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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)

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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:

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

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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 title of the film and source John le Carré 1983 novel, 'The Little Drummer Girl', is a play and variation on the title of the well-known popular Christmas song and hymn, "The Little Drummer Boy", which had been written in 1941 by 'Katherine Kennicott Davis'. The hymn was originally known as "Carol of the Drum". See more »

Quotes

Martin Kurtz: Where would you have us go Charlie? Maybe you would prefer us to take a piece of Central Africa or Uruguay? Not Egypt, thank you, we tried that once and it was not a success. Or back to the ghettos?
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
This is a twisty, winding road brimming with political intrigue.
4 October 2001 | by jfmcmurrySee all my reviews

This film is detailed and occasionally harsh, but told by a master storyteller. the director has modified the John LeCarre novel somewhat, but weaves a strong story. It's a little hard to follow if you don't know much about the world of Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but provides quite an education by its end.

It begins with the assassination (bombing) of an Israeli diplomat and family and then jumps to an American stage actress, Charlie (Diane Keaton), who's currently living in Britain. She is ideologically a supporter of the Palestinian cause. She has a problem with falling in love easily and sympathizing with her lover. You begin to see the wheels turning in Israeli intelligence as they research and try to react to this most recent terrorist bombing.

They skillfully recruit/seduce her by pretending to support the Palestinian movement. To be effective in their scheme, they need someone authentic. They try to get under her skin and into her personal psyche (why she is an actress, pain in her life). Klaus Kinski is superb as the head of the Israeli intelligence effort.

After feeling more confident, they put her work to infiltrate the Palestinian-backed terrorist camps to ultimately get to the almost impossible to find bomber Khalil. This involves serious physical/military training. She excels and is given more and more trusted tasks as the story progresses. The story takes many twists and is very detailed and realistic in it's portrayal of both sides. It gets a little heavy, but is fascinating to watch unfold even a second time.

I give it a solid recommendation.


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