A Palestinian assassin is targeting prominent Israelis. An English actress is recruited by the Israelis to infiltrate the assassin's terrorist cell. This will require all of her acting talents and put her at considerable risk.
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George Roy Hill
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 CarreWritten by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The synopsis of the movie's source novel "The Little Drummer Girl" (1983) by John le Carré on his personal website reads: "In this enthralling and thought-provoking novel of Middle Eastern intrigue, Charlie, a brilliant and beautiful young actress, is lured into 'the theatre of the real' by an Israeli intelligence officer. Forced to play her ultimate role, she is plunged into a deceptive and delicate trap set to ensnare an elusive Palestinian terrorist....". See more »
God damn it, I believe in things. I believe in helping end the suffering.
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Having read the intriguing novel beforehand, I had looked forward to a film adaption. At that time I always imagined Andrea McArdle a young Broadway stage actress and the original "Annie" was not only the right age but had the look and personality of Charlie as described in the book, might have been a fine "unknown" choice for the role.
Sadly, the casting of Diane Keaton was just a disaster. A choice the entire production never could overcome. Although a good actress, Keaton was about 15 years too old for the role of an ingénue who becomes the obsession of a terrorist and her pronounced New York accent was too much at times.
The movie follows the novel very closely, perhaps too closely for it's own good. It should nave been about 20 minutes shorter. Still, even at it's full length, the screenplay misses the most interesting moment in the book, where the reader is left to ponder if Charlie has truly joined the "movement" and was ready to kill for the terrorist group she had infiltrated.
The actual production seemed a bit on the cheap side. It appears the director wanted a look of reality, but by 80s standards that meant filming on location using real streets with little local activity to get in the way.
The rest of the cast, except for Klaus Kinski's star turn is totally forgettable.
Finally, over the years I've come to realize The Little Drummer Girl was a story that was best served on the written page. Too much of the story is internalized in Charlie's mind, and that personal struggle is not easily translated to film.
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