Variety - 10/10/1984
"...Kinski is cast against type and delivers a strong supporting turn..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Palestinian intelligence says she's loyal to their cause. Israeli counterintelligence says she's "bright, creative, underused, romantic and a liar." Academy Award? winner* Diane Keaton stars as Charlie, a repertory actress and Palestinian sympathizer who plays the role of - and for - her life when she's thrust onto the center stage of international espionage. Klaus Kinski and Yorgo Voyagis co-star as shrewd Israeli operatives who plot to use Charlie as bait to capture an elusive Palestinian terrorist (Sami Frey). Director George Roy Hill masterfully arranges the pieces of this cloak-and-dagger puzzle based on John le Carré's bestseller into a dazzling thriller racing full tilt through London, Munich, Athens, Jerusalem and Beirut. March to the enthralling beat of The Little Drummer Girl.
George Roy Hill, better known for combining light comedy with drama as in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID and THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, here adapts John Le Carré's best-selling suspense novel THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL. It's set in the early 1980s, when Israeli intelligence was still reeling from the Olympic massacre of 1972 and attempting to infiltrate Palestinian terrorist groups. To achieve this, Kurtz (Klaus Kinski), a Mossad operative, tries to enlist Charlie (Diane Keaton), a well-known anti-Zionist actress. The plan works when she falls in love with Joseph (Yorgo Voyagis), an undercover Israeli agent. In a complex story ranging from England to Greece to Lebanon, she is accepted by a terrorist cell as the lover of the leader's recently deceased brother. The leader and main bomb maker, Khalil (Sami Frey), wants her to smuggle a bomb into Germany. Contrary to many other films within this subject matter, the Palestinians are not depicted as one-dimensional madmen. Their cause, and their long years of suffering in the refugee camps, is presented in a way that makes Charlie's ambiguity about the moral position of both sides entirely believable. As Charlie, Keaton, celebrated for her comedy work with Woody Allen, gives a vivid portrayal of the malleable actress whose political passion leads her into the dangerous world of Middle East politics.
Charlie is an actress who strongly supports the Palestinian cause. Her life is transformed after she is drafted by a group of Israeli spies and brainwashed into supporting their cause. Soon she's joined them as a secret agent and is tackling a big assignment: ensnaring an enemy leader.
The film was shot in West Germany, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, and England.
It is thought that the actress in the story was based on Vanessa Redgrave.
John Le Carré, under his real name, David Cornwell, appears briefly as a police commander.
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