The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

Taglines: She is the creation of ruthless men. She is le Carré’s drummer girl.

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.

The Little Drummer Girl is a 1984 American spy film directed by George Roy Hill and adapted from the 1983 novel The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carré. It starred Diane Keaton, Yorgo Voyagis, Klaus Kinski, Sami Frey, Michael Cristofer, Eli Danker, Jonathan Sagall, Shlomit Hagoel and Shoshi Marciano. The film received divided reviews among critics.

The Little Drummer Girl Movie Poster (1984)

About the Story

Set in Europe and the Middle East, the plot follows the Mossad’s clandestine attempt to flush out a PLO bomber named Khalil. To neutralize Khalil, they first kidnap (and later kill) his brother who’s on a lecture tour speaking to audiences in a ski mask about the profound suffering and losses of the Palestine under military occupation.

Charlie, an anti-Zionist American actress in Greece shooting a wine commercial, is seduced by Joseph, who tricks her to believe he is the masked man she met back in the UK. She is kidnapped and taken to a house of Israeli Mossad spies (who set up the commercial gig) to eventually be recruited and convinced that they too want peace and an end to the killing. Monitored and manipulated at every step, Charlie proves that she is clever and capable by acting well in manouvres that develop Mossad’s narrative for her. She eventually arrives at a resistance headquarters in a bombed out Palestinians city where the leader, Tayeh, is unsure but permits her to go to a desert guerrilla training camp for a month.

Tayeh clarifies that they are not anti-Semitic, they are anti-Zionist and she advances to her next assignment. Now a double agent of sorts, under the Israeli Mossad cover impersonating the dead man’s girlfriend, she connects with a man that she deduces is actually Khalil as they prepare an exploding briefcase with his bomb signature—a specially wrapped coil of wire. As Charlie delivers the briefcase to the “peacenik” target, Professor Minkel, the Mossad, who’ve been watching, control the situation. She says her lines to the objecting professor and the briefcase is whisked away by a man in a bomb suit.

Charlie returns to Khalil and they drive away after the large building explosion that she knows is a false flag event harming no one, despite what the evening news says to fool Khalil. He’s not easily disarmed and does not fall asleep as planned. He’s suspicious of the extreme quiet around their country refuge. Khalil removes the batteries from her portable radio with a tracker and secret signal button for when he fell asleep. Alerted, Joseph and others of the Mossad team move in not to capture but to kill Khalil, as other Mossad agents kill other PLO recruiting agents. All of the Palestinian guerrillas are destroyed and engulfed by flames from jet bombers.

The Little Drummer Girl Movie Poster (1984)

The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

Directed by: George Roy Hill
Starring: Diane Keaton, Yorgo Voyagis, Klaus Kinski, Sami Frey, Michael Cristofer, Eli Danker, Jonathan Sagall, Shlomit Hagoel, Shoshi Marciano
Screenplay by: Loring Mandel
Production Design by: Henry Bumstead
Cinematography by: Wolfgang Treu
Film Editing by: William Reynolds
Costume Design by: Ille Sievers, Kristi Zea
Set Decoration by: Heidi Lüdi
Art Direction by: Helmut Gassner, Mikes Karapiperis, Ariel Roshko, Geoffrey Tozer
Music by: Dave Grusin
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date: October 19, 1984