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26 user 6 critic

The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

An American Actress with a penchant for lying is forceably recruited by Mosad, the Israeli intelligence agency to trap a Palestinian bomber, by pretending to be the girlfriend of his dead brother.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Charlie
...
Joseph
...
Martin Kurtz
Sami Frey ...
Khalil
...
Tayeh
...
Litvak
Ben Levine ...
Dimitri
...
Teddy
Shlomit Hagoel ...
Rose
Juliano Mer-Khamis ...
Julio (as Juliano Mer)
Sabi Dorr ...
Ben
Doron Nesher ...
David
Smadar Brener ...
Toby
Shoshi Marciano ...
Rachel
Philipp Moog ...
Aaron
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Storyline

A Palestinian bomber has killed an Israeli diplomat and his family and the Israeli plot to neutralise him becomes convoluted as they select an American Actress (Charlie) to impersonate the Bomber's brother's girlfriend after the Israeli's capture and kill the brother. Charlie is placed into a world where she begins being an actress, then becomes a spy, then is trained by the Palestinians as a guerrilla and finally is sent to deliver a bomb. She is chronically confused by how far she is really supposed to go in her impersonations and how much of herself she must give up. From the book by John Le Carre Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She will become their most deadly weapon. As long as they can make her fall in love.

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Garota do Tambor  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$7,800,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lead role of Charlie played by Diane Keaton was originally intended to be an English woman. The Charlie character in John le Carré's source book is an English woman in her 20s whereas in this film she is an American woman in her 30s. See more »

Quotes

Charlie: So I lied, that only makes us even. I don't see what it has to do with my politics.
Joseph: Possibly they're as much a lie as your past.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cybill: The Little Drummer Girls (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you like John LeCarre, you'll have to love this
18 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John Le Carre is the master of the spy novel. His stories, including this one, are more into the psychology of the characters than to violence and action. The film is a faithful rendition of the novel. Charlie, an actress, is "recruited" by the Israeli equivalent of our CIA, to cast a net to catch a terrorist. Her role will be to get close to the terrorist by claiming to be the girlfriend of the terrorist's brother. She is pro-Palestinian, so will she play along or not? Does she even want to get involved?

It is not obvious as to why Charlie chooses as she does. I think that while she supports the Palestinian cause, she does not condone their bombings. Later, when she gets to know the terrorist responsible for the bombings, she is swayed back towards favoring the terrorists, but perhaps not all the way back.

As typical with spy stories, characters are not always who they seem to be, but it isn't that difficult to follow. The only character whose true identity is in question is Charlie, and that is partly the role she is asked to play in the plot and partly her ambivalence and uncertainty as to what she should do.

Diane Keaton is excellent as Charlie, and the rest of the cast are also terrific.


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