with the supposed remake).


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Le Crabe-Tambour (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?