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The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

 -  Thriller  -  19 October 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,322 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 5 critic

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.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

The Little Drummer Girl (1984) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Kurtz
Sami Frey ...
Ben Levine ...
Shlomit Hagoel ...
Juliano Mer-Khamis ...
Julio (as Juliano Mer)
Sabi Dorr ...
Doron Nesher ...
Smadar Brener ...
Shoshi Marciano ...
Philipp Moog ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Little Drummer Girl  »

Box Office


$7,800,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Source novel author John le Carré appeared in this movie under his birth name David Cornwell and not as John le Carré. This film was the first appearance by le Carré in a filmed adaptation of one of his books. The second would be in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) twenty-seven years later. See more »


Marty Kurtz: I trust you will not immediately foam at the mouth if I add that we are also Israeli citizens.
Charlie: Israelis?
Marty Kurtz: Unless it's your conviction that Israel should be swept into the sea. Is that your conviction Charlie?
Charlie: Israelis, huh?
Marty Kurtz: Do you feel you are among enemies here?
Charlie: Oh Christ, I don't know what gives you that idea! Oh no, anyone who kidnaps me is a friend for LIFE!
See more »


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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