7.0/10
543
10 user 4 critic

Le Crabe-Tambour (1977)

A dying French naval frigate captain tries to make a last rendezvous in the winter storm-tossed seas off the Grand Banks, with "le crabe tambour," a French war hero he had betrayed twenty ... See full summary »

Writers:

Jean-François Chauvel (adaptation), Pierre Schoendoerffer (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In Vietnam, 1954, a French platoon isolated behind enemy lines tries to come back. It is led by the inexperienced, idealistic sous-lieutenant Torrens, and by adjutant Willsdorf, a WWII veteran of the Werhmacht.

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
Stars: Jacques Perrin, Bruno Cremer, Pierre Fabre
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During a televised debate on the Algerian war in the early 1980s, Professor Paulet denounced the methods of Captain Caron, killed in action in 1957. The widow of the captain, Patricia, decided to file a defamation suit.

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
Stars: Jacques Perrin, Nicole Garcia, Charles Denner
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An American reporter finds himself in the middle of the 57-day battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam between the French army and the Vietminh, which finally resulted in the defeat and ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Patrick Catalifo, Jean-François Balmer
The Old Gun (1975)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In Montauban in 1944, Julien Dandieu in a surgeon in the local hospital. Frightened by the German army entering Montauban, he asks his friend Francois to drive his wife and his daughter in ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Enrico
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Romy Schneider, Jean Bouise
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Beauvoir, lonely, aging private detective, is put on the bloody track of beautiful Catherine Leiris who kills and robs her rich husband(s) on their wedding night. Although he never ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Miller
Stars: Michel Serrault, Isabelle Adjani, Guy Marchand
Borsalino (1970)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During the 1930s, in Marseilles, France, two small time crooks work for local crime bosses until they decide to go into business for themselves.

Director: Jacques Deray
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, Catherine Rouvel
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Francois Merlin is an espionnage-book writer. He likes to mix every-day character he can met in his book. In his book, he is Bob Saint Clar, his neighbour Christine appears as Tatiana and ... See full summary »

Director: Philippe de Broca
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jacqueline Bisset, Vittorio Caprioli
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The director, a French veteran of the Indochina war (La 317e Section), returned to follow a platoon of American soldiers for six weeks at the height of fighting in Vietnam in 1966. The ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
Stars: Joseph B. Anderson, Stuart Whitman
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

As loyal as a dove, a family man is about to tell his first lie to his wife when he falls for an enchanting woman in a billowy red dress. With a bit of help, he just might get what he wishes for; however, is love always a bed of roses?

Director: Yves Robert
Stars: Jean Rochefort, Claude Brasseur, Guy Bedos
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Adèle Hugo's unrequited love for a lieutenant.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Bruce Robinson, Sylvia Marriott
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Being imprisoned for murdering a politician, husband tells his wife why he did this.

Director: Jacques Rouffio
Stars: Romy Schneider, Michel Piccoli, Helmut Griem
Hotel du Nord (1938)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On the meandering Canal St. Martin, at the Parisian Hôtel du Nord, a nearly fatal gunshot separates a dejected young couple. But, amid a sad but beautiful panorama of lively characters, love has the final say. Can life be a fairy tale?

Director: Marcel Carné
Stars: Annabella, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Louis Jouvet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Rochefort ... Captain
Claude Rich ... Le médecin, Pierre
Aurore Clément ... Aurore (as Aurore Clement)
Odile Versois ... Madame
Pierre Rousseau Pierre Rousseau ... Babourg
Jacques Dufilho Jacques Dufilho ... Chef mécanicien
Jacques Perrin ... Lt. Willsdorff, 'le Crabe-Tambour'
Yann Brannelec Yann Brannelec
Jean Champion Jean Champion ... L'homme dans le café
Nguyen Long Cuong Nguyen Long Cuong
François Dyrek François Dyrek ... Le cafetier-gendarme (as Francois Dyrex)
Jean Hennau Jean Hennau
Yves Morgan-Jones Yves Morgan-Jones ... L'enseigne
Bernard Lajarrige Bernard Lajarrige ... Le recteur
François Landolt François Landolt ... Le clairon Bochau (as Francois Landolt)
Edit

Storyline

A dying French naval frigate captain tries to make a last rendezvous in the winter storm-tossed seas off the Grand Banks, with "le crabe tambour," a French war hero he had betrayed twenty years earlier. "Le crabe tambour" "the drummer crab" was a boyhood nickname for the handsome young Alsatian whom the film depicts proving his courage, first in the war in French Indochina, and then again in the "Generals' Revolt" in Algeria. Courtmartialed because friends like the French naval captain were afraid to risk their own careers by testifying for him, the exiled "crabe tambour" and his trawler, The Shamrock, is now a legend among the Grand Banks fishermen. Written by Thomas Lipscomb <tom@infosafe.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

9 November 1977 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crab-Drum See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One thing that may be missed by viewers of this beautiful movie is that the French Navy frigate Jauréguiberry is not crossing the North Atlantic waters for an endurance mission (although much endurance is needed). She is actually fulfilling a mission of "Surveillance des pêches" (i.e. Support to the French fishing vessels) in the "Terre Neuve" (Newfoundland) and "Saint-Pierre et Miquelon" waters, a mission that the French Navy has carried on for centuries and still does today. Fishing rights for French vessels in these waters date from before the reign of king Louis XIV, and are among the last remaining rights from the French colonial venture in Canada. It has always been accepted as a truth that the "Terre Neuvas" (fishermen trained to work in these waters) were the best, the toughest recruits for the Navy. The film is about decolonization, of course, but its main theme is duty - carrying on whatever may and however unpleasant it may be. Unglamorous assistance to the "Terre Neuvas" fits in well with this theme. Another trivia : Jean Rochefort is as natural as can be playing the part of captain of the frigate Jaureguiberry : he may have acquired such an ease from watching his brother Pierre, a Naval officer who ended his career as an Admiral. See more »

Soundtracks

Kashmir
Written by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Bonham
Performed by Led Zeppelin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Captures the real-life emotions of real-life Navy officers
7 February 2019 | by sissoedSee all my reviews

Reviewer "gerrythree" in 2006 wrote something that I will build on, which is:

"Behind the opening and closing credits are images of ships beached on shore, wrecks that have outlived their usefulness, just like the ship's captain. The real French frigate, the Jaureguiberry, filmed for this movie on its last voyage, gets a mention in the last credit. When you see the ship's bow plowing through high waves in the North Atlantic, you also see the sides of the ship, with rust patches on it. The ship, like some of its passengers, has reached the end of the line. Le Crabe Tambour is not about just the adventures of an errant soldier, but is an attempt to put on screen the meaning of life for career military men at the end of their careers"

My father, a career U.S. Navy officer, commander of nuclear submarines, followed his Navy sea career by becoming U.S. Naval Attache to France - so of course he knew zFrench and French culture, and many French navy officers.

One day years after his retirement (1984) he pulled out a VHS and said "watch this with me." The movie was "The Drummer Crab." He knew French, but I did not, and the movie has no subtitles, so he explained it to me as the movie went on.

It was a very important film to him. When reviewer "gerrythree" said that "The Drummer Crab" "is an attempt to put on screen the meaning of life for career military men at the end of their careers," he is absolutely correct. I was never in the military, but anyone who was, and everyone who has a career-military person in his or her family - especially career Navy - will benefit by watching this film (though most Americans will need to watch it with a French-speaker).

One thing that especially struck me was my father's response to the very end of the film, when the frigate captain brings the warship to the pier for the last time. The captain (skipper) knows that this is the last time he will ever do this. The captain gives very precise commands to rudder and engines, to bring the ship alongside the pier without a tug-boat, and - this is what matters - with the very fewest number of commands. My father explained that among ship-skippers, one of the master-arts is to know how to bring the ship to a dead-stop right on position along the pier, with the fewest number of commands. It is how they test and evaluate each other, and know who is the very best. He had done it himself many times, bringing his submarine alongside the submarine tender-ships after his two-month missile deterrent patrols. His last time was in 1972, in Holy Loch, Scotland - after which he transferred to shore duty for the rest of his career.

I think the feeling must be like a major-league football or baseball player, who knows he is playing in his last game in the big leagues - and the game ends, and the player walks off the field for the last time, never to step-out again in uniform, ready to play. A very bitter-sweet moment - which this film captures for real-life Navy ship-captains, like my father.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed