Main content

Le Crabe-Tambour

Le Crabe-Tambour

If you are not affiliated with a college or university, and are interested in watching this film, please register as an individual and login to rent this film. Already registered? Login to rent this film. This film is also available on our home streaming platform,

“Don’t thank or apologize to a superior. It is one of our privileges.” -- The Captain

A French naval frigate crosses the Atlantic, bringing supplies and medical care to the French fishing fleet off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. On board are three veteran officers whose lives are interlinked with the legendary Lt. Willsdorf (Jacques Perrin). Willsdorf served in Indochina and Algeria and now helms a trawler fishing one of the harshest environments on the planet.

Through flashbacks, the frigate’s dying captain (Jean Rochefort), ship’s doctor (Claude Rich), and chief engineer (Jacques Dufilho), tell the story of the larger-than-life Willsdorf: a soldier who fought for a dying empire on two continents, tried to navigate from Vietnam to France on a rotting sailboat, survived captivity as a POW, and was eventually sentenced to prison for his role in a failed putsch aimed at keeping Algeria French.

Featuring some of the greatest maritime footage ever shot, LE CRABE-TAMBOUR is a layered and powerful adventure exploring ideas of honor, duty, and colonialism and its aftermath, Directed by Oscar-winner Pierre Schoendoerffer, and based on his novel of the same name, the film is something of a sequel to Schoendoerffer’s equally masterful THE 317th PLATOON, which featured Lt. Willsdorf’s brother as one of its main characters.

Related Films

The 317th Platoon

Directed by Oscar®-winner Pierre Schoendoerffer, THE 317th PLATOON captures…