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The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

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

Director:

George Roy Hill

Writers:

Loring Mandel (screenplay), John le Carré (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Keaton ... Charlie
Yorgo Voyagis ... Joseph
Klaus Kinski ... Martin Kurtz
Sami Frey ... Khalil
Michael Cristofer ... Tayeh
Eli Danker ... Litvak
Ben Levine Ben Levine ... Dimitri
Jonathan Sagall ... Teddy
Shlomit Hagoel Shlomit Hagoel ... Rose
Juliano Mer-Khamis ... Julio (as Juliano Mer)
Sabi Dorr Sabi Dorr ... Ben
Doron Nesher ... David
Smadar Brener ... Toby
Shoshi Marciano 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. See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Garota do Tambor See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,632,719, 21 October 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,828,841
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Charlie: God damn it, I believe in things. I believe in helping end the suffering.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Accent on the Girl
8 March 2011 | by Mark-129See all my reviews

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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