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.


George Roy Hill


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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Keaton ... Charlie
Yorgo Voyagis ... Joseph
Klaus Kinski ... 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)
Dani Roth Dani Roth ... Oded (as Danni Roth)
Sabi Dorr Sabi Dorr ... Ben
Doron Nesher ... David
Smadar Brener ... Toby
Shoshi Marciano Shoshi Marciano ... Rachel


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


"You want to crack the terror target these days you practically have to build yourself your own terrorist first." See more »




R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


First theatrical feature film adaptation of a John le Carré for around fifteen years with the last at the time having been The Looking Glass War (1970) which had been made during the late 1960s. There was no cinema movie adaptation of a le Carre novel made during the 1970s decade. See more »


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


Referenced in Lethal Woman (1988) See more »

User Reviews

questionable course of action
28 October 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's 1981 West Germany. Katrin delivers a bomb made by mysterious PLO bomb-maker Khalil killing an Israeli diplomat and his family. Charlie (Diane Keaton) is a naive pro-Palestinian actress. She is in Greece to do a job. When she spots Joseph, she believes him to be the masked Palestinian spokesman whose meeting she attended. He's actually an Israeli Mossad agent and they had taken the real masked man who is Khalil's brother Michel. The whole Greece trip is an Israeli trick. They reveal themselves to her and Martin Kurtz (Klaus Kinski) recruits her to be the brother's girlfriend to infiltrate Khalil's group.

John le Carré's brand of espionage stories is often muddled. His world is a murky chaotic vision where questionable things are done which are often not the right course of action. Having said that, I don't understand why the Israelis would ever recruit Charlie. It doesn't make sense to me. I don't see Charlie helping the Israelis or ever believe them enough to really help them. They don't need the recruit to be Jewish, just not anti-Israeli. It might make sense if they pretend to be another terrorist group hoping to connect to Khalil. It's simply hard to understand the Israeli's course of action. Charlie's motivation for her journey is way too twisty. If one can ignore the questionable motivations, the plot is an intriguing twisty affair.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

19 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Drummer Girl See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,632,719, 21 October 1984

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed